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What Kind of Oil Should I Use in My Butterball Turkey Fryer?

Posted October 23rd, 2014. Filed under Tips Author Jessica Timmins

Not just any oil will do for frying turkey in your indoor Butterball turkey fryer. Oil plays a fundamental role in how the finished product turns out.

Frying turkey is easy but there are certain rules to follow if you want a deep-fried turkey with that golden brown look, juicy meat and crispy crackling skin. Take the oil, for instance. Turkey should be fried with oil that has a high smoke point (others call it flash point.) Here’s why:

  • Oil with a high smoke point ensures that your turkey is thoroughly cooked inside and out. Deep-fried turkey that is not cooked properly can harbor bacteria and cause food-borne diseases.
  • Oil with a high smoke point is safer for deep-frying. Deep-frying requires oil temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point it becomes extremely flammable. Oils with lower smoke points burn quickly, affecting the taste of the turkey and raising the risk of fires.
  • Oil with a high smoke point does not turn rancid and it seals in the turkey’s juice and flavor, making for a tastier dish.

The USDA lists oils with high smoke points.

  • Peanut, Safflower, Soybean – 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Grapeseed – 445 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Canola – 435 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Corn, Olive, Sesame, Sunflower – 410 degrees Fahrenheit

oil for indoor turkey fryer

Peanut Oil

Most cooks prefer to use peanut oil for its high smoke point and its flavor. Added benefits are its long shelf life (up to six months if stored properly) and reusability (up to 3-4 times.) For people allergic to peanuts, it is comforting to note that highly refined peanut oil has its protein content removed. The protein causes the allergic reaction; without it, people allergic to peanuts can still eat food fried with peanut oil. To be safe, ask your doctor.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is preferred by others for its neutral taste and its healthier components. It has lower saturated fat than peanut oil (1g/tbsp to peanut’s 2.4g/tbsp), higher monounsaturated fat (8.2g/tbsp to peanut’s 4.5g/tbsp) and zero cholesterol.

Other Oils 

Safflower and grapeseed oils are good choices for deep-frying but they are expensive if you take into account that deep-frying a turkey needs about three gallons of oil. Soybean, sunflower and other vegetable oils may also be used.

There are many fryers in the market but Consumer Reports.org, an independent nonprofit organization committed to giving expert and unbiased information about goods and merchandise, has only positive reviews for the indoor Butterball turkey fryer for its safety and success in frying. The only downside it found was in steaming mussels; it took longer than stove steaming.

The Butterball turkey fryer uses 33 percent less oil than other fryer brands and heats oil in under 30 minutes. It is capable of frying a 14-lb turkey and the XL model can deep-fry a turkey up to 20 lbs. Its pot is coated on the inner side with porcelain for even heat distribution, to withstand high temperature and easy clean up. It has a lid so oil doesn’t spill and a basket for immersing and lifting up the turkey. A drain valve makes this gadget easy to clean and its compact design allows for trouble-free storage.

About Jessica Timmins

Jessica Timmins is a freelance writer who works out of her home while raising her children. Although she has an educational background in education her true passion is the written word. She enjoys writing informational content for websites and blogs as well as sharing her personal experiences through stories and blog posts. She has an obsession with using correct grammar and punctuation.
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2 Responses so far

  1. nathaniel says:

    I cooked my turkey to the required weight/time ratio. However, sudden parts of the turkey did not cook always the way. How long should I refry the turkey in the butterball fryer.

    • Jessica Timmins says:

      Some turkeys have thicker portions that may take a bit longer, especially if they were still frozen in the center. You can continue cooking the turkey until an internal meat thermometer gives you the correct internal temperature for safe eating of poultry which is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

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