Deep-fried turkeys have had a bad reputation for years because most deep fryers were gas-powered and safe only for the outdoors.
Enter electric deep fryers designed for use on kitchen countertops.
To fry your holiday bird, choose a high smoke-point oil such as peanut, canola or sunflower. Search the internet or ask friends for their favorite deep-fried turkey marinade. Buy a smallish turkey — 8-10 pounds — or you’ll have to fry the turkey in parts.
Although manufacturers say their electric deep fryers are safe to use indoors, safety hazards remain whenever you cook with hot, flammable oil.
Some tips to sizzle safely:
- Completely thaw your turkey before frying it. Partially frozen turkeys or watery marinades can react dangerously with the oil, causing it to bubble over and spill. A rule of thumb: Allow a bird to thaw in the refrigerator 25 hours for every five pounds before use.
- Monitor oil temperature: oil that gets too hot can combust. Buy a deep fryer with a temperature control and keep the oil between 365 and 375 F.
- Choose electric deep fryers with built-in safety standards such as break-away power cords that attach with a magnet and quickly detach if the cord is pulled to prevent the unit from tipping.
- Prevent oil spills by filling the unit with oil to the line indicated.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer during and after use. Oil can remain hot hours after you turn the fryer off. Let it cool completely before removing it.
- Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby while cooking. Water will not put out a grease fire. If a fire erupts, call for help immediately.
- Wear safety goggles to protect from splatter and oven mitts while handling the lid.