The Fear Of Frying
Deep frying outdoors has become a recent craze with the expansion, nationwide, of deep fried turkey on the holidays. Many people fear frying this way because of accidents that have occurred due to minor and major mishaps. An outdoor deep fryer need not be such a frightening experience.
Do keep in mind that cooking with fire and oil is a serious business. If you already have an outdoor propane cooker or have been researching deep fryers, much of what you will read next, you may have already heard. When cooking with a conventional deep fryer oil spills & overflow, accidental or not, are usually the main cause of trouble. This can happen when poultry isn't thawed properly, when water is retained in your food, or by lowering food too quickly into the hot oil. Certain precautions taken in advance can help you avoid many potentially hazardous conditions.
Make sure your fryer is on stable, flat, level, solid ground. That does not mean in your garage or your wooden deck or porch. Keep a safe distance from buildings or materials that could catch fire.
Make certain that there is at least 2 feet of space between your fryer & propane tank. Position the propane where the heat from the fryer blows in the opposite direction. Also make sure that the hose is not in a place that it will get tripped over.
You want to be sure that the kids and the dog have somewhere else to play.
Make sure you are properly dressed. Pants, shoes, etc. No loose clothing.
Use well insulated potholders or oven mitts. You may want eye protection against splatter.
Have a deep fryer thermometer handy to regulate temperature. Not all fryers have one built in.
Always have an all purpose fire extinguisher handy just in case. NEVER use water on an oil fire!!!
Now, if you are frying a turkey, it's a good idea to fill the fryer ahead of time with the turkey and water so that the turkey is completely covered plus an inch or so. Take the bird out and mark your water line. This is your oil fill line. Make sure you thoroughly dry out the fryer before you fill with oil. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed, dried, & room temperature before you put it in hot oil.
Use care when lowering food into your fryer. Be slow and safe. Turn the burner off. If the burner is off there is less chance for burning flare ups. When you start to lower the food in, the oil is going to boil up. Use the tea bag method if need be. Lower & raise once or twice, more if necessary. Once you get your food settled in, turn the burner back on & get your temperature to 350 degrees & maintain that temperature.
Another way to avoid some of the potential problems that can arise, is by using a safer fryer. With a conventional outdoor cooker, overflow of oil comes out all around the top of the pot and can spill directly onto the flaming burner. With a safer fryer the burner sends super heated air through contained fire tubes that run through the oil. The oil heats sufficiently enough to deep fry any type of food. Any spillage that may happen would occur in the front of the cooker. The fire is only exposed in the rear of the unit so all spillage would be away from any flame, therefore creating a much safer frying environment. You still want to take all of the safety precautions but with a fryer unit that comes with a rolling caddy, and self aligning stands opens up a much bigger world of frying possibilities. It's not just for deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving anymore. Expand your tailgating or fire department menu. Have a fish fry at church. Bring a fryer to your next pot luck night at the camp ground or even set up shop at the next car show!
Main rule of thumb: NEVER LEAVE YOUR DEEP FRYER UNATTENDED!!!! And remember that your fryer oil is going to remain hot for hours after you shut the burner off. So again make sure the kids and the dog have somewhere safe to play.
Jenifer Whelan is the owner of The Deep Fryer Depot. http://www.thedeepfryerdepot.com/ your online frying headquarters. For your next tailgate party or fish fry check out our selection of conventional deep fryers or one of our safer commercial-grade-fryers
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jenifer_Whelan
Considering Buying a Deep Fryer?
When planning to purchase deep fryer cooking equipment for your kitchen, or patio there are some important factors you should consider before you actually go online or to an appliance store to purchase it.
A stove top deep fryer is an option. They come in aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron. They can be used for other applications besides frying as well. They came in a wide range of sizes, so size may be a consideration for you. You need a place to store a large pot.
Counter top deep fryers can be really big and can take significant amount of space in your kitchen. Some fryer sizes can be as large as a microwave oven. So it is very important to consider the size of the specific fryer you will buy and the space in your kitchen where you intend to place it. I have a larger counter top deep fryer that I have to cool off, drain, clean, and put away every time I use it. I have very little counter space so I have to put my fryer back in the closet after every use. To conserve on counter space you can purchase a smaller deep fryer that you can actually store the oil right in, but then you are limited on the size of items that you can cook. I purchased my counter top deep fryer with the intention of being able to fry a small turkey indoors. I wanted to try it out before deciding on making the larger purchase of an outdoor patio propane deep fryer. Besides, my fryer is very versatile. I can steam and boil in it as well.
