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Turkey Frying Safety Tips
13 DEC 2011
Frying your holiday turkey can be dangerous, but you can get the same taste without the hazards if you use a greaseless fryer. Of course, most people will opt for the deep fat fried variety and, in that case, Safety Management Systems advises you to be aware of the following USDA guidelines: A whole turkey can be successfully cooked by the deep fat frying method provided the turkey is not stuffed and has been completely thawed. The turkey should be 12 pounds or less in size.
There are safety concerns
when working with such a large amount of oil:
- Select a cooking vessel large enough to completely submerge the turkey in oil without it spilling over.
- The oil should cover the turkey by 1 to 2 inches. To determine the amount of oil needed, do a preliminary test using water.
- Place the turkey in the cooking utensil and add water to cover.
- Then remove the turkey and measure the amount of water. This is the amount of oil needed.
Select a safe location outdoors for deep fat frying a turkey and follow these steps:
- Heat the cooking oil to 350° F.
- Slowly and carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil.
- Monitor the temperature of the oil with a thermometer constantly during cooking.
- Never leave the hot oil unattended. Allow approximately 3 to 5 minutes per pound cooking time.
- Remove turkey from the oil and drain oil from the cavity.
- Check the temperature of turkey with a food thermometer.
- The turkey is safely cooked when the food thermometer reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.
- If the turkey is not done, immediately return the turkey to the hot oil for additional cooking.
- When the turkey is done, remove it from the oil and place it on a sturdy tray lined with paper towels.
- The skin can be golden to dark brown to almost black.
- Let it rest about 20 minutes before carving.
- Allow the used oil to cool before pouring it into containers for refrigerator storage.
- The oil can be reused if it is strained, covered, and used within a month.
Storing Your Leftovers:
- Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.
- Cut all meat from the bones before storage.
- Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
- Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3 to 4 days.
- If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months for best quality.