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Nov 20, 2007 07:06 AM

No peanut oil for turkey frying

Where I live, we don't have peanut oil. Does anyone have an opinion as to second best for turkey frying?

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  1. Any oil that has a high smoking point. You are aiming for around 450 degrees. Safflower, or corn oil are good.

    9 Replies
    1. re: danhole

      Just not canola. It gets fishy overtones when overheated that many (not all) people find nasty. Ever had french fries that tasted fishy? Fried in canola oil...

      1. re: Karl S

        I have never experienced a fishy overtone with canola oil and I fry quite a bit.

        1. re: Davydd

          You probably are not sensitive to it, so count yourself lucky. It's not a subjective thing - it's been scientifically studied and is attributable to the fat composition of canola. But because many people are sensitive to it, canola is something I would recommend broadly for high heat cooking of any significant duration, particularly when there are other oils that can do just as good a job with less risk of this flavor.

          1. re: Karl S

            For years I thought I was crazy because every time I bought canola oil it tasted rancid to me. It was such a relief to find out that I'm not the only one who thinks it tastes yucky! My house is now a canola oil free zone -- I use grapeseed oil or corn oil when I want an oil that will stand up to high temps.

            1. re: Karl S

              It's always seemed to me to smell like linseed oil when heated, which I guess I could see someone thinking was "fishy," especially if they'd never smelled linseed oil per se. For pan frying, I can live with the food, I just can't stand over a pan cooking with it. For deep frying, I'd worry more that the smell would carry over to the food, not to mention grossing out the neighborhood with the canola smell...

              1. re: MikeG

                I use it once in awhile, but have lately been buying corn or vegetable. I thought it tasted weird when making french fries, now that really explains it/ I thought it was old.

          2. re: Karl S

            I used to use canola oil a lot, for various purposes, because I thought it might be healthier. I have come to despise the taste of the stuff after frying an egg in it, every now and then. I refuse to buy the stuff now.

            1. re: Karl S

              I absolutely detest the smell of canola oil. It actually has a higher smoking point than corn oil and most vegetable oils, and I know people who swear by it, but I just can't stand the odor when frying in it. In fact, I've tried several brands wondering if it was just a bad batch. Nope, just a nasty odor. However, I never noticed a bad taste. Unfortunately, though, I was just so turned off by the odor that I couldn't really enjoy what I cooked in it. There is a famous fried chicken place here that uses canola exclusively, and their food tastes wonderful, so I can't say that I have ever experienced a fishy taste. As for nasty flavor, I'll give that award to overheated Safflower oil.

              Peanut oil and olive oil are still my favorites. I've gone back to corn oil for a simple vegetable oil when needed. Totally bland and non-offensive to the senses.

              1. re: Karl S

                yes! reminded me (faintly) of the smell of fish oil.

            2. I just get the vegtable oil from Costco. I.e. the cheapest one that says good for deep frying. I've never had a problem (been deep frying turkeys for 5 years). Just wear long sleaves when dropping in the turkey (though the burnt patch on my lawn adds a little character).

              16 Replies
              1. re: HunterJay

                only fill your fryer half full, if you don't know all the particulars of turkey frying. trying to gauge the right amount of oil by doing a "dry run" with water displacement does NOT WORK. hot oil plus room temp turkey -- entirely different cooking physics. i'm assuming you're doing all the safety stuff.....

                HunterJay, you meant "slowly lowering" the impeccably dry turkey, i also assume. ;-)

                boy, it is worth it! great turkey.

                1. re: alkapal

                  I'm intrigued. Does water displacement come out too high or too low?

                  1. re: SuzMiCo

                    too much oil.

                    we put the turkey in the pot and brought water up to near top of turkey....about 5" or so (iirc) from the rim.

                    next day, when put dry turkey in hot oil: yikes, it bubbled up really high -- and fast. i took out turkey, got a pot, and dipped out hot oil, after shutting gas off. scared me, for sure. we were on concrete slab patio, away from house eaves. thank the Lord, no disaster.

                  2. re: alkapal

                    "Slowly Lowering" = Yes
                    "Impeccably Dry" = I consider that a suggestion that I keep in mind but not always followed.
                    I love frying my Turkey. The inevitable yelling at the dog to run away. My dad standing closely with the fire extinguisher. My wife complainging that I'll need to reseed the lawn yet again.

                    1. re: HunterJay

                      Excellent and crucial advice. I deep fried a turkey 2 years ago, and we used the water method of determining the oil level. I dried the bird meticulously, and we slowly lowered the bird into the oil. An experienced fried bird cooker lived down the street, and he said to put the bird in a cooler for an hour after frying, and then carve. It was delicious. A year later, my brother evidently didn't remember the process, lowered the bird into the hot oil too quickly, and it went "Mt. Vesuvius" on him. No fire, thank God.

                      Hey, people, be careful out there.

                      1. re: dhedges53

                        Our local fire department did a demonstration yesterday on what can go wrong if you don't do it right. The picture is pretty fun. My kids would have loved to see it!


                        1. re: dhedges53

                          It's probably too late to ask this, but what is the reason for putting the turkey into a cooler for an hour after cooking? Doesn't that make the skin less crispy? We live fo0r the crispy skin!

