I have wanted to deep fry a turkey since I took on the role of Corporate Research Chef here at Winston. You see, Winston was built on pressure fryers. For example, the company’s first product was the Collectramatic® Fryer, designed for Colonel Sanders himself. I’m happy to have had the experience!

Cooking a turkey is a production, no matter what the cooking method. From hauling the turkeys in from the grocery to picking the carcass and ensuring all that hard work is appreciated. However, it typically only happens once a year, for a special occasion. So we can justify the extra work, and expense, and clean up. Certainly, this is a monumental task if you’re doing it in an outside fryer at home. On the other hand, a commercial kitchen is much more conducive to this work!

fried turkey fixins

Settings and Procedures:

Products:

Note: It is critical that turkeys be completely thawed. Placing a frozen bird into hot oil can cause a major flash fire. For obvious reasons, this should be avoided!

Pressure Fried Procedure – 2 Smaller Turkeys:

  • Set up the Collectramatic Fryer Program and Preheat:
    • Total Fry Time: 50 Minutes
    • 1 Step @ 350°F for 10 Minutes – Pressure
    • 2 Step @ 276°F for 40 Minutes – Pressure
    • 3 Step @ 276°F for 0 Minutes – Open
  • Remove the turkey from ALL packaging,  and any “extra” turkey parts (i.e.; pop-up timer, plastic binder, neck piece, and parchment-wrapped offal (giblets, liver, and heart)). You don’t want these “extras” to be immersed in hot oil.
  • Place turkey in a pan while the fryer is heating. Dab off any excess moisture on the outside.
    • Hold turkey up and allow the internal cavity to drain off any excess water. The goal is for the turkey to be as dry as possible before immersing in hot oil.
  • When ready, transfer turkey to open basket and with gloved hands, lower the basket into the Collectramatic, close and lock the lid. Next, hit the program channel to start the timer.
  • Once finished, hook the basket, and allow to drain for a couple of minutes before transferring to another landing pad. Finally, allow to drain a few more minutes, until final presentation and slicing to serve.

Notethe 10 to 14lbs turkey is the largest whole bird you can fry in the Collectramatic. Consequently, anything larger will be a sizing challenge. BUT there’s another way to address these larger birds.

drying the bird
lower the bird in the basket

CVap Staging

  • Set up the CVap – either CHV or RTV. We used the RTV7-05UV:
    • Cook Time: 2.5-3 Hours
    • Vapor Temp – Cook: 190°F
    • Air Temp – Cook: 200°F
  • While the CVap oven is preheating, address Big Bird:
    • Remove the turkey from ALL packaging, and any “extra” turkey parts (i.e.; pop-up timer, plastic binder, neck piece, and parchment-wrapped offal (giblets, liver, and heart)).
    • Begin by spatchcocking the turkey. Next, cut equally in half, add each half to a hotel pan
  • Place both pans in heated CVap oven and start the cook cycle.
    • Keep tabs on the internal temperature of the turkey after cooking for an hour or so. If you’re using a Series 7 oven, a food temp probe is great option. Otherwise, use an accurate thermometer.
    • You’re looking for an internal temp at or greater than 165°F, measured at three separate sites, per FoodSafety.Gov “the innermost part of the thigh, wing and thickest part of the breast.”
    • At these settings, it should take between 2.5 – 3 hours.

Deep Frying Procedure – Larger Turkey (Open Fry)

  • Set up the Collectramatic Fryer Program and preheat (towards the last 30 minutes on CVap cook cycle):
    • Set to Open Fry @ 350°F
  • Remove the staged turkey from the oven.
    • There will be a good amount of residual cooking liquid (+/- 2 cups or so from each pan). You can discard, or reserve to make gravy that is da bomb.
    • Transfer the halved turkey to a dry spot and dab with a dry towel if any excess moisture is noticed.
    • Next, use a knife to quarter the turkey. Allow draining a bit more before moving to the open baskets for frying.
    • Open Fry @ 350°F for 7-10 minutes.
  • Once finished, hook the basket, and allow to drain for a couple of minutes before transferring to another landing pad. Finally, allow to drain a few more minutes, until final presentation and slicing to serve. 
Cutting up the bird
staging in the oven
lowering basket for fried turkey
fried turkey draining

Final Words and Fancy Glazes

Pressure-fried turkeys had a golden crisp skin, moist meat, and an impressive presentation. On the other hand, staged and deep-fried turkeys were just a golden, but the skin was even more crispy, and the meat was more tender and moist. The final presentation was just as beautiful. Ultimately, either way was a delicious success! 

Serving with a sauce? Try this simple recipe for Honey Butter Pecan Glaze:

  • 1 cup Honey
  • ¾ cup Butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup Pecans, rough chops (we used roasted & salted)

Heat honey and allow to boil for about a minute. Next, reduce heat to barely a simmer while whisking in the butter, a few pats at a time, until incorporated.

Add the nuts and bring to a boil one last time for about another minute. Finally, remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken a bit before glazing turkey or serve on the side…so good!

simmering sauce
bubbling butter
fried turkey with honey pecan glaze
chef samantha brown

About the Author

Corporate Research Chef Samantha Brown carries dual degrees. One is from Sullivan University, in Culinary Arts. The other, in Food Science, is from the University of Kentucky. Chef Sam has years of foodservice and product development experience.

Fun Fact – Chef Sam was featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with host Guy Fieri (Farm to Table, episode 909).