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Around the coffee pot This forum is for any topic that you would normally talk about at the office "around the coffee pot". Jokes, tall tales, and true stories are welcome as long as they are clean and in good taste. I only ask that you steer away from topics on religion or politics. Go ahead and pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy the conversation.

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:09 AM
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Taste difference between peanut and veg oil for turkey frying?

I think I missed the boat to get a group together to fry up Thanksgiving turkeys but am planning for Christmas now. I think I need at least 3, maybe 4 ,people to make it economical.

I saw that 3 gallons of peanut oil at Lowes was $37. Vegetable oil must be less expensive.

Anyway, everyone says you're supposed to use peanut oil for the taste and for the higher smoke point. Smoke point aside, have you tried an oil other than peanut and how did it taste?

While I'm on the topic, how long will a tank of propane last? If I get 3 people together, that's probably 4-5 hours of burn time needed which includes time between turkeys to heat up the oil to fry temperature.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:14 AM
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I haven't done it with Vegetable oil, but a friend tried it. I tasted the results. Don't try it. It's not worth the effort, or the wasted turkey...

As far as how long a 20 lb propane cylinder lasts for with a turkey fryer all depends on your rig. I have done 8 birds, 4 group campouts, and run my Portable Buddy heater in the shop on the really cold days for 4 seasons now on the same 20 lb cylinder. I have a friend with a much larger burner and he sucks down a 20b cylinder each year...
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:31 AM
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I don't know how much help this will be, but we do the turkey in the oven. But, there are a few choices other than peanut oil and vegetable oil for frying, such as... corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil.
http://bbq.about.com/od/turkey/a/aa112808a.htm

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:47 AM
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Peanut oil (refined) is often used in deep frying because of its high smoke point- 450 degrees (the temp at which oil starts degrading. It has a neutral flavor.

Depending on the plant source and degree of refinement "vegetable oil" can have varying smoke points, most below that of peanut oil. Assuming that you're deep frying at ~375, it shouldn't make any difference re: the kind of oil. The only consideration is potential peanut allergies among the guests.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:19 PM
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I didn't get my act together to fry a turkey last year but am trying to get a group this year.

What's a reasonable amount of people for a turkey fry? I was thinking 4 people would be optimal to share the cost and that a smaller group would prevent the first guy from eating turkey at 10am and the last guy at 10pm.

Figure 1 1/2hr per turkey including oil heat up time and setup?
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:22 PM
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Be careful and safe. Frying a turkey can be very dangerous. Large quantities of hot oil in a tall, high center of gravity pot over an open flame can make for serious burns and fire potential as you wrestle a 20-30 pound turkey in and out of the fryer if you accidentally tip it over or make the oil overflow into the fire below. Beware of splattering esp if any water gets into the oil via the turkey. Approach this more carefully than a wood project with power tools in your shop as the ante is higher and you are unfamiliar with the equipment.

Consider safety glasses, hot mitts and a fire extinguisher for oil-fires handy. Keep casual bystanders and kids away.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving safely.



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Last edited by LCHIEN; 11-13-2013 at 04:36 PM. Reason: added capncarl's comment about the overflow
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:06 AM
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A good reminder for this time of year...

William Shatner Turkey Fryer safety video...
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:39 AM
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At one of our holiday fire safety training courses they featured turkey frying. The fryer was set up exactly like you would do it at home, complete with the raw turkey. No one caught on what was going on until they dunked the turkey in the heated oil, and the pot must have had a half gallon too much oil in in. The turkey displaced the oil and the rest overflowed into the fire. What a fire this created! This demonstration was to show us in no certain terms that you must measure the volume of the cook pot and subtract the volume of oil that the bird displaces and not overfill the pot. A simple boo-boo like this would ruin a fun cooking.

As far as how much cooking will a 20 lb propane cylinder provide? I would not start the job with at least half a tank or have a back up cylinder nearby. I don't think that my cooker will burn more than 6-8 hours on one cylinder.

happy eating

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Old 11-13-2013, 04:34 PM
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good point about the oil overflow being a danger, too. How many gallons does a 20-lb turkey displace?
Sorry about the negative tone of my last post above. Just wanted everyone to be safe!
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Last edited by LCHIEN; 11-13-2013 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:08 PM
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The one downside to frying seems to be bird size. For the rig that I have, I think a 12-14lb turkey is about the max.

I've enlisted 2 other guys. Need a fourth. I'm thinking about doing a fried chicken, too.

Since I can't guarantee all the birds will be the same weight, I'm thinking the best strategy is to start cooking the heaviest bird first. That way the least amount of oil is used to start. I'm sure oil will be diminish between cooks but I don't know how much. I've got to check my pot and see if there are markings for volume. Between birds I can add oil based on the displacement and keep going.
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