If you are a chef, or if you really know and understand the basics of cooking, you definitely know that temperature plays a vital role in cooking. All deep fryer's temperature controls can be a bit tricky sometimes, and for those who don't really know how to use it, it can be tricky most of the time. Setting this cooking equipment at the wrong temperature can affect the food significantly, from taste, to texture, to quality. Those fryers with low, medium, and high gauges can be difficult to handle. These temperature levels are too vague. With fryers like this it is good to have a deep fryer thermometer on hand. Many fryers nowadays do come with a proper temperature gauge, some even have a light that comes on or goes off when you've reached your optimum temperature. Also if you don't heat the oil back to an optimum temperature between batches, your food won't cook right. Cooking too much food in one batch will also lead to improper cooking.
Now if you're considering an outdoor patio propane deep fryer, there are many styles and sizes to choose from as well. There are some smaller units. Table top would be a good term here. These units would be great for small gatherings, camping and tailgating. Some, called turkey fryers, are an outdoor patio stove, with a separate stock pot and basket that you fill with oil and heat on the patio stove. Some people are scared of this type of fryer, due to the open flame & oil. Flare ups are common if proper care & safety are not taken. The turkey fryer is very versatile, in that you can steam & boil with these outdoor cookers as well. That opens the door for lots of outdoor cooking opportunities! There are "safer" fryers, that the flame is contained and runs through a tube in the oil. There are many items that can be cooked in these units. Some are even large enough to deep fry a turkey.
So, when What kind of temperature gauge does it have? Think about where you'd like to do this cooking. At home, in the kitchen, outside? Do you want to take it tailgating or camping? How many people are you looking to feed? Do you just want to feed the family, or have a fish fry for the church congregation? There are many things to consider, but with the proper research, anyone can make the proper deep fryer purchase to suit their needs.
Cajun Fryers by R & V Works, located in Homer, La, are not just an everyday deep fryer.
R & V Works provides versatile, high performance, low maintenance LP gas fryers with unsurpassed quality that make these fryers one of the greatest all around values. (They also make high quality Smokin’ Cajun Grills).
The success of the Cajun Fryer is due to the design of the burner/flue. The burner is positioned 6? above the bottom of the oil reservoir and is at a 45 degree angle. This prevents the food batter from collecting on the burner and allows it to fall to the bottom. Since heat rises, the bottom never gets hot enough to burn or scorch the batter. This keeps the frying oil clean, cooking after cooking.
Cajun Fryers offer and estimated 70% reduction in oil use. Let’s face it, good quality frying oil can get expensive. It is recommend to change the oil after 25-30 normal cooking’s and strain the oil every 5th cooking. Double oil life expectancy and revolutionary design, which results in fewer oil changes and you recoup your investment within a short time.
These outdoor deep fryers, that are manufactured in the United States, are of the highest quality, compared to other units of similar make. Honesty and service backs up everyone of these fryers. R & V Works will guarantee your satisfaction or will replace your fryer or refund your investment. That’s more than can be said of many other companies around.
More can be said of the “other” companies units. One point being that there are so fewer sizes to choose from. Another being that their units are cookie cutter. No modifications can be made.
The Cajun Fryer comes in many shapes and sizes. They range from a small 2 1"2 gallon unit, perfect for back yards, camping, and smaller tailgate parties, all the way up to a 17 gallon unit that is perfect for caterers, festival food vendors, and outdoor restaurants. There are 6 other sizes in between. Including, like the 17 gallon fryer, units that have 2 separate cooking compartments. The FF4R is an 8 gallon deep fryer, but it is comprised of 2 4 gallon units on one caddy. Should you have a smaller function going on and wish to only use the one side, that can be done. Or, if you are doing a fish fry, you can cook the fish strictly in one side, and save the other side for french fries, hush puppies, etc, without them getting any added fishy undertones from the oil.
