Day 686 Friday November 23, 2018 905 Days to Go
As one newscaster would say, “There’s a lot to get to today.”
However, I must suspend such discussion as there are more important issues to discuss.
Namely, inquiring minds want to know, “What about the turkey?”
After my initial photo on social media I, or my wife, got several desperate communiques.
Here is a sample:
“You’re not really going to cook that turkey in the living room are you?”
“Good idea not to wear a shirt, why get a perfectly good shirt greasy.”
“He’s not going to do that is he?”
“By the way, in an unrelated matter, I’m going to invest in mobile burn units.”
My bigger concern about that “Before” picture was, “Did the turkey make me look fat?”
I have never gotten such a big response as I got from that photo. In fact, if one more person had contacted me with advise, or encouragement I would have had to add another finger to my hand.
I decided, based on the advise of counsel, to move the operation outside.
I was advised not to do it on the driveway as it would leave a grease stain.
I then moved it to near the steps of the deck, which on my test run proved to be a problem due to two factors:
wind and bright sunlight. The sunlight made it hard to see whether there was a flame.
I then moved the set up to the back yard where it was protected on two sides by the back of the house and the jutting of the back deck.
I made a test run the day before the big day by doing donuts and empanadas in the fryer.
To paraphrase our president, “Who knew donuts could be so hard?”
Let me clarify. The donuts weren’t hard. The making of the donuts was hard. Not hard just time consuming. I figured I’d start at eight in the morning and be done by ten. I didn’t get started until nine and managed to finish as the sun was setting. Thank God for Shelby. She knew what she was doing and worked all day on it with me. She had all these little useful tools and techniques. Fortunately, the day before Thanksgiving when you are having the whole family over for turkey is the perfect day to undertake such a project. I was lucky that the divorce courts were closed on Thursday.
My brother’s son-in-law emailed me and called me. He had actually cooked turkeys this way and gave me many useful insights. Here’s the biggest pro-tip I can give anyone about anything:
TALK TO SOMEONE WHO HAS ACTUALLY DONE IT!!!
This goes for cooking turkeys or anything else.
Here are some cooking turkey in oil tips:
– Do it outside.
– Do it on the grass to prevent a grease stain from showing.
– Put down a piece of cardboard.
– Have a table nearby.
– Have a fire extinguisher nearby.
– Turn off the flame while putting the turkey in the oil.
– Use a pair of insulated rubber gloves.
– Wear safety googles.
– Wear thick old clothing and cover as much of your body as possible.
– Use three gallons of oil for a turkey. Most pots are 12” diameter and 15” tall.
You only want the oil to come up in the pot 6”.
– Heat the oil to 375 degrees, turn off the flame, SLOWLY insert the bird, breast side down.
– Cook time is 3 1/2 minutes per pound. Work out the total cook time BEFORE you insert the bird in the oil.
– Cook the bird at 350 degrees. The temperature will drop as soon as you put the bird in the oil.
The advice I got said to start timing once the temperature got back to 350 degrees.
It took half my cook time for it to get back up to that temp so I did my cook time from the time I inserted the bird.
– Turn off the burner before withdrawing the bird.
– Have a hooked planter over the pot for when you take the bird out to be able to hang the bird.
Ostensibly this is to let the oil drip back into the pot, but it’s also handy to take victory pictures.
– Get a big A** funnel for pouring the oil back into container. Car parts stores have great ones.
– Use cheesecloth to strain the oil
– Wait until the oil has cooled to 125 degrees or lower before pouring
I got two three gallon containers of oil. Most hardware supply and Wal-Marts sell a three gallon frying oil made up of peanut and vegetable oil. Peanut is considered one of the best oils to use because of its high smoke point, but it is double the price of other oils.
Here are some turkey preparation specific tips:
– Take the turkey out of the bag, remove all the stuff that comes inside and weight the bird.
I used a travel scale.
– Rinse and dry the turkey
– Injecting the turkey is supposed to get added flavor into it. When injecting make sure the needle is into the meat. Most injectors have two holes: one on either side of the needle. they are at different distances from the tip. Make sure both holes are into the place you want to inject. If a hole in the needle is exposed and you begin to inject a thin stream of your marinade will cascade across the room in a high arc. Not that I know anything about this, personally. If you are injecting near the place in the skin where you stuck the bird put a finger on the skin and press against the needle to prevent said graceful arc across the kitchen.
( If someone wants to talk politics you may wish to try and do a shallow injection such that you could possibly hit them in the eye with that spicy hot marinade. If you do this, act sorry. )
That is all, over and out.
905 Days to Go