Whether you are planning a Thanksgiving feast or you just have a craving for turkey, you may be wondering why you should use peanut oil to fry the bird. Well, once you’ve read this article, you’ll know exactly why.
Below, I cover why you should use peanut oil, whether it’s a good choice, peanut oil turkey fryer alternatives, how much peanut oil to fry turkey, how hot to make the peanut oil and much more including exact instructions for how to use peanut oil for turkey fryer.
Peanut oil is a very popular oil to use for frying, and you’ll know why soon enough. So if you’re ready to learn about cooking turkey in peanut oil, continue to the next section!
Do You Have To Use Peanut Oil When Frying Turkey?
A question you may be asking yourself is: “do you need peanut oil to fry a turkey.” Although peanut oil is potentially the most popular vegetable-based oil to use for frying a turkey, you don’t have to use it. Typically for frying, you need to satisfy three things.
First, you need to make sure your oil has a high smoke point. If it doesn’t, then you’ll end up burning the oil, smoking up your house and turning the oil bad.
You also want to ensure that your oil has a neutral taste so that the ingredients you use for the meal aren’t affected taste-wise by the oil.
Also, if you are going to use the oil a few times to cook things, it’s good to have one that doesn’t transfer flavours.
If you satisfy those three things with a vegetable-based oil, then you’re likely okay to use it. That being said, there are oils like canola oil and sunflower oil that you can use for frying turkey. However, if you’ve got peanut oil, then go with that!
Why Use Peanut Oil To Fry Turkey?
Even though you don’t have to use peanut oil, it’s regarded as possibly the best oil to use. So, why use peanut oil to fry turkey?
It’s because refined peanut oil satisfies the three needs that we outlined in the section above. You’ll find that peanut oil has a smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than enough to effectively fry a turkey.
Also, you can use it a few times without worrying about transferring the flavour of one food item to another food item.
If you’re only planning on frying a turkey with the oil, then that won’t matter much to you unless you decide to reuse it. But what does matter is that you buy peanut oil that has a neutral taste and odour to it. And if you’re looking to add a bit of a nutty twist to your turkey, you can accomplish that with peanut oil as well.
A refined peanut oil should be tasteless. One that isn’t refined can add a nutty taste.
What Is A Peanut Oil Substitute For Frying Turkey?
As we have mentioned, you don’t have to use peanut oil for turkey frying as there are many peanut oil alternatives. Frying turkey is fairly simple, and choosing the oil is simple as well.
For example, canola oil is another vegetable-based oil that you can use as a peanut oil alternative. Frying turkey with the latter and former will be pretty much the same experience. Canola oil has a lower smoke point, but it’s still enough to handle the heat you need to properly fry the bird, and it’s also tasteless.
Another option you can buy is sunflower oil. It actually has a higher smoke point than peanut oil and you won’t taste or smell anything either. Coconut oil will accomplish frying a turkey as well.
And if you see arachis oil or groundnut oil in the supermarket, you can use either of those to fry a turkey since they’re the same as peanut oil.
How Much Peanut Oil To Fry A Turkey
An important thing to know before you get started is how much peanut oil for frying a turkey do you need.
Well, you’ll need a lot.
In fact, you’re going to need 3.5 gallons of peanut oil to fry a turkey right. Typically you can buy 1 gallon bottles of refined peanut oil, and you can even find bigger containers at select grocery stores or online.
Before you get started frying your turkey, make sure you have a bit more than 3.5 gallons, just in case you spill some oil.
What Is The Best Peanut Oil For Frying Turkey?
There are a plethora of great peanut oils on the market that you can use to fry your turkey. And below we’ll share some of the best peanut oils you can buy on Amazon and have shipped directly to your doorstep.
Happy Belly Peanut Oil – Amazon Brand
Happy Belly Peanut Oil is a highly reviewed peanut oil that guarantees zero trans fat and comes in one-gallon containers.
Snappy Popcorn Peanut Oil
It may have popcorn in the name, but Snappy Popcorn Peanut Oil is a fantastic frying oil that you can use for cooking a turkey. It also has a nutty taste to it.
Lou Ana Peanut Oil
If you’re looking for an organic, sustainable choice for peanut oil, Lou Ana Peanut Oil is just that. It has a light nutty flavour to it, and is ready to service all your frying needs.
What Is The Best Peanut Oil Temperature For Frying Turkey?
Now, of course, maybe the most critical thing for you to know before you start is the peanut oil temperature for deep frying turkey.
For your peanut oil turkey frying adventure, you’ll need to heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As we noted, peanut oil has a smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so you have a lot of leeway with that.
Typically with frying, you want to maintain the heat of the oil as best you can, however there will likely be some fluctuation throughout. The oil temperature can fluctuate a bit, however a good practice is to use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the oil every so often, adjusting it appropriately.
How To Fry A Turkey In Peanut Oil
It’s all well and good knowing the pros of using peanut oil to fry a turkey, but how do you actually use the oil to fry it?
In this section, we’ll break down the process of how to fry a turkey, step by step.
For the most basic deep-fried turkey, you only need a few things: a turkey fryer or large stockpot, 3.5 gallons of peanut oil, salt, pepper and of course, a turkey.
Before you start with the first step, make sure you prep your turkey by thawing it out, as well as removing the neck and giblets. Then:
- Heat up the peanut oil: Pour the 3.5 gallons of peanut oil in either your turkey fryer or large stockpot, and heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember, you’re going to be heating and cooking with a lot of oil, so fry the turkey in an appropriate area, like outside.
- Prepare the turkey to be fried: Ensure your turkey is thawed with a neck hole of at least 1 inch in diameter. Also, cut away any excess skin around the place where the neck used to be. Then, you must dry the turkey. Using paper towels is a good way to go for that. After the bird is dry, smear salt and pepper everywhere on the turkey, inside and outside.
- Fry the turkey: Place the prepared turkey neck first into a drain basket and then place it into your cooking instrument, fully submerging the bird in peanut oil. You’ll want to fry the bird for 3.5 minutes per pound of turkey. So if you have a 10-pound bird, you’ll fry it for 35 minutes. As mentioned, you’ll want to maintain the oil at 350 degrees, so use a cooking thermometer often to ensure the oil’s heat isn’t fluctuating.
- Remove the turkey and allow it to rest: After the cook time is up, lift the drain basket out of the peanut oil and check the internal temperature of the bird with a meat thermometer. The turkey needs to be 180 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered cooked. If it is, then you’re done! You can take the turkey out of the basket. Allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes and then start slicing.
Can You Reuse Peanut Oil After Frying A Turkey?
Once the bird is cooked, you may ask yourself: “can I reuse peanut oil after frying a turkey?”
The answer is yes, you can.
Peanut oil is great for re-using. The oil can be stored in a container and placed in the fridge.
How To Dispose Of Peanut Oil After Frying Turkey
If you’re wondering what to do with peanut oil after frying turkey and you don’t want to re-use it, then you can discard is like you do other oils.
Allow the oil to cool and then pour it into a container that you plan on disposing of. When it’s all in the container, place the container into a plastic bag to help stop any sort of leakage, and then throw it into the garbage.
Now that you’ve read through this article, you should have a much broader understanding of peanut oil and frying turkey.
If you were wondering “do I have to use peanut oil for frying turkey” before you started reading, you’ve got the answer for that now as well. So, what are you waiting for? Start frying!