The Cajun Fryers come with a rolling caddy to ease in portability. Should you not want the rolling caddy, so that you may add a fryer to a built in outdoor kitchen or attach the unit to a tailgate trailer, this can be done. Nothing is ever set in stone. Special orders can be accommodated within reason. If you need a unit taller, a caddy can be made taller. If you don’t need a double cooking compartment on a 17 gallon fryer, something can be done. If you are a funnel cake vendor, a unit can be made with the rings already in place. For restaurants and food vendors, all stainless steel units can be made. A locking and sealed lid can be custom manufactured, should you be a traveling vendor or hard core tailgater.
If you are considering an outdoor propane deep fryer, whether for home or for your business, the Cajun Fryer is an investment well worth making.
Baking with your grill
Anyone that has ever had a power outage for a long period knows how handy your outdoor grill can be. You don't need to have a power outage to bake on your grill.If you know any Boy Scouts,they can teach you how to bake a cake over an open fire pit with a traditional dutch oven with a flanged lid.But you can bake anything you want on your grill anytime.
A charcoal grill is ok to use but a gas grill is more efficient for baking,especially one with a good thermostat.With gas you have a more constant & even cooking temperature because you won't have to lift the lid to add more charcoal.
Baking outside also makes for a cooler house or camper in the summertime while still being able to enjoy fresh baked goods.You will definitely be the envy of the campground or the tailgate party when you pull dessert out of your grill.
Cast iron cookware is great to use,like a nice dutch oven, but you can use regular metal loaf or cake pans.You can also use aluminum pans in a pinch which every good tailgater has on hand anyway.
Think about it.You can go out camping for the strawberry festival, pick strawberries in the morning and bake nice fresh shortcakes for dessert at the pot luck dinner that night.You can even bake a blueberry pie in your grill.You just need a few extra ingredients that your tailgate bin might not normally have.
1 cup sugar
5 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups of fresh blueberries
You need 1 pre-made pie crust & a 9" metal pie pan or bring a pre-made set up from the grocery store.
1 cup flour
1\2 cup sugar
1\2 cup butter,chilled.
In a mixing bowl combine the sugar,flour,cinnamon & the blueberries.If you don't have a pre-made set up from the store,place your pre-made pie crust into your 9" metal pie pan.Crimp the edges & pour the berry mixture into the pie shell.(For a less runny pie, cut the amount of sugar in the pie filling in half.)
In another bowl mix the topping.Combine flour & sugar.Mix well.Cut in the chilled butter to make a course crumb mix.Sprinkle crumbs over the berry filling.
Preheat the grill to 425 degrees.Place pie on the upper cooking surface of the grill and close the lid.Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.To keep the crust from getting too brown,wrap an inch wide strip of foil around the edge of the crust & then remove the foil 15 minutes before the pie comes out of the grill.When done,remove the pie from the grill and let it cool before serving.Serve with fresh whipped cream or if you have a trailer with a freezer,some vanilla ice cream.This will definitely show up the people tailgating next to you!
So really, you can bake anything you want on your grill. Just one simple reminder. Always have extra propane!
The Art of Tailgating
Tailgating is an art. It can be low key, it can be fancy and over the top. But simple or fancy we are all looking for anything to make this art run as smoothly & easily as possible. This is an homage to all those dedicated fans out there. Whether you're a race fan, college team fan, pro team fan or you're just looking for a nice day at the beach. We salute you! So pop the tailgate on the back of your truck and lets get cooking!
The history of tailgating goes all the way back to Ancient Rome. Food and wine were sold outside of the Colosseum for gladiator events and chariot races. There was also food & drink served at jousting tournaments in medieval Europe.
Tailgating has now become an American phenomenon tracing it's roots back to The Battle of Bull Run in1861 where some Union supporters brought picnic baskets out to watch the first battle of the Civil War. The first college football game ever played in America was also host to tailgating with Rutgers & Princeton playing against each other while people grilled fish & wild game. When Harvard & Yale played against each other, the walk from the train to the field was so long, the people brought picnic lunches with them. Now in the 21st century, tailgating is in full swing. More than 20 million Americans tailgate every year. Some stadiums and race tracks even have a special areas just for tailgaters.
