This year we are breaking tradition and we are having Thanksgiving at our house. We are making it kind of a pot luck where guests are bringing most of the side dishes, Dena is doing desserts and I'm the turkey and gravy gal. I've always wanted to deep fry a turkey but after some research that seemed like it was going to be a pain in the arse from a clean up perspective. What would I do with 3 gallons of used peanut oil? Hot peanut oil.
So I decided to invest (not a great investment $99) in the CharBroil Oil Less Turkey Fryer. This little beauty doesn't use oil - it uses infrared heat to cook the bird and frankly anything else that takes a long time to cook. The one I bought holds up to a 16 pound bird and cooks it in 2.5 hours. I brought it home from Lowes about a week ago and just forgot about it until Tuesday before Thanksgiving when I figured I'd better open the box and make sure it was all there. Good thing I did because some assembly is required. It took me about 35 minutes to put the legs on, put the lighting mechanism on and then the handles. Of course, there was a screw missing for one of the handles.
I actually read the directions and it tells you to season it several times (you can do it only once before the first cook if you want) just like you would grandma's frying pan. This turns the inside chamber a kind of bronze color and allows even heating. I have to admit, the people on the CharBroil website and customer service are quite nice. I called Wednesday about the missing screw - they are sending me a replacement. On the website they have lots of videos on how to cook your bird, mount it, stuff it, carve it, rub it, etc. The actual cooking part, according to the video, is very, very easy.
To get creative I decided to do a rub on the bird. A dry rub makes a nice crispy skin. The rub I dreamed up has paprika, black pepper, sea salt, nutmeg, thyme and a couple other things in it. I oiled up the bird, then rubbed it all over with my seasonings the afternoon before. I also stuffed the inside with garlic, shallots, thyme and sage. This all sat and "marinated" until 2pm Thanksgiving day when I took it out of the fridge, emptied the cavity (so as not to mess up my cooker), popped the bird in the basket and threw it in the "fryer". If it turns out I'm going to be SO stoked. You don't put a lid (the provided one) on it unless its windy and debris will get in or unless it 30 degrees outside.