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Nov 10, 2013 07:28 AM

Fried Turkey?

I have never had a fried turkey but may want to try to buy one for this Thanksgiving. Is it worth it? Where can I order one or two in the Baltimore area?

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  1. It's possible that you may have missed the fired turkey boom. They were easy to find a few years back but I haven't seen ads for them recently.

    About 5 years ago, I got one from Popeye's on the recommendation from some Chowhounds. It was OK, juicy but didn't come out as crispy on the outside as expected. Your mileage, and oven, may differ. They're offering it again this year. Not much info on the Popeye's web site yet but the usual thing is that you just pick one up at your local Popeye's. I saw $39 somewhere, for a random 9-12 pound turkey.

    This just in from Busissnesswire:

    ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, a division of AFC Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFCE), today announces the return of its holiday menu must-have, Cajun Turkey, to give your dinner table some Louisiana flare. Popeyes Cajun Style Turkeys, approximately 9 to 11 pounds, are infused with a unique blend of Louisiana seasonings then flash-fried, creating a unique, crispy coating. Roasting finishes out the process and leaves the turkey crispy on the outside while remaining succulent and flavorful on the inside. The once-a-year limited time offer is available at participating restaurants through December, or until supplies last.

    1. Haven't tried the Popeye's version, but why not just DIY? We've been making them for close on 10 years. As long as you have a convenient, outdoors, uncovered space, it's a pretty straightforward proposition. You'll need the fryer itself (Walmart, Home Depot, poss others); propane tank; peanut oil; and a turkey not to exceed 12 lbs. Takes maybe half an hour to heat the oil and 45 mins to fry it. We've also thrown chickens and other fowl into the hot oil afterwards and cooked them while we're at it.

      6 Replies
      1. re: lawhound

        Buying all that hardware is a mighty big commitment for someone who's just curious about a fried turkey. The burner and a pot is about $60, then you need a tank and propane, and enough oil to fry a turkey is about $30. And then you need a turkey.

        Why not offer to fry one for him when you're doing yours?

        1. re: MikeR

          Butterball sells an electric fryers for indoor cooking now its about $100

          1. re: MikeR

            Hey, it's not like I'm posting this on Yelp -- people on this site are generally serious about their food!

            But Merryfish, if you're in Northern Baltimore City on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, feel free to come around to the alley behind our house (5600 block of Bobolink Lane) and we'll fry it up for you in no time.

              1. re: lawhound

                That's truly a wonderful offer. I hope he takes you up on it. I did participate in a turkey frying once and it was a little scary. It probably gets more comfortable after you've done it a few times. Or maybe we just weren't drunk enough.

                Just look for the mushroom cloud. That'll be the place ;)

                1. re: MikeR

                  HA! but as a BTW if DIY IS the path chosen, a 'dry' run with water to know the liquid displacement is recommended (get rid of ALL moisture as it will cause really dangerous bad spatter) and later a thawed bird you've patted dry and FAR away from the house. and never hesitate to ask for a hand easing that bird into the vat using tools.

                  too many sad stories of woe and destruction every year in the Wa-Po...

          2. Fried turkeys are good but smoked turkeys are incredible

            2 Replies
            1. re: agarnett100

              I had a frozen smoked turkey (I think from Butterball or maybe Jenny-O) one year. I expected it to have the smoke flavor similar to when I cook a chicken in my cheap bullet-style smoker, but this turkey was very mild. You could only really taste the smokiness in the skin.

              Red, Hot and Blue sells smoked turkeys, but I think now only as a package with sides and dessert. You used to be able to bring them a turkey and for a fairly reasonable fixed charge, they would smoke your turkey and have it ready to be picked up the day before Thanksgiving.

              The late, lamented (by some, including me) Magruder's grocery stores used to prepare turkeys purchased at the store both in the traditional way and some other way, which may have been fried, or maybe smoked. But that's no more.

              I always wondered if you really received the same cooked turkey that you started with, and how you could tell. It's not like coming home from the hospital with someone else's baby, but still . . .

              1. re: MikeR

                We'd smoke six turkeys every Christmas Eve using mangrove and citrus. Haven't had any that good since. It's hard to find citrus and mangrove wood in Maryland.

            2. Google "Jive Turkey", a Harlem resturant that specializes in them, maybe they will ship!

              1. Expressway Pit Beef in Odenton has them


                We fry a turkey and smoke a turkey every year, I prefer the smoked turkey, but the fried is pretty awesome as well.