Tailgating is not just confined to the college or pro football stadium parking lot. It can be a day at the beach or an afternoon in the park. Baseball fans, horse racing fans & concert goers are all potential tailgaters. The Kentucky Derby has turned into a major tailgating venue with pomp & circumstance, seer sucker suits & big hats. And then, there were The Parrotheads. Jimmy Buffet fans have more generators to power blenders than any other tailgaters I know. And lest we not forget The Grateful Dead fans that not only went to one concert, but followed The Dead around the country for a whole tour. I bet there were some very interesting food choices along the road when it came to months of traveling.
That being said, tailgating is obviously not confined to just a single event or day. Some sports fans just come to watch the game and sometimes leave early to beat the traffic if the score is not going their way. Race fans are devotees. They come and stay for days, sometimes even weeks during Speed Week. That's a lot of food to plan for and race fans are serious about their food. This is not just NASCAR fans either. There are lots of drag racing & road course fans out there. Many of these venues are weekend long events. Some people show up on Thursday & don't leave until Monday morning after breakfast, which is sometimes the last great tailgate. All of the leftovers and the last of the eggs and bacon come out and are still made into a culinary masterpiece.
The perfect piece of equipment, your latest perfected recipe, the coolest new game can set you apart from the rest of the lot. So many set ups and different things to cook. For some people the food is as important as the game. Some people don't even go in to watch the event. They stay outside for the party and watch the game on TV. Any good tailgate is not just burgers and dogs. Brats, ribs, chili, steak, deep fried turkey, pork loin, beer can chicken are many favorites. The gadgets that go along with all that food are phenomenal too. Not just grills. Coolers, blenders, kegorators, deep fryers, crock-pots, BBQ smokers, even woks. Tents, couches, easy chairs, lawn games are all common place at a tailgate. There are even highly elaborate homemade & professionally made tailgate trailers with cooking equipment, TV's & sound systems included.
Part of the art of a good tailgate party comes from proper planning and knowing your grill and cooking equipment. Knowing how many people your cooking for is helpful in pre planning your shopping list(and a little extra never hurts. ) Get to know your grill and cooking equipment. Use it at home. Get used to your hot spots and cooking zones. Don't try out a deep fryer for the first time at the track! When you transport your grill, if you don't have an enclosed trailer to put it in, put it right behind the cab of your truck with the hinged side of the lid to the backside of the cab. Tie it securely!If you loose your lid, your dead in the water.
Some important things to remember about tailgating is having the right stuff you need to make your life easier. Of course you don't always need everything but if you can get yourself a big plastic bin and fill it with some of these items you'll be ready to roll at a moments notice. Just always remember to replenish.
• Grill tools & can opener
• Meat Thermometer
• Sharp Knife & Serving Spoons
• Plastic utensils to eat with
• Aluminum foil & baggies
• Salt, Pepper, Your Favorite Seasonings & Rubs
• Trash Bags
• Paper Towels(Cloth towels & wash cloths)
• Stuff to eat off of, Paper or Plastic Plates, Bowls, Whatever
A jug of water is nice to have to clean your hands with. (Soap is good too. ) Foil pans are handy for all sorts of things:cooking, storing, serving & leftovers. Whatever your cooking apparatus, it never hurts to have extra fuel. . . propane, charcoal, wood chips. A fire extinguisher is a great thing to bring along & a squirt bottle for small flare ups. Cutting boards are good, but paper plates make nice clean cutting surfaces. Condiments, olive oil, non-stick cooking spray, onions & garlic are necessity. A table to cut up stuff on and set the food on when its done is always a nice option. A fold up chair or two is great to have too when your taking a break from cooking or after the game when your waiting for the parking lot to clear out a little. Extra beer is always plus. . . it's a great bartering tool if you forgot something at home. ALWAYS make sure you have a good cooler & PLENTY of ice! Lastly. . . NEVER leave your grill or fryer unattended besides the obvious safety reasons your food can get ruined in a heartbeat!
So, yes, tailgating is an art. It doesn't matter who you're routing for either. A great tailgate can bring everyone together. But tailgating is still about one upping your neighbor. Some people even have cooking competitions. It's never about putting anyone down. It's the pride of knowing you're better. From simple to elaborate, regional favorites like Philly Cheese Steak & Buffalo wings, or just showing off, like grilled tequila & chipotle rubbed butterflied leg of lamb. From your tailgate bed or your buddy's RV. Breakfast to dessert with appetizers & dinner in between, beer to blender drinks. Tailgating is about fun times and making memories. So have fun, enjoy yourself & eat hearty!
