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