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blog:turkey2014 [2014/11/28 01:30] (current)
sam created
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 +====== Turkey Frying 2014: Lessons Learned ======
 +
 +I know a "​Lessons Learned"​ post sounds like what you write when something goes bad, but that's not what happened here.   The whole process was not the most difficult I've ever faced. ​   That distinction would belong to the year I discovered that someone had stolen my burner. ​  
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 +Everything worked out this year! That said:
 +
 +==== Four days is too long brining. ====
 +
 +Folks seem to like it quite salty, but it was a bit much for me.   Makes for excellent cold cuts though, I bet.   It was also a little more difficult keeping the briners in the thermal safe zone.   It wasn't "​hard"​ per se, but it needed slightly more attention and additional ice. 
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 +==== The safety measures actually seem to do the job. ==== 
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 +I actually pay attention a bit.  For some reason the displacement test for oil level had at about a gallon too much, so for the first time the safety measures were necessary. ​  Using the pipe & chain device, I had enough situational awareness to notice that we were getting close to the top of the pot, and using the stock pot with a spigot made cutting the burner and detanking a literally painless operation.
 +
 +==== No More Big Birds ====
 +
 +This is the last time I do a 20lbs+ turkey. ​  I had a 20 pounder((Bird A, as I thought of it)) and a 15 pounder((Bird B)).  The smaller turkey went in for 38 minutes, and came out perfect, easy as you please. ​ The larger one, spent all told about an hour in the oil, as I had missed some uncooked spots with the probe thermometer the first time around.
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 +So, all told, I could have fried three 15 pound turkeys in about the same time as it took me to cook what I had.   ​Larger birds also seem to leave a much larger amount of post-fry sediment in the pot than their proportions would suggest.
 +
 +==== Stupid Crap, Part One: Temperature ====
 +
 +Check the batteries on the probe thermometer,​ //and make sure it has enough juice to work in the cool conditions of Tacoma in November//​. ​ The damn thing became nearly useless towards the end of the cooking session. ​  ​Unsusprisingly,​ infrared thermometers are fun to play with, but don't really work as well as a fry thermometer for the task of oil temperature.
 +
 +==== Stupid Crap, Part Two: Turkey Mounting Equipment ====
 +
 +Stick with my home-built stuff. ​   The turkey... mount? ​  ​conveyance? ​  You know what, it's innaccurate,​ but I'm going to call it a spit.    Anyway, this year I decided not to use my old spit((it had spent the year sitting in dirt and still had chucks of fry stuff from last year on it)).   ​Instead,​ I dug up the parts I never use from the "​turkey frying kit" I got my high-BTU burner from, and slightly extended it for my larger brew kettle.
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 +In a word, it sucked. ​ It kept leaning over in the pot, and it failed to keep the turkey off the bottom of the pot when the is turkey neck down, which I tend to think works the best.   So parts of the larger turkey burned. ​  ​Nothing fatal, and we corrected it on the second turkey. ​  But a device //purpose built for the task I was using it for// couldn'​t hold a candle to my kitbashed design off of a BBQ grill. ​  ​I'​ll be building a new one of those and returning to it the future.
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