How to Fry a Turkey

Frying a turkey requires heavy clothing to protect against oil spatter.
Associated Press

Many Americans look forward to fried turkey over the holidays. The juicy, injected meat and crispy skin are hard to beat for flavor and texture.

The cooking process, however, can be intimidating. Gallons of hot oil, combined with an open flame, can be a recipe for disaster if not treated with respect.

With that in mind, Lance Monk of St. Martin, Mississippi who has successfully fried turkeys for decades without burning down his house — or anything else, for that matter — gives advice on how to safely fry a turkey.

Size of turkey matters

Monk, who cooks up to a dozen turkeys during the holiday season for friends and family, said selecting the right bird is key.

“The best turkey is between 12 and 13 pounds,” Monk said. “A 12-pound turkey is best because you don’t burn up the wings. Bigger than 14 and you burn up the wings and they’re inedible.”

Prepping the turkey

Prepping the bird starts the night before cooking. The first thing he does is remove the giblet pack and neck. Next, he injects the turkey with a Creole butter marinade and places it in a roasting pan lined with newspaper to soak up any marinade that leaks. No, this is not a shameless plug for newspapers. Monk said it works best. Then the turkey goes back in the refrigerator.

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SOURCE: Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Brian Broom

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