                          1. re: danhole

                            It's really for the same reason you rest any meat. The cooking continues in the meat for some time. Resting the bird afterwards allows the juices to redistribute. As the meat rests, the muscle fibers begin to loosen which enables the fibers to absorb more of the juices so they are redistributed throughout the meat to make the pieces carved and then served more tender and juicy. And yes, the skin won't be as crispy. I believe the skin is at the height of it's crispiness right after it comes out of the oil, but if you carve at that point, your juices will run out of the bird and onto your cutting board.

                            1. re: dhedges53

                              why put it in a cooler where it will steam? and for a whole hour? it can rest for 1/2 hour on the cutting board. i love the crispy skin the best.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                I think it is pretty commonly accepted that when you rest meat, you cover it with tin foil. I guess my thinking is that when you slice your turkey breast, you are only going to get a sliver of the skin, anyway. My brother called me about an hour ago from Midland Texas (in the midst of a snow storm) and he went over to a friends farm where they had 3 turkey friers going. They deep fried 25 turkey breasts for themselves and their friends. My brother deep-fried his breast and is roasting a whole turkey as well. But, this group of turkey frying buddies seem to be unanimous in taking the turkey breast out of the frier at 180 degrees internal temperature, and putting it in a cooler to finish it off. My brother claimed that the skin on his turkey breast was still crispy. I'll question these guys a little more closely at Christmas time when I'm going to Midland, and report back.

                                1. re: dhedges53

                                  well, tenting is one thing, a cooler quite another. do report back!

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    Oh, one thing he added is that they put newspapers in the bottom of the cooler, I assume to soak up any oil. My brother also said that when they'd finish a turkey breast and open the cooler, steam would come out. So, don't get me wrong, as I have the same concerns that you and Danhole have. I'm more curious than ever as to why they do that. I hope the answer isn't "That's the way we've always done it at the trailerpark." LOL Happy Thanksgiving, and I'll let you know what I found out, around Christmas!

                                  2. re: dhedges53

                                    180 degrees and then "finishing it off"! We're talking turkey sawdust! If they didn't like the way it turned out, it wasn't because of the way they cooked it, but how long they cooked it!

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      I spoke to my brother after they had eaten the 180 degree breast that he brought to the "deep-frying party", and he said it was flavorful, with a crispy skin and very juicy. I guess they know how to do it.

                                2. re: dhedges53

                                  Thanks! I always do let the turkey rest - hate to lose those good juices! But I want to keep the skin crispy, so I think I'll skip the cooler trick this year.

                      2. Yeah ... consider not frying. The newly-publicized "hot and short" roasting formula is cheaper and less hazardous, and produces a superior cooked bird.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: wayne keyser

                          Exactly what is the "hot and short" roasting formula. Do you have a link?

                          1. re: danhole

                            danhole, guess you will have to wait "cool and long" for the formula!

                            happy thanksgiving, all!

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Well, alkapal, we are locked in and juiced up for our fried turkey, so I don't mind the "cool and long" wait, but maybe I'll find out before next year!

                              Happy Thanksgiving!

                              1. re: danhole

                                fried turkey rules! happy eating!

                            2. re: danhole

                              Two-Hour Turkey

                              The turkey goes into a preheated 475-degree oven. Roast until the meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, and allow to rest for 30 to 45 minutes.

                              General rule: Roast 1:45 to two hours. This should be enough time for a 16- to 18-pound bird. Larger birds (20 pounds, let's say) may need extra time. But go by the meat thermometer, which should read 160° if you've stuck the thermometer touching the breastbone. At 160° at the breastbone, the breast meat will be about 170°, which is perfect. (If you've stuck the thermometer at the leg/thigh joint, the bird will be done at 175° to 180°. A temp of 180° at the breastbone is way too done and dried out!)

                          2. Too late for this year but the best oil we've used in our turkey fryer is Cottonseed Oil. Only place I know that carries it is Pro Bass

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ciaociao1

                              how is that better than peanut oil, ciaociao?

                              1. re: alkapal

                                We have fried hundreds of turkeys in peanut oil over the years since that oil was plentiful and economical, until this year. This year we were in a quandry...needing to fry over 100 birds for the relief efforts in south LA and southeastern TX as well as some very hungry folks in upper Appalachia. We inquired of oil distributors to see if we could obtain a discount on a hundred gallons or so of oil if they would sell to us, etc. That did not pan out. Then we fell upon the answer...we walked into a store looking for other things and saw Cajun Injector Deluxe Frying Oil. Now we are very familiar with Chef Willaims and his line of products and even after they sold off to Bruce Foods, but had never heard of Cajun Injector Deluxe Frying Oil. I quickly scooped up several gallons and read the ingredients and found it to be...cottonseed oil from the Houston area! Rope that calf! I gathered about 36 gallons which were on sale for $6.99 a gallon and the rest is eating heaven! Turkeys came out wonderfully well, we even fried some potatoes for the children and some seafood balls, hush puppies, and a few vegetables (for the veggietarians among the volunteers) and everyone was in eating heaven and i was happy too, with some change left in my pocket. Houston area milled cottonseed oil...could not have been better! I am going back to south Louisiana to that regional grocery and picking up some more of the Cajun Injector Deluxe Frying Oil (store's name: Rousse's) to have on hand for my fish fry early next year. Thank ya'll and signing off!