The Deep Fryer Depot. http://www.thedeepfryerdepot.com/ your online frying headquarters. For your next tailgate party check out our selection of safer deep fryers, grills, BBQ smokers & tailgating supplies.
Emergency preparedness is something we all need to think about. An emergency situation could arise at ANY time. I admit, that I have slacked on the subject myself. After Katrina, everyone in the U.S. should be overly aware of what could happen. I’ve been through a few hurricanes. I lived in southwest Florida when hurricane Andrew hit Homestead on the east coast of Florida. We got lucky because the storm weakened after landfall. I did have refugees from the storm stay with me for a time, as their own apartment had been destroyed. Not all disasters or situations are always predictable by the weather service. A tornado can pop up without very much warning. Some earthquakes of late have been quite noticeable, some not. There were some small quakes in Oklahoma just last week. Not a place you would really consider earthquakes to be. An ice storm in Maine could leave residents without power for weeks. Floods, volcanoes, tsunamis, wild fires. Our mother earth can be quite unpredictable. You should be prepared!
Any good tailgater or camper is prepared for cooking at a moments notice. A bin of supplies, a grill to cook & bake with, a cast iron dutch oven or skillet that can be used over an open fire, but there are other things to consider. I mean, any good barbequer will have extra propane or charcoal on hand any way. But, what about power outages. All that food in your freezer could go to waste. If you’re in an ice storm, chances are if outages last a long time you can put your food out in the snow and it will be ok. What if you’re in a summer heat wave black out? Having a gas powered generator & extra gas on hand is a great consideration.
As I said, I myself have been slack in my preparedness efforts. My sons were both Boy Scouts. We have an emergency bin. I know I have not replaced batteries, checked flash lights, or checked on change of clothes for size. I need to change out some canned goods, etc. We have a hurricane or two looming out in the ocean right now. They are somewhat predictable, but, not very at the same time. This is something that I should do at the beginning of every hurricane season, or maybe twice a year, when I change the batteries in my smoke detectors. We should all make a set date to redo, replenish, check our stocks & stores. Anything could happen at a moments notice.
You want to keep your family prepared. If you don’t have an emergency bin. Start one! It can be a family project. Make a list, get items together & start a pack, bin, box, whatever! In case of evacuation, you want to be able to grab it and take it with you. It may not come to that extreme , but it is a thought to keep in mind. Always make sure you have extra fuel, propane, charcoal, firewood. Know where there are candles and something to light them with. If you are depending on canned goods, make sure you have a hand can opener that works. Water bottles. If you know a storm is coming, stock up. Fill some empty jugs. Worse case scenario, fill the tub! If you live in an apartment and don’t have a grill or outdoor propane fryer…get yourself something. Even a little hibachi or table top grill. A small table top grill can pack away & fit right in your emergency bin! Think ahead! A change of clothes, dry dog food, a roll of toilet paper, a first aid kit. Make a plan. Every family should have an escape plan out of a burning house. The same should hold true for any emergency. Have a meeting spot. The neighbors house, the big oak tree on the other side of the yard. If you are unsure, go online. Get a list. Ask an Eagle Scout. Ask your local fire department. Maybe there is something on their list that you may not have thought of. The point is, just do it! You want your family safe and prepared!
The Convenience of Owning a Deep Fryer
Having a deep fryer at home offers convenience when frying foods. They are a must if you cook a lot and if you love fried foods. If you don't already own a counter top fryer, you probably use a large cast iron cooking pan to fry your food or a large stove top fryer. This not only consumes a higher amount of cooking oil, some foods cannot fit properly in the pan. There is also the risk of burning food. Getting a deep fryer for your home may be something you want to consider.
What are some of the considerations to make when buying a fryer for your you ask?
You want to choose the right size fryer for your needs. If you will be frying food for one or two, then a small counter top fryer will do. If you have a big family or entertain a lot, you might consider a larger counter top unit or even a fryer that you use outdoors. (When a lot of food is squeezed in a small unit, it will not cook properly). If you're a food vendor or are a big tailgater, you might want to go for a commercial grade fryer. There are lots of safer fryers out there that are mobile enough to take to a tailgate party, go camping with and still use in the back yard, just like your BBQ grill.
