Can You Use Vegetable Oil to Fry a Turkey?

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It makes sense that the thought of immersing a whole turkey in a pot of bubbling oil would excite cooks with a bold spirit of adventure. There are benefits to deep-frying a Thanksgiving turkey, too: the process takes less than two hours and yields a juicy, flavorful bird with crispy, golden brown skin. Additionally, since everything takes place outside, you can free up oven space for all the holiday side dishes you intend to make.

However, there’s no better way to ruin Thanksgiving than to light your house and the bird on fire. If this is your first time frying a turkey, don’t just wing it. Our comprehensive guide on turkey frying offers detailed instructions along with several crucial safety precautions to ensure a successful deep-fried Thanksgiving meal.

So go ahead and prepare the sweet potatoes, green beans, and pecan pie in the oven, then head outside to cook your Thanksgiving turkey quickly and simply.

Yes, but it depends on the specific product.

Vegetable oil is a general label that can be used to market soybean, canola, or grapeseed oils. Some vegetable oils have a high smoke point that is suitable for deep frying, and some may not

Here’s what you need to know about using vegetable oil for deep frying a turkey:

  • Smoke point: The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke and break down. When oil breaks down, it releases harmful chemicals that can taint the flavor of your food and be hazardous to your health. For deep frying, you need an oil with a smoke point that is higher than the temperature at which you will be frying your turkey.
  • Type of oil: Some vegetable oils, such as soybean oil and canola oil, have a high smoke point and are suitable for deep frying. Other vegetable oils, such as grapeseed oil, have a lower smoke point and are not suitable for deep frying.
  • Quality of oil: The quality of the oil is also important. Make sure to use fresh, high-quality oil that has not been used before.

Here are some tips for choosing the right vegetable oil for deep frying a turkey:

  • Look for an oil with a smoke point of at least 400°F.
  • Choose a refined oil, which has been processed to remove impurities that can lower the smoke point.
  • Avoid using extra virgin olive oil, as it has a low smoke point and will not be suitable for deep frying.

Once you have chosen the right oil, be sure to follow these safety tips:

  • Never leave hot oil unattended.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire.
  • Do not use water to put out a grease fire.
  • Let the oil cool completely before disposing of it.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

How to deep-fry a turkey:

While the ingredients for our deep-fried turkey recipe are fairly straightforward—all you need is a whole turkey, lots of oil, and any additional seasonings you wish to add—the procedure calls for specialized tools. Although it may require an initial investment, once you own the entire setup, you can deep-fry your turkey every Thanksgiving. (You can also repurpose the equipment for a seafood boil come summertime. )Before you get started,.

  • Turkey should always be fried outside, away from any combustible structures such as the house, garage, swing set, backyard patio, etc. When the weather is bad, avoid trying to deep-fry a turkey because it could get messy if snow or rain gets into your fry pot.
  • Place the burner on a level surface and make sure kids and pets are always kept a safe distance away from the fryer.
  • To protect yourself from the hot oil when deep-frying, put on strong gloves and a protective apron.
  • Before moving or discarding the oil, let it cool completely (a few hours is best, but overnight is even better).
  • The supplies:

You don’t need an industrial deep fryer to cook your bird, but you will need a specialized turkey-frying kit. Look for these at most hardware and home-improvement stores, or online retailers (we like this one from Amazon). Most turkey-frying kits use propane gas, though some electric models fitted with fryer baskets claim to be safe to use indoors (avoid these; frying a whole turkey indoors runs a greater risk of a grease fire). Make sure your outdoor frying kit includes the following items:

  • 30-qt. or larger aluminum pot
  • A propane burner featuring a gauge to control the flame and a hose to attach to a propane gas tank
  • A poultry rack featuring a hook to raise and lower the turkey
  • To check the oil temperature, a 12-inch deep-frying thermometer that attaches to the pot’s side

Gas One Turkey Fryer Propane Burner Complete Kit

  • A full propane tank
  • A waterproof marker
  • A heavy-duty apron
  • Extended, robust oven mitts (such as those used for grilling)
  • A meat thermometer with instant read capability for determining the turkey’s internal temperature
  • A fire extinguisher, in case of emergencies

The turkey: Give it plenty of time to thaw if it’s frozen before starting the frying process (see our comprehensive guide on doing so here). If you have a fresh turkey, simply pat it dry with paper towels. In either case, stay away from using a wet marinade or brine because too much moisture can cause the bird to splatter when it’s dipped into the hot frying oil, which could result in dangerous flare-ups.

For most turkey preparations, including frying, we recommend dry-brining for optimal flavor and seasoning. A dry brine can permeate the meat, leading to a juicy, flavorful bird. More significantly, it dries out the skin, which promotes crisping and results in a more regulated frying process. Note that some turkeys—such as Butterball and kosher turkeys—are pre-brined (often in water) and do require additional seasoning. Remember that stuffing should be baked in an oven-safe casserole dish rather than stuffing deep-fried turkeys.

Whichever way you choose, don’t forget to dry the turkey from the inside out and remove the giblets from its cavity. Keep the neck and any other leftover turkey parts aside to make turkey stock (liver can be bitter). ).

The oil: You can use any type of oil that has a high smoke point. Canola oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, and peanut oil all work well. How much oil do you need to fry a turkey? For a 12–14-lb. turkey, you’ll need approximately 4–5 gal. of oil. However, because pots differ in volume, the technique below will assist you in figuring out exactly how much you’ll need to fill your specific pot. Keep in mind that when you lower the turkey, the oil level will rise; this technique accounts for the space needed between the oil’s surface and the pot’s top. Avoid completely filling the pot as this could lead to the hot oil spilling over and igniting the entire thing.

What kind of oil do you use to fry a turkey?


Can you fry a turkey in vegetable or canola oil?

Now you can enjoy the fun and great taste of deep-fried turkey trans fat free with zero guilt, by deep-frying your turkey in heart healthy canola oil. Canola oil is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat so it is a more healthful choice than any other vegetable oil, including peanut oil.

What oil can you use instead of peanut oil to fry a turkey?

If you’re looking to replace the ingredient, the best alternative for peanut oil is sesame oil which shares a similar nutty flavour. However, if it’s for frying and you need an oil with similar cooking characteristics, your best bet is sunflower, grapeseed or canola oil.

Is vegetable oil good on turkey?

Don’t butter your bird Placing butter under the skin won’t make the meat juicier, though it might help the skin brown faster. However, butter is about 17 percent water, and it will make your bird splotchy, says López-Alt. Instead, rub the skin with vegetable oil before you roast.

Can you mix peanut and vegetable oil to fry turkey?

Yes, you can. Since vegetable oil and peanut oil have a somewhat similar smoking point, you can easily mix the two to fry anything, including a turkey. You just have to make sure that you work with the lower smoking point out of the two oils.

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