Successful fried turkey, but I have questions

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Big Grouch

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I bought a turkey fryer rig from a restaurant supply. Supposed to be 55,000 BTU. Took 4 gallons of peanut oil to cover the 15 pound turkey, I've done this before so I know the water displacement methos to decide how much oil is needed. I heated the oil to 350, took maybe 20 minutes, the turkey was out of the fridge for an hour. I slowly lowered the turkey into the oil, turned the burner back on, and in the 50 minutes it took to cook the bird the oil never got above 275. Bird cooked perfect, not oily at all. I checked the oil temp with a Thermapen it was the same as the thermometer that came with the fryer. Regulator all the way open, 20 pound bottle was full and valve open, it was 45 degrees and not windy. Thoughts? As I said all was well, just wondering why the oil never got back to 350.
 

Cattoon

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I used just a touch under 4 gallons of oil for mine, dropped the turkey at 375 and had to turn the burner down 3 times to keep from going over 350f while ours was cooking. I have a “turkey fryer burner” and can’t remember who made it. One thing to check with an adjustable regulator is that it is actually going wide open. I have noticed with mine that I will sometimes open it I presume “too fast” and it will not open all the way, I shut it off and open it slower and you can hear the difference in the amount of propane flowing. When mine is wide open it’s a very audible roar.
 

noboundaries

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Thermodynamics at work. Roughly 31 lbs of oil at 350°F. 15 lb bird at 36°‐ 40°F. (An hour on the counter in a 70°F room will only raise the bird's temp 2-4°F, not to room temp as online sources say - I've tested it).

The cold bird sucked the heat out of the oil like a sponge because heat energy flows from hot to cold. Think about pouring ice in boiling water. What happens? The ice sucks the heat out of the water and it stops boiling.

The burner transfers heat by radiation. The heat transfer in the oil is by convection. It takes a LOT of additional radiated heat to replace the heat energy being absorbed by the colder bird.

Basically, you reached a state of equilibrium at 275°F oil temp with the heat in, the heat being absorbed by the bird, and the heat loss to the 45°F air.
 

Big Grouch

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Thermodynamics at work. Roughly 31 lbs of oil at 350°F. 15 lb bird at 36°‐ 40°F. (An hour on the counter in a 70°F room will only raise the bird's temp 2-4°F, not to room temp as online sources say - I've tested it).

The cold bird sucked the heat out of the oil like a sponge because heat energy flows from hot to cold. Think about pouring ice in boiling water. What happens? The ice sucks the heat out of the water and it stops boiling.

The burner transfers heat by radiation. The heat transfer in the oil is by convection. It takes a LOT of additional radiated heat to replace the heat energy being absorbed by the colder bird.

Basically, you reached a state of equilibrium at 275°F oil temp with the heat in, the heat being absorbed by the bird, and the heat loss to the 45°F air.
Thank you, that explains it.
 
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zwiller

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Great explanation but long time homebrewer and have a 55K burner myself and think it should have reached 350F again. I think that C Cattoon is on point here. Maybe you opened the valve a little too fast. IIRC you have to disconnect the gas to reset the pressure release correctly. Glad it still worked out!
 
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JLeonard

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Thermodynamics at work. Roughly 31 lbs of oil at 350°F. 15 lb bird at 36°‐ 40°F. (An hour on the counter in a 70°F room will only raise the bird's temp 2-4°F, not to room temp as online sources say - I've tested it).

The cold bird sucked the heat out of the oil like a sponge because heat energy flows from hot to cold. Think about pouring ice in boiling water. What happens? The ice sucks the heat out of the water and it stops boiling.

The burner transfers heat by radiation. The heat transfer in the oil is by convection. It takes a LOT of additional radiated heat to replace the heat energy being absorbed by the colder bird.

Basically, you reached a state of equilibrium at 275°F oil temp with the heat in, the heat being absorbed by the bird, and the heat loss to the 45°F air.


