Many people believe the best way to prepare the juiciest, most flavorful Thanksgiving turkey is to deep fry it. The outside gets dark and crispy, while the inside stays moist. But there are some inherent problems with deep frying.
One is the health issue. A lot of people won’t eat fried foods anymore. Another is the expense of buying the oil needed to submerge the bird. And most importantly, the danger of cooking a large turkey in gallons of searing hot oil is a concern for a lot of guys.
An alternative way to get that deep-fried flavor, but without all the hassles, is to use an infrared cooker, like The Big Easy from Char-Broil. It uses no oil, but delivers the same moist, crispy results as frying – just as quickly, roughly 8-10 minutes per pound. A helluva lot faster than your oven. Which helps if Thanksgiving dinner is your responsibility and you got distracted by the game and forgot to start the turkey.
Just drop the turkey into the basket and lower it into the cooking chamber. The included meat thermometer will tell you when the turkey’s done, so you get perfect results every time. No need to keep checking and basting and poking like you would if you were baking it. No need to actually know how to cook. And you can be eating and back to the game quickly. After Thanksgiving you can use it to cook chicken, pork or beef as well.
Here’s a simple recipe for a great Cajun-syle fried turkey from The Big Easy that will put a little fire ion your Thanksgiving.
$149 – Available at Lowes and other large retailers
CAJUN FRIED TURKEY
1/2 Cup kosher salt
3 Tablespoons onion powder
3 Tablespoons black pepper
3 Tablespoons white pepper
2 Tablespoons sweet basil
2 Teaspoons bay leaves, ground
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 Teaspoons filé powder
3 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons paprika
1 10-12 Pound WHOLE TURKEY, non self-basting
Stir salt, herbs and peppers together. Mix until well blended. Use 1/2 to 2/3 cup for a 10-12 pound turkey. May be stored for several months in an airtight covered jar.
Remove the giblets and neck, rinse the turkey well with cold water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Take care to dry both inside cavities.
Place in a large pan and rub the interior and exterior of the bird with seasoning mix. Do not truss or tie legs together. Cut off the wing tips and plump little tail as they may get caught in the fryer basket. Cover pan and place in refrigerator overnight.
Place the turkey in the Big Easy basket, breast up.
Cook turkey approximately 10 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature a minimum of 165º.
Take turkey out of The Big Easy basket. Allow the turkey to cool for a few minutes.
Place turkey on a serving platter. Allow to rest for a few minutes before carving.