Frying vs. Roasting Turkey…..

Frying a turkey has become fairly commonplace, but it definitely requires the right equipment and an understanding of what you’re getting into. The subject came up in discussing what to do for Christmas dinner with the neighbors. The situation is that they want to host dinner, but the turkey part is a bit beyond their capability. My husband enjoys frying turkey and indeed, the turkey fryer he has was a present that I gave him several years ago. So, the neighbor called to inquire as to if they brought us the turkey, would we fry it up? That became a qualified “yes”; qualified because right now, there is a chance that my husband will be working Christmas Day (people like to go diving on Christmas). If he is working, there is absolutely no way that I can tackle frying the turkey alone. Even though it does cook remarkably quickly in that manner, the timing would still be tight if we tried to wait and fry it after he got in from work. It isn’t that I don’t know the process for frying, it’s that managing a 12-15 pound bird in and out of 3-5 gallons of boiling oil is not something that I want to engage in. There are simply too many things that can go wrong.

Roasting, I can handle and it’s not a bad back-up plan. In fact, I think that whichever way we go, we will brine the turkey the night before. That’s a step that we’ve discussed in the past, but haven’t done. Alton Brown is one of my husband’s favorite celebrity chefs and he declares that brining a turkey makes a big difference in being able to have it come out of the oven both juicy and golden brown.  I will keep you posted on the progress of this plan. In the meantime, do I have any takers on how to prepare turkey for the holidays?

2 thoughts on “Frying vs. Roasting Turkey…..

  1. Boy, I do love the flavor of a fried turkey. A few years ago I considered getting a fryer. However, I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with the hot oil, etc., so I ended up with an inexpensive electric smoker, and the results were fabulous. Holiday turkeys take a long time to smoke, especially if the weather is seasonal here in Minnesota, so instead of cooking the full bird, I usually smoke 2 turkey breasts. These can be smoked in 5-6 hours — if it’s not too cold out — and finished up in the oven if necessary.

    I prepared a pair for my sister’s Thanksgiving dinner last week, and she’s already put in her order for next year.

    However you cook the bird, I recommend brining. It’s easier than you imagine, and the results are unquestionably worth it.

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