In the traditional method of baking or roasting a turkey, it is necessary to continually check the temperature of not only the bird itself but any stuffing inside the bird. This a continual process over a number of hours in order to guarantee a properly cooked turkey.
With a turkey fryer this task is greatly reduced as only the temperature of the frying oil needs to be maintained and checked. Also the cooking time is measured in minutes rather than hours. To properly check the oil temperature a good deep fry thermometer is a necessity. You should never attempt to deep fry a turkey without the aid of a good one and because this is so important it would be a good idea to have an extra available.
The oil needs to be brought up to temperature and then maintained while making sure never to overheat the oil which will be indicated by smoking of the oil. Overheating spoils the oil and a thermometer is cheap insurance when the cost of frying oil is considered.
Thermometers are available in styles from very basic dial type to advance digital and even battery powered remote units that allow you to monitor the oil temperature from up to 150 feet away from the deep fryer. Of course fancy models are not necessary but do provide convenience especially if you have placed your fryer in a remote location to keep it safely away from guests and children while frying.
Some of the basic models have dials marked with red and green symbols to indicate the proper frying temperature. Most have clips which allow them to be clamped to the side of the pot. Some owners have complained about models that protrude into the center of the fry pot when clipped to the side and opt for models that stay close to the pot side.
The better models have the ability to be recalibrated and it is a good idea to check the accuracy of them from time to time. Because most fry thermometers are marked in increments from 100 to 500 degree F range, the cold calibration method will not work with them. These units are calibrated by placing in a pot of boiling water which should give a reading of 212 degrees. Because water boils at slightly different temperatures the higher above sea level you live you may have to do an extra calibration to be completely accurate.
This extra step is accomplished by checking with the local weather bureau for your local barometric pressure and then going to a website that will quickly calibrate this to your local conditions. There are a number of websites offering this free service and it should be easy to locate them with any search engine inquiry.
Thermometers in their simplest form are rather basic instruments. However because they are such an important part of the turkey frying technique you would do well to do a little search for owner’s comments on the internet to make sure you get the features you prefer at the best price.