Speaking of BBQ grills, there are many multi-purpose units out there. I have a counter top deep fryer that also serves as a steamer or boiler. Comes in handy when having an afternoon crab boil, or New England style clam "bake". An All-In-One is an outdoor cooker that will fry, smoke, grill, boil, steam, etc. This can be especially convenient if you yourself are a multi-purpose cooker and have limited storage space in your house to keep a larger sized counter top deep fryer/steamer/boiler. These units are great to take on camp outs and to the tailgate party as well. Let's you change up the menu without having to bring different types of cookers with you. The All- in -Ones come in LP gas, charcoal or electric models. This gives you more considerations to ponder, but gives the flexibility of choice.
Whatever kind of deep fryer you decide on, for indoor or outdoor, counter top, conventional, commercial grade, or All-in-One, the conveniences of having one is endless. Especially the multi-purpose models. Cooking is only limited by your imagination. Dream up some culinary masterpieces today.
Injecting A Turkey With Seasoning
Many people like to inject their birds with seasoning before putting them into the turkey fryer. By getting the flavors inside the meat you don’t have to worry about the hot oil washing them off. This will also insure you having a nice juicy turkey.
First you want to buy or make your marinade. There are plenty of recipes out there for turkey injection marinades. Find one that suits your fancy.
Place your turkey in a roasting pan. A trick that I learned from “The BBQ Dr.” is to cover your bird with plastic wrap. This will keep the marinade from splashing back at you. Fill your seasoning injector. Pierce right through the plastic wrap into the turkey. The important thing to remember is to inject the turkey all over. Put a little in each hole. (Make sure you distribute the injection evenly so you don’t get pockets of the marinade). Do the breast, the legs, the thighs, even the wings. Flip your bird over, cover with plastic wrap, and inject the bottom side as well. There are portions of the breast that you may have missed by just injecting from the top side.
Wipe off any marinade they may have run with paper towels. You want to make sure that your turkey is nice and dry before lowering it into the hot frying oil.
Stainless Steel Or Aluminum: Which is the Best Metal for a Deep Fryer?
Classic propane turkey fryers come in 2 different metals-stainless steel or aluminum. They both have good points, they both have not so good points.
First and foremost stainless steel is easier to clean than aluminum. Aluminum must be cleaned right away. It will pit and get a sticky layer of residue on it that is hard to get rid of. Stainless stock pots and patio stoves will usually clean up with soap, water, and a sponge. The bottom of the aluminum pots are much harder to get the black soot from the LP gas off of as well. There is a lot more elbow grease involved when it comes to the aluminum turkey fryers. There is an oxidation factor over time that will cause the aluminum to take on a graying color. That will not happen with the steel.
Secondly, an aluminum stock pot is a better heat conductor than a stainless one. That means your frying oil will heat quicker. There is a reason that some stainless steel pots are made with copper bottoms. Copper is a better heat conductor than many other metals. It helps to more evenly distribute the heat in a stainless steel pan. The conductivity of copper is among the highest, stainless steel one of the lowest, with aluminum somewhere in between. (The aluminum pot will also cool down quicker after cooking).
Last but not least. Cost is a factor. Stainless steel is much more expensive than aluminum. (This is probably why they don't make stainless steel fryer pots with copper bottoms). It is also heavier than aluminum, so if you are having it shipped, again cost may be a factor. If this is your first time around with a turkey fryer, the cost of aluminum may be the way to go. You may not like the process.
You may decide that this is not for you. Should that be the case, there is not a lot of money lost, and you can probably resell it quite easily. On the other hand, you may love it and decide to fry everything in the house. Then you may go on to use your pot for other things, like backyard New England clam bakes, or chili for a tailgate party. If that is the case, you may want to have an aluminum fryer as a starter fryer, and eventually move on to a healthy relationship with a beautiful shiny stainless steel fryer.
So, stainless steel or aluminum? No matter which metal you decide to go with for your outdoor propane deep fryer pot, as long as they are cared for properly, both will last you a life time.
The Deep Fryer Depot. http://www.thedeepfryerdepot.com/ your online frying headquarters. Next time you want to deep fry, check out our selection of indoor deep fryers, traditional turkey fryers, and outdoor propane deep fryers.
Turkey Fryers- Electric or Propane?
