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Nov 16, 2006 06:57 AM

Anyone see Alton Brown on frying a turkey?

I mean, please. I've done it before and, yeah, it's good, but I had the benefit of a commercial kitchen. While Mr. Brown rightly and responsibly emphasizes safety concerns (burning your house down on Thanksgiving would be a real drag, I'm guessing) I just don't get it. Beyond the (Heritage) bird, the brine and the four gallons of peanut oil (two out of three of which are pretty pricey), his recipe calls for a propane tank and accompanying hardware, a thirty-gallon stockpot, a free-standing two-ring burner on which to place said stockpot, an igloo-type cooler, a candy thermometer, fifty feet of rope, pulleys, carabeeners, a ladder, a fire extinguisher and a lawn. All of which you'll have to buy twice if you want to cook a bird larger than fifteen pounds.(Well, except for the lawn I guess). And no one's even started that miserable green bean casserole yet! I'm sure I'll draw fire over this but does anyone out there actually go through all this for a meal you only serve once a year?

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  1. I smoke my turkeys not deep fry them but I definately do it more than once a year. So I would say that if I were into the deep fry thing, I'd do it a handfull of times per year.


    1 Reply
    1. I didn't see the piece that he did about frying turkeys. I actually thought he was against it, because he is always talking about how dangerous it is. I guess I never really understood. Frying turkeys in South Louisiana is pretty common, probably because most families in South Louisiana already have a burner with a propane tank that's primarily used for crawfish and crab boils. The narrow "turkey frying" pot is the only other part needed.

      I've tried smoked turkey, baked turkey and fried turkey, and my money is on the fried version.


      1. OMG this sounds too funny. I have to see this. Ludicrous!

        1. It really can be dangerous, supposedly many people have fires when frying turkeys. He does go overboard with that whole pulley system. I use a broomstick and another person when lowering the bird into the pot. Also he is right on about turning off the burner before putting in the pot. I keep a fire extinguisher nearby and do it on my lawn. As for the other stuff... if you are frying a bird you do need a deep frying thermometer, a propane tank and burner, and a 3-4 gallon pot. But doesn't eveyone have those? I live in NY, not the South, and I do. How else would you cook up lobsters and crabs, as well as quantities of food for parties? The best part about the whole thing is that a fried bird comes out much juicier and more evenly cooked (except the wings which can get overdone) than when roasted and only takes around 45-60 minutes to cook.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JMF

            Lucky you. You obviously don't live in a railroad apartment with no yard! I'm on my way over...get those lobsters going...

          2. He's simply showing folks how to do this in the safest way possible. I don't think most folks would go through with building the whole contraption, but hey you never know! The broom stick sounds like a much easier solution - good thinking JMF. I do wholeheartedly agree that the mass produced "turkey fryer in a box" are cheap as dirt. Ala carte is the way to go on this investment. You can use the things for much more than just frying a turkey, diropstim.