#Cooking November 16

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My wife Mira is a fantastic cook. My oldest son Geoff is an Executive Chef. My son Matt works in the restaurant industry. So COOKING is an area that I cannot claim family dominance.

Oldest Son Geoff at Pig Picking
My wife Mira son Matt and myself

Yet there is a family COOKING event that I take the lead in each Thanksgiving. It is the art of COOKING turkeys by deep frying them. For the past 20 years our family has been deep frying anywhere from 10-15 turkeys each Thanksgiving morning. We have a system to cook that many turkeys for our friends.

That system includes injecting each bird on Wednesday night with a marinade that consists of 2 parts molasses, 1 part onion juice, and one part garlic juice. We then transfer them overnight in large clawfoot tub I have in my backyard. With late November temps usually in the 40’s and 30’s they keep often without ice but I always pack ice in the tub.

Turkey ready to fry in 2015
My 7 foot claw foot tub that is outside used to hold the turkeys overnight. Place tarp in bottom of tub and wrap it tight. Cover the tub with heavy door to keep animals away.

I have been deep frying turkeys since 1999 and owe a big debt of gratitude to a friend I met while living in Rock Hill SC named John Holmes. A link to story on John and his wife Mandy can be found here 

Over the years I have been asked to share turkey frying advice with different friends. One of those is Dr. Eric Dent who moved to Florida several years ago. While living in North Carolina he would often be my turkey frying assistant. Now he is a proven turkey fryer in the State of Florida.

Eric Dent in 2012 helping me man my two turkey frying pots.

My former turkey frying intern-Dr. Eric Dent

Here are some of our tips:

1. Use Peanut Oil-ideally cooking temp is 325-my formula is 3.5 minutes per pound. Below is my scorecard that I use to keep track of each turkey. I have the time in and time out along with the weight listed on the card. When washing turkey DO NOT throw away the tag that lists the weight.

2. Cook Outside away from the house-not in garage or on deck-we use two cookers that sit on top of concrete slab.

My outdoor deep frying set-up

3. Turkey must be completely thawed-I place mine in a bathtub for 24 hrs. usually the Monday before Thanksgiving. Then I put them either on ice or fridge. My opinion is a frozen turkey CANNOT thaw just in the fridge for two days. You may want to place a tarp inside your tub.

Turkeys thawing for 24 hours in bathtub

4. You need a long sleeve shirt, gloves, and no opened toe shoes while cooking.

Wearing long sleeve shirt and rubberized heat resistant gloves

5.When I cook each turkey I have to monitor the oil temp with thermometer. You can look at picture above and see thermometer on the black pot. When they have cooked for 3.5 mins per pound out they come.

Two deep fried turkeys from 2018

Every family has traditions but COOKING at Thanksgiving not only for our family but for others is ours. We have even shared that with our granddaughter.

My wife Mira and I with Granddaughter Bryleigh showing her how Deep Frying works.

At the end of the morning it is nice to know that the families shown below get to sample our COOKING.

Some of the folks that joined us in 2018

One comment

  1. […] friend, Dan Kenney, has a post at the Coach4aDay on deep frying turkeys, and another one here, updated.  Dan will cook 15(!) turkeys on Thanksgiving this year.  I have no idea how many people […]

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