Thats what I love about this forum.....There is always something to learn on here.
Jim
 
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bill1

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If your bird was all or partially frozen I'm with Ray 99%. There's a lot of energy required to go through a phase change, whether that's frozen to liquid, or liquid to vapor/gas. When a pork butt "stalls" we're dealing with ramifications of the 2nd phase change. Here you were dealing with the lower one. Nothing is rising in temperature but you know heat is going in...what you don't see is the frozen-to-melted transition.

But by the end of the cook, there's nothing frozen left. That 55kBTU/hour should have started raising your oil temp again from 275 to 350 in a fraction of the 20 minutes it took to heat it up the first time.

Sure you weren't starting to run low on gas? You can go through a lot of gas in 70 minutes with a burner that powerful.

I'm a believer in those cheap little pressure gauges you put on a bottle and I always keep an eye on it. Once you drop out of regulation, you don't necessarily know it without that gauge but the end is very near indeed and that gauge is your last-minute warning to have a another bottle ready to go.
 

Big Grouch

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Turkey came from a local farm, never frozen. The 20 pound bottle of propane was full when I started, used 4 pounds of propane during the cook. Part of my previous job was filling propane. I'm aware of slowly opening the valve, which is a safety of the hose gets a leak. The burner had an audible roar during the cook, the flames reached the edges of the vessel. I've deep fried lots of foods in the kitchen, in skillets, dutch ovens, and a deep fryer. I know the importance of keeping the temp at 350, so the outside sears and doesn't get oil soaked. As I said, this turkey came out perfect at 275, breat meat was 165 at 3.5 minutes per pound.
 

Fueling Around

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4# of LPG is roughly 380K BTU
About an hour of cook, I don't think your burner was putting out the 5.5k BTU advertised.
When I oil fry always start at 25-50° above desired cook temp due to drop after the food in. A couple #'s of veggies negligible. 15$ turkey is significant
 

tallbm

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Yeah the guys are explaining it well. That is standard behavior in my experience.
In the past I went up to like 375F and dropped the turkey in.

Also making a wind break around burner and the pot helped as well. In TX we don't get very cold but we will get wind and even the slightest breeze kills the ability to heat back up while cooking the bird.

I imagine an upgraded heavy duty thick metal pot would help with all the heat retention.

Glad to hear the bird came out well :)
 

Gateman

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I bought a turkey fryer rig from a restaurant supply. Supposed to be 55,000 BTU. Took 4 gallons of peanut oil to cover the 15 pound turkey, I've done this before so I know the water displacement methos to decide how much oil is needed. I heated the oil to 350, took maybe 20 minutes, the turkey was out of the fridge for an hour. I slowly lowered the turkey into the oil, turned the burner back on, and in the 50 minutes it took to cook the bird the oil never got above 275. Bird cooked perfect, not oily at all. I checked the oil temp with a Thermapen it was the same as the thermometer that came with the fryer. Regulator all the way open, 20 pound bottle was full and valve open, it was 45 degrees and not windy. Thoughts? As I said all was well, just wondering why the oil never got back to 350.
I’m not sure what BTU my old burner is but I use a big pot I bought at a used restaurant supply company that I put 5 gallons of oil in and it fills it about 2/3.
I heat it to 350° and drop the Turkey in straight from the fridge and up to setting out for 30 minutes.
Haven’t noticed any difference in time or temp control on mine.
I start at 350° and wait for it to drop to 300° then relight it and set the regulator about 1/4 to 1/3 open and it sets on 300 for the entire cook with little or no adjustments.
The oil volume has some part in it but I’ve been frying turkeys so long I’ve got it dialed in, I put a mark on the regular so I know exactly where to put it when I relight.
The key that I found is start at 350° let it drop to 300° and start to finish will be four minutes per pound at 300°
Alway juicy and done no raw spots anywhere.
 

Big Grouch

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Yeah the guys are explaining it well. That is standard behavior in my experience.
In the past I went up to like 375F and dropped the turkey in.

