November 25, 2012 | In: BBQ and Cooking, Family

Take That, You Turkey!

Turkey_FryerA couple of years ago my lovely bride picked me up a Turkey-Frying kit at an after-Christmas clearance sale. Last year we wanted to give it a try, only to find that the regulator and hose were missing (hence the clearance, I guess…)
This year we decided to pick up the pieces and parts to make our fryer operational. The weekend prior to Thanksgiving, a quick trip to Lowes-Depot netted a replacement regulator and the requisite fittings to connect the hose to the burner. A stop at Wally-World for a 3-gallon cube of peanut oil, and a stop at the supermarket for a 15-lb turkey, and we were ready-to-roll, or so I thought…

Monday night I got the burner assembled, but it was too late to try it out, so Tuesday evening I hooked it up to the propane tank…and was underwhelmed by the flames that looked closer to a tiki-torch than a cooking flame. Doing some internet searching, I found out that there are low-pressure regulators and high-pressure regulators…and while mine wasn’t marked, further digging told me it was a low-pressure unit. Taking it back to the big-box store for exchange, I found out that they didn’t carry the high-pressure units. I stopped in at the local Ace on my way home, they had a high-pressure regulator, but it had no hose and no tank connector. Adding up those, i realized I’d be within about 10 bucks of a whole new fryer kit…
My wife and son had the day off on Wednesday, so they checked out McClendon’s (a local Seattle-area hardware chain) who reportedly had the correct high-pressure assembly. When they picked me up after work (Yay!, Early Out!) they had found a whole burner unit for a fair bit less than the parts at Ace would have been. I got it assembled, but wasn’t able to test it until I got home from choir practice. Finally at about 9:00 on Thanksgiving Eve, I had a working burner. We were Go for Deep-Fried Turkey…or so I thought, so the bird went into the brine.
Thanksgiving morning our church joins with another local congregation for a Thanksgiving service, with joint choirs. After the service we stopped for some last-minute grocery purchases and headed home… We were shooting for having the turkey done in time for me to pick up my son from his job at 4:00. A bit after 2:00 I started filling the pot with oil…only to find that I was only 3/4 of the way to the fill-line in the pot. A flying run back to Wally-World, to find they were sold out of peanut oil…Top Foods had small bottles, but they were incredibly expensive… My last hope was the Safeway, where I bought one of the two remaining gallon jugs of peanut oil they had in stock.
Finally, we were in business…albeit a bit behind schedule. The new burner brought the oil up to temp quite quickly, I put the bird in the oil, and 53 minutes later we had a cooked turkey ready to rest and then be carved.
I doubt we’ll fry the turkey every time, primarily due to the cost of peanut oil, but it sure was tasty!

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