Given the proximity of the up coming holidays, many people have been considering deep frying a turkey for the first time. There are many different kinds of turkey fryers out there to choose from. Primarily outdoor propane deep fryers or indoor counter top electric fryers. The differences between an outdoor deep fryer and an electric fryer vary greatly. We will start with electric turkey fryers.
First and foremost, electric fryers are made for indoors. You can take your electric fryer outdoors to use one day at a time. But you should bring it back indoors once everything has cooled, and put it away. It should never be left out on your patio like a backyard grill. The morning dew alone is enough to ruin the inner workings of an electric deep fryer.
You can take an electric deep fryer camping if you have electricity, but you can forget about tailgating with one unless you have a generator.
An electric turkey fryer can be a large counter top deep fryer. My first fryer was an electric counter top turkey fryer. It not only fries small turkeys as well as deep frying anything you want, but you can also steam and boil with it. I've been known to make Low Country Boil right in my house in the middle of the winter.
Not all so-called electric turkey fryers, are actually deep fryers. These units work with high radiant heat. They technically roast, not deep fry. There is really no oil involved. Less mess to clean up. You can roast other meats in these units, but you can not fry up a batch of french fries in one of these.
Most electric turkey fryers have a safety shut off feature if the oil becomes too hot. They mostly all have a thermometer or temperature gauge as well. This is a great feature because most of these units will tell you that your oil is up to temperature by a light on the gauge or unit. This is also good if you are frying things other than turkey. If you are frying up multiple batches of things, like Buffalo wings or onion rings, you should always let your oil come back up to temperature between batches.
Now, speaking of oil temperatures, electric fryers do take longer to heat oil than outdoor propane deep fryers. It also takes longer between batches to come back up to temperature. You want fried crispy food, not oil logged greasy food. So pay attention to your oil temperatures. Don't get hasty and put food in before it's time.
Lastly, you don't have to worry about the kids and the dog needing to have somewhere else to play. Odds are they are not playing on the counter top or in the kitchen, so the odds of your indoor electric turkey fryer getting knocked over by a game of soccer or football are next to nil.
Now we've discussed electric turkey fryers. Let's move on to outdoor propane turkey fryers.
There is the issue of LP gas. You must have a propane tank to cook with, but this affords portability and versatility. You can go anywhere! The beach, camping, tailgating, or even just a different place in your back yard. And speaking of versatility a traditional turkey fryer consists of a stock pot and an outdoor propane cooker. Not only can you deep fry with them, you can stew, boil and steam food. You can make chili for a cold weather camp out or have a New England clam bake right in your back yard. Always make sure you have an extra LP tank around, just in case.
Have you ever deep fried food in your house? The fact that your outdoors is great, because now your whole house won't smell like you deep fried a turkey two or three days later.
Even though you are outdoors there are still safety features to keep in mind. You always want to be on stable, sturdy ground, and not near any buildings or materials that can catch fire. The kids and the dog will now have to find a different place to play than where you are set up. If it rains you cannot take your outdoor turkey fryer indoors. Do not take it on the porch or in the garage, as this could just end in a really bad day!!!
Frying oil will heat faster with a propane fryer than an electric one. Even after you put a whole turkey in the oil, it takes a significantly less time to come back up to temperature, than if you were using electricity. Most traditional outdoor fryers do not have a built-in temperature gauge though. You need a deep fryer thermometer and you need to monitor your temps. There will be no little light telling you that the oil is ready. There is no safety shut off either. Again you need to monitor your temperatures and turn your regulator valve down if need be.
Traditional turkey fryers always run the risk of overflow and flare ups. This can occur if placing the bird too quickly into the fryer, or if it is wet or not properly thawed. A way to avoid the danger of overflow and flare ups is to get a safer fryer. These units typically have the flame on the back side and self-contained fire tubes. Any overflow that may occur would happen at the front of the unit. No hot oil or flame should ever come in contact. All the same safety precautions should still be taken. Like having an all-purpose fire extinguisher handy at all times and protective gloves.
Electric or propane, indoors or outdoors, you should never use water on a hot oil fire.
Never leave your fryer unattended, indoors or outdoors.
Whether you decide on an indoor electric turkey fryer or an outdoor propane deep fryer, weigh your options, research, and make an informed decision. Which fryer is best? That decision can only be made by you.