Nov 30

Deep-Fried Thanksgiving Turkey Fun

in Entertaining, Family, Product Reviews

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  My in-laws drove down from Salt Lake City to stay with us and we all went to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving dinner table

My aunt and uncle drove in from Bakersfield, and my cousin and his wife and their 2 kids drove in from L.A.  Everyone chipped in to build the meal, which took the stress out of the day.

Thanksgiving Dinner

We had  a few fun items, such as a smoked goose

Smoked Goose

and a pomegranate cabbage slaw that I’ll be telling you about later this week,

Pomegranate Cabbage Slaw

as well as the classic line-up of things like mashed potatoes, gravy, pie, and of course, turkey.  However we made our turkey a bit differently this year, which added even more fun to the day.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, Char-Broil sent us “The Big Easy” Oil-less Infrared Turkey Fryer in advance of Thanksgiving, along with a Flip Video HD camera to record our cooking experiences.

The Char-Broil Big Easy Infrared Turkey Fryer

Thanksgiving morning my dad and I got the fryer ready, then I prepped the turkey.  I used a 16-pound turkey that had been rubbed with a salt rub the day before.  I rinsed it off and then stuffed it with a combination of chopped lemons, celery, onion, oregano, thyme, black pepper, kosher salt, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Then I brushed the skin with an olive oil-lemon juice combo.  (I adapted a recipe from Bon Appetit’s November 2010 issue for Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano.) Then we put the turkey into the fryer, started it up, and let it cook.  The turkey reached 165 degrees (the minimum temperature to ensure that the turkey is cooked through and safe to eat) after about 3 hours of cooking.

Pulling the turkey out of the Char-Broil Big Easy Turkey Fryer

I wish I had video of my dad and I from throughout the day, because I’m sure it would be hilarious.  We were totally geeking out.  In fact, many of our guests made multiple trips outside to check out the action in the fryer.  Not only was it fun to watch the progress of the turkey and be tortured by the delicious smells emanating from the fryer, but it was a chilly day and the fryer was like a cozy campfire when we stood around it.  The fryer uses infrared heat to evenly cook the turkey, producing deep-fried results without the mess (or the danger!) of actually using oil.  Not only was the finished bird crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside, but it was the most beautiful turkey I’ve ever seen in person—a turkey that would have impressed even Norman Rockwell.

Gorgeous Turkey

It was a gorgeous even golden brown all over, like the turkeys always depicted in books and magazines, but that you never seem to be able to reproduce at home.  Although my dad and I were fixated on the fryer itself, my mom appreciated the fact that it freed up her oven for other dishes.  My dad and I already have a long list of things we want to make next—a leg of lamb, a whole fish, squash . . . the sky’s the limit!  Deep-fried Christmas ham anyone?  Check out the Fuji fryer fun and answer the mystifying question of how the idea for turkey flavored marshmallows was dreamed up:

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookin' Canuck November 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

That is one gorgeous bird! I love the video of everyone standing around the fryer, watching the turkey cook.


Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers November 30, 2010 at 11:31 am

this looks awesome!!! you’re right when you say it looks like the turkeys in magazines. so evenly colored and gorgeous!


Fuji Nana November 30, 2010 at 11:41 am

I think we have a new family tradition here. This was one awesome bird.


Emme @Food Samba November 30, 2010 at 11:50 am

Looks like you had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner! I’ve always wanted to try deep frying a turkey, ever since I heard about it! Yours looks and sounds like it tunrned out perfect! and that smoked goose….YUMM!


Amber November 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I saw this at Outdoor world and wondered if it was any good. So was it hard to clean? How about using the drippings for turkey gravy? Is that possible, or do you just have to dump it out…. inquiring minds want to know!


Paula - bell'alimento November 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Infrared Fryer…swoon! That is one gaw-geous bird!


Lauren B. November 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I can’t believe the color on that bird! And with no oil either! Yum!


A Little Yumminess November 30, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I really want to eat a deep fried turkey even though I am not a fan of turkey. Looks so good!!!


Karen from Globetrotter Diaries November 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Awesome! I’ve always wanted to try fried turkey- this year we opted against it, but I’m already planning for next year. Did you make the smoked goose??? That looks yum!


Angie November 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm

It seems too tidy to be true! Aren’t Thanksgiving turkeys supposed to be a huge mess? That’s the way mine always turn out!


foodwanderings November 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I so wish to have had that smoked goose at out Thanksgiving table!! Looks so good! Never fried a turkey but this new technology looks phenomenal! Shulie


Crystal November 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Your table setting was beautiful!


Jackie December 1, 2010 at 5:42 am

I’ve heard about it but I’ve never seen it in action: deep-fried turkey. Yowza. I’d definitely be geeking out, too!

This convinces me I need to move to the States. Deep-fry me some turkey, I’m comin’ over! ;)

Jax x


Fuji Papa December 1, 2010 at 6:14 am

The most fun thing about the infrared cooked turkey is that we could easily check the progress – watch it as it gradually turned brown and watch the temperature gauge. The cleaning was easy. A foil container in the dripping pan made it so that we did not have to clean the pan and the only thing we needed to wash was the inner shell of the cooker – and then it was only the bottom of it that required any scrubbing.


Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves December 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

The turkey looks wonderful & thanks for documenting the whole thing. Nice touch! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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