"Turkey fryer," I said, for what was at least the seventh time in the conversation.
"So..it fries things? Turkeys?"
"Yes. No. Its Infra-red. So there's no oil involved. I suppose it can also fry other things than turkeys."
"How does it fry things without oil? Is it still fried at that point? Wouldn't that make it a turkey broiler?"
I am the proud and entirely random recipient of a Charbroil oil-less infra-red turkey fryer. And a Flip video camera, presumably so whoever drives me to the hospital with a horrible turkey-related injury can post something hilarious on YouTube.
(Full Disclosure: I got these things as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.)
The initial problem with the turkey fryer is that it's A) large and B) runs on a propane tank, which makes trying it out in my apartment kind of problematic.
Luckily for me, my mother just moved to a lovely new house in Truckee, a scant three and a half hours away, and shes got more than enough room for this thing and any turkey-induced explosions that may occur.
The fryer has served as an occasional-table in my hallway for the past several weeks, until this past weekend where we finally found the time and space in which to use it, at my mom's new place.
Did I mention that like 7 members of my family were there, expecting delicious turkey? No pressure.
Look! We made videos! Including a rare appearance by Husband and his AWESOME FACIAL HAIR.
We ended up pulling an full thanksgiving dinner entirely out of our asses in about 6 hours, which is something to be pretty proud of (See: How to Pull an Entire Thanksgiving Dinner Out of Your Ass, post forthcoming).
True to our own thanksgiving tradition, we had a turkey-off: my mother's turkey, a 20 pounder with sausage and cranberry stuffing that took the full 6 hours to cook, and mine, which took just under 90 minutes.
Moms included an herb rub and about a million pounds of butter to keep the bird moist ; mine was simply rubbed in vegetable oil and the chili-rosemary herb rub that came with the turkey fryer.
Both turkeys were pretty good, but mine, considering there was next to no prep involved and we made it while getting the mashed potatoes and gravy ready, was the clear winner. The turkey came out crispy and golden brown, with not a bit dry and evenly cooked all the way down - a feat for an oven roasted turkey.
Nothing exploded. No one got horribly scarred with hot oil. No basting, or covering the thing with foil, or worrying about bits drying out. It was far and away the fastest and easiest turkey I've ever made.
Also, here is my mother performing the turkey dance.