Responsible Turkey Frying For Thanksgiving

When it comes to turkey fryer fires Texas is the number one state with 19 reported fires in the last five years. Not surprisingly a vat of hot oil and an open flame can prove to be quite a lethal combination. So lethal that fryer fires result in over 15 million dollars in property damage annually nationwide. So if you must, how do you fry a turkey safely?

“My name’s Nick Duhe. I’m eh Doug’s sous-chef today so I’ll be helping him out.”

“I’m Doug Reith hopefully the guy who has a house that doesn’t explode in the next hour.”

Duhe and Reith both grew up in Louisiana and have watched numerous turkeys being fried. Now, they’re attempting to fry their own on Reith’s driveway in the Heights. Two fire extinguishers are within reach just in case and Reith has some initial words of wisdom about turkey frying.

“The very first thing you want to do when you fry a turkey if you’ve never done one before is you google how not to fry a turkey and we’re gonna try and avoid that.”

Actually there’s a little more to the preparations than that.

“We’ve moved the pot away from any of the buildings. We’ve checked around for any leaves or things that will catch. We’re actually on concrete here.”

Many of the turkey fryer fires reported to insurance agent State Farm resulted from the pot being used on a wooden deck or inside a garage, which is why the guys are frying theirs out in the open on concrete.

Once that’s set up, Duhe focuses on marinating and seasoning the ten pound turkey while Reith pours about six gallons of oil into a ten gallon pot sitting on top of a grill burner with a gas tank attached. Then they try to figure out the timing and temperature.

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Duhe again: “We’re gonna wait til it gets to 375° our temperature and I believe the way you’re supposed to do it or the way we’ve done it in the past.”

Reith: “Is three and a half minutes per pound.”

Duhe: “Three and a half minutes per pound so we got … ”

Reith: “Thirty-five minutes.”

Duhe: “Thirty-five minutes. Doug’s good on the math here, he’s quick on the lead.”

When the temperature reaches 375° Fahrenheit, it was time for the turkey plunge. This is where most accidents happen and Duhe has taken on this responsibility.

“Gonna lower this bad boy in pretty slow.”

Or more like at a snail’s pace which was a good thing because the oil fizzed up and spilled a bit over the sides. Luckily it didn’t flare the flame. Fire experts would say you should turn the flame off while you lower the bird.

When Duhe was finished dropping it in, the clock was started. Which was Reith’s job.

“Set my timer now, 35 minutes and let her rip.”

The very charred looking turkey started bobbing to the surface right as Reith’s timer went off. Then came the important part, the taste. Was it worth the dangers of working with fire and boiling hot oil? The boys think so.

Duhe: “Oh wow.”

Reith: “I think I know what I’m doing tomorrow night.”

Duhe: “Frying turkeys every night.”

The final word from Duhe.

“Ca c’est bon and happy holidays.”

Remember please fry your turkeys responsibly!


Nick and Doug’s Fried Turkey Recipe

***Make sure you are far away from the house to prevent house fire and follow all safety precautions***

  • Put water in 2 inches above turkey (to test how much oil u will need so as not to overflow)
  • Pour water out.
  • Inject the turkey with a marinade of choice. (Nick and Doug used Stubbs Chicken Marinade, Shiner bock beer, State Pen Porter Ale, Louisiana hot sauce, Pineapple juice.)
  • Dust the outside with Cajun seasoning – Tony Chachere’s, Texas Grub Rub
  • Heat oil to 375 Fahrenheit
  • Cook for 3 and a half mins per lb (For a ten pound turkey, 35 mins)
  • Lower turkey in carefully and slowly.
  • Maintain temperature at 350 Fahrenheit.
  • When turkey bob’s to the surface it’s done.
  • Let cool and serve, delicious!!!!

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