Deep-fried turkey is an thrilling Thanksgiving menu sub-genre, bringing new flavors—and danger!—to the standard vacation feast. To fry a turkey within the now-classic method, you hook a propane tank to a big, stand-alone burner, warmth a large vat of oil on high of it, then depend on arm energy to decrease your hen into the scalding oil and hope to not make a splash. It cooks remarkably rapidly and a few individuals swear by the crisp pores and skin and juicy meat, however rattling, there are some downsides, not the least of which is that they are harmful sufficient to have spawned their very own sub-genre of flaming-turkey-fryer catastrophe movies.- Advertisement -
So when Cuisinart put their title on what had been a Waring fryer after Waring dumped their shopper line in 2014, I used to be intrigued. Their Extra-Large Rotisserie Fryer and Steamer is basically a big, electrical countertop frying vessel the place solely the underside third is full of oil. You decrease a hen on a spit into the field and a set of gears always rotates the spit, which means solely the decrease third or so of the turkey is within the fry oil at any time. You can even take away the spit, swap over to a basket, and use the setup as a conventional deep fryer.
If you do a little bit of frying, particularly turkey frying, you might already see how intelligent this all is. You’ll instantly catch on to the protection angle. Instead of wishing you had a derrick to decrease the turkey into the oil, right here you enclose it in a basket on the spit, seize the spit with a deal with and decrease it right into a “labyrinth”—a back-and-forth channel the ends undergo to forestall dropping the hen and splashing scorching oil on you and your family members. Speaking of splashing, as soon as it is in there, you will fortunately discover that because the oil is just within the backside third of the “cooking house” (as they name it), splattering throughout cooking is not an issue; I make extra of a large number cooking up a stir fry.
When I pulled it out of the field for a Saturday afternoon testing session, I noticed how big it’s. At about 5 cubic toes, it simply turned the most important countertop equipment in my kitchen, dwarfing my microwave. But hey, turkeys aren’t tiny!
Once it is within the oil, you needn’t do something for the hour or hour and a half till it is executed.
Setup is fairly simple. I stuffed the underside of the oil container up with about 5 liters of oil (a couple of third as a lot as in a good-sized conventional turkey fryer), plugged it in, and twisted the knob to set the temperature. While the oil heated, I prepped my turkey, primarily by ensuring it was patted dry and had no residual frozen bits lurking within the cavity, both of which can trigger a frothing storm of oil bubbles. Working over a sheet pan, I set the turkey on the spit, which has a built-on basket to maintain the legs and wings from flopping round, and fed it by means of the labyrinth and into the oil. I cringed needlessly, then flipped the rotisserie swap and walked away.
And that, proper there, could be the Cuisinart fried turkey’s biggest feat: Once it is within the oil, you needn’t do something for the hour or hour and a half till it is executed, at which level you simply flip off the rotisserie for a second and verify the temperature on the breast and thigh. This is significantly simpler than in a conventional fryer, the place one member of a pair would possibly elevate the hen out of the oil and maintain it within the air (usually immediately over the recent oil) whereas the opposite takes the temperature.
The actually excellent news: my turkey got here out nice. With a purpose-built machine just like the Cuisinart, I’d be disillusioned if it did not, however this was a crowd-pleaser—a pleasant, juicy hen with crispy pores and skin. It additionally cooked up in lower than an hour and a half, simply twice as quick as oven-roasting.
However, that is the half the place we run into all types of freighted preconceptions and ideas about deep-fried turkey’s superiority and, you realize, Thanksgiving. While deep frying makes an awesome hen—and once more, mine was superb!—it’s under no circumstances the most effective turkey I’ve ever had. I’m a fan of a dry brine and moist roast strategies, however any well-made oven hen can go toe-to-toe with a deep-fried turkey. My secret concept is that the largest followers of the deep-fried methodology could by no means have had an awesome oven-roasted turkey.
I examined that concept on Boston Globe meals author Devra First, who has written about deep-fried turkeys. While she did not disagree, she additionally introduced up a very good level: “Frying turkeys appeals extra to the tinkerer/experimenter/hobbyist/particular occasion prepare dinner,” she says. And hey, if that will get extra individuals cooking, then bravo! Tinker away!
It’s additionally going to remodel the stunning scent of a roast hen right into a generic fried-food scent, which can permeate your own home lengthy after your Thanksgiving visitors go away. Two days after I fried my hen, my bathtub towel smelled like fry oil. What I noticed in additional testing is that resulting from its measurement and that scent, the electrical Cuisinart fryer could be finest saved and used within the storage. If, like me, you reside in a smaller place, it won’t be for you in any respect.
It’s not Cuisinart’s fault, however frying at this scale can also be noisy. When I made the turkey earlier than my visitors arrived, it made sufficient frying noise to drown out the radio. Finally, gravy making turns into a totally unbiased train as there aren’t any drippings.
This is simply too unhealthy, as a result of I had loads of enjoyable with it. For occasion, whereas the turkey rested, I took benefit of the recent oil and fried hen I’d already cooked sous vide. (A perfection-chasing methodology the place all you are doing within the fryer is popping the batter into crispy, fried goodness.) The subsequent day, I indulged my budding fascination with the Japanese pork cutlets referred to as tonkatsu.
These two recipes alone made a compelling argument for having a deep fryer in my kitchen. Here’s why: When I deep fry with out a devoted fryer, it entails my Dutch oven, a thermometer of some type poking out of it, a ton of oil, and a battle to maintain that oil on the temperature the place I would like it. Fry nights are particular events, so there are normally household and buddies and screaming kids over whereas I’ve to present 100 p.c of my consideration to what I’m cooking.
While conventional turkey fryers have you ever attempting to manually handle the temperature of the oil, the Cuisinart permits you set it to the temperature you need it. I dropped the primary spherical of fried hen within the oil, cracked a brewski, and shot the breeze with my brother-in-law Ben till it was executed. With 1800 watts of energy, it brings the oil as much as temperature rapidly and holds it properly. When meals goes in and the temperature drops, the Cuisinart gooses the warmth, making my tonkatsu a surprisingly fast lunchtime possibility. Ben, who has labored in restaurant kitchens prior to now, took one take a look at it and instantly pronounced, “That factor’s legit!”
It’s price noting right here that oven-top temperature management is slowly changing into a actuality with top-notch merchandise like Breville’s Control Freak burner or Hestan’s new built-in induction range, serving to to simplify frying.
One pretty pleasing discovery with the Cuisinart fryer was cleanup. The “cooking house” and the heating component took some time to totally clear. That stated, there is a cleverly recessed spigot proper on the underside entrance of the machine, and a bit hose that attaches to it, making pouring off the oil 100 instances simpler than with a traditional turkey fryer or Dutch oven, the place that course of could be known as a turducken.
The Cuisinart Extra-Large Rotisserie Fryer and Steamer is a superb, purpose-built machine that’s—in my thoughts—the neatest solution to fry an entire hen. It makes an awesome turkey and, so long as you are cooking a hen that is 14 kilos or much less, does it with a lot much less danger than conventional turkey fryers. If you want gaining access to a close to skilled grade deep fryer and love fried turkey, that is the most secure and smartest solution to make it at dwelling.