Also making a wind break around burner and the pot helped as well. In TX we don't get very cold but we will get wind and even the slightest breeze kills the ability to heat back up while cooking the bird.

I imagine an upgraded heavy duty thick metal pot would help with all the heat retention.

Glad to hear the bird came out well :)
I was looking at 30 quart pots at the restaurant supply, wondering if it's worthwhile for once a year. I made a wind break/shack for my WSM out of old waterbed decking, it works great. Even a little wind messes those up.
 
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zwiller

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If you happen to _own_ a beer keg cut the top off. SS 15.5G pot known as a "keggle". That said, LOVE fried turkey but would never do the whole bird and do a breast cut in half one at a time. Less oil, hassle, and safer.
 
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tallbm

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I was looking at 30 quart pots at the restaurant supply, wondering if it's worthwhile for once a year. I made a wind break/shack for my WSM out of old waterbed decking, it works great. Even a little wind messes those up.
Yep even a little wind screws with them.

As for the pot, I understand the debate lol. I would struggle with buying on if it cost a ton and was only used for on 1-2 cooks a year.
If you do a turkey or 2 this way every year then I could justify it as "the right tool for the job" vs "a pot I only use once or twice a year".

I'll go buy a tool I rarely need just so I can do the job correctly even if its something I may rarely do. So a little change in perspective helps with the decision to buy or not :)


zwiller zwiller hahaha never heard of the keg thing but I DO own an empty keg back from my days when I had a kegerator and could drink without getting sick for 5-6 days after.

It used to only be like $30 more for buying a keg of beer when not having an empty to exchange so that's a hell of a deal for a big piece of metal like that. I don't have a way to cut on it but could probably manage something. Would be cool to cut top OUT of it while leaving the handles still on it.
 
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zwiller

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zwiller zwiller hahaha never heard of the keg thing but I DO own an empty keg back from my days when I had a kegerator and could drink without getting sick for 5-6 days after.

It used to only be like $30 more for buying a keg of beer when not having an empty to exchange so that's a hell of a deal for a big piece of metal like that. I don't have a way to cut on it but could probably manage something. Would be cool to cut top OUT of it while leaving the handles still on it.
For those who don't know, technically speaking the deposit you pay means you are renting it and do not own it. Legit ones can be had at scrap yards and the like but best place is garage sales online etc from defunct breweries. The keggle retains handles and on fancy versions (like mine) there are nipples welded at bottom to drain. This one is ready to go and legal for $150. TONS of YT vids on making them. Not as hard as you think but at the time I had a friend who did that for a living. You need like 200k BTU to heat it.

32750.png
 
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tallbm

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For those who don't know, technically speaking the deposit you pay means you are renting it and do not own it. Legit ones can be had at scrap yards and the like but best place is garage sales online etc from defunct breweries. The keggle retains handles and on fancy versions (like mine) there are nipples welded at bottom to drain. This one is ready to go and legal for $150. TONS of YT vids on making them. Not as hard as you think but at the time I had a friend who did that for a living. You need like 200k BTU to heat it.

View attachment 650401
Nice!!!
 

bill1

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Haven't bought a keg for a while. (I'm getting thirsty thinking about it.) Don't recall signing a rental agreement. The implication was it was a core charge that was set as a tradeoff between not scaring customers away and not getting too many folks to keep the "empty".
I see it like catalytic converters. The core isn't much money, but there's some very valuable elements in there. But most folks wouldn't be able to retrieve the Pt easily and most don't want a cat for other uses, so they tend to get returned.
But there's nothing illegal in not doing so...at least there wasn't when a bought one 6-7 years ago.
 

Big Grouch

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I dug the burner and a propane bottle out, I keep wondering what happened here. Turns out, my fault. I heated the oil, and turned the burner off before dunking the turkey. Today I found out if I don't turn the regulator to zero before opening the propane bottle the burner only runs about 50% or so. I turned the bottle valve off, then opened it back up to relight without turning the regulator down. . So, 100% my fault. Live and learn.
 

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