St. Petersburg, FL - It's that time of year when families gather around the table. The main course? Turkey for most.

Fried turkey is become a tradition for many families.

The Morning Show on 10 News brought in a turkey frying semi-expert on the show. John Pike showedus how he cooks his bird. John Pike and his family's love of fried turkey started a few years ago. A half dozen fried turkeys later, he shows us the lessons he's learned over the years.

Check out the video.

Thanks to local firefighters, most of us know the dangers of putting a frozen or even somewhat frozen turkey in a hot frier (it explodes). Here are some other helpful tips we learned from John during The Morning show:

  • Take out the gizzards. John says while it doesn't ruin the turkey, it makes for extra crunchy gravy.
  • Take out the plastic thermometer that comes on the turkey.
  • Run warm water over the turkey, just to make sure it's completely thawed. Even thoughJohn bought a thawed turkey from the grocery store, we found out it the gizzards were still frozen inside.
  • Keep a ladle and extra pot near by. This is just in case you didn't measure your oil correctly. You can dip out the excess. You don't want the hot oil splashing over the edges of the pot into the flames.

Rough Idea of the price ofour 10 Newsfried turkey:

  • Peanut Oil $49 and some change. (Purchased at Sam's Club)
  • John brought his own fryer, but there were turkey fryers on sale near the Peanut Oil for $48. (Yes, the fryer was a dollar less than the Peanut Oil)
  • Turkey from Publix: $23. It was a 13 lb turkey. (We also purchased a frozen turkey from Sam's Club for $11, but it wasn't thawed enough to fry.)

Quick Frying tips:

  • Oil should get to 300 degrees. Not too high or low.
  • Turkey cooks for 3 minutes for each pound. Our turkey should have been done in 27 minutes. It wasn't. John checked the turkey with a meat thermometer. It needs to be 160 degrees inside the breast area. We had to throw the bird back in the fryer for a few more minutes.

After you fried your bird:

Again, John fried a turkey for us outside our studios at 10 News. The fryer was turned off at 7 a.m. At 12:30 p.m. it was finally cool enough for us to recycle the peanut oil. (Remember it's nearly $50)

John keeps a funnel and strainer with his turkey frying kit. We used the strainer and funnel to recycle the peanut oil back into the original container. (Don't keep the oil forever, 6 months tops)

Forother tips for frying your turkey check out this link from the FDA: Frying a Turkey

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