Turkey Oil Is a Hazardous Waste??


In today’s paper is an 1/8 page ad for the county Household Hazardous Waste Facility. It begins, “Properly dispose of your turkey oil . . .”


So. What the hell is turkey oil? And why is it so dangerous?

Presumably large quantities of spent cooking oil from the (somewhat alarming, to me) practice of deep-frying whole turkeys.

I think it’s a caution not to just tip it down the drain - edible fats can clog sewers and may interfere with sewage treatment processes.

Presumably, it’s oil in which you’ve cooked a turkey.

It’s a problem because oil of any sort being released into streams, rivers, etc. can muck up the eco-system. A little bit not so bad, but enough to, say, deep fry a turkey would be a lot of oil.

Some places that accept oil for disposal will either recycle it to other uses, or use it as a starting base for biodiesel, so “proper disposal” may carry benefits beyond just keeping mucky stuff out of the storm sewers.

Have you ever had one of those? That is some *good *turkey.

Vox Imperatoris

Low temperature can make the stuff congeal into a solid, rigid glop.

Think of that in the sewer lines, in January.

I don’t think anyone in this country has whatever combination of personal qualities it takes to attempt to cook one that way.

Your country? To judge from your location, you folks would boil a turkey in a vat full of butter. . . .
Well, that was certainly a quick response. Makes sense, too. I’ve heard of cooking turkey in oil, it just didn’t occur to me because we cook turkey the old-fashioned way - bake it 'til it self-destructs.

I’ll provide the dissent here. For the past few Thanksgiving dinners my aunt and uncle (who are decidedly of that special American subset that would dump a turkey into several gallons of hot oil) have provided a deep-fried bird while my mother has always contributed the traditionally-roasted one. While the roasted bird is picked nearly clean, the deep-fried one is largely ignored.

One could argue that this is because my aunt and uncle aren’t doing it right, but they usually excel when it comes to any kind of redneck cuisine so I can’t imagine their fried turkey being that far off.

Some people really like them, and, of course, to each his own. However, IMHO, compared to a properly slow-roasted turkey they are bland and less aesthetically pleasing.

I’m having goose this year for Christmas dinner. If only there were someone on the SDMB who could tell me what it’s like… :wink:

Well, I’ve never had one, and we smoke ours turkeys over hickory and oak here generally for the holidays. However, yours is literally the first anecdote I’ve heard that wasn’t along the lines of “OMFG!!! YOU HAVE TO TRY DEEP FRIED TURKEY!!! IT’S THE BEST!!!” Seriously. I have never heard a description of the food not accompanied with a near literal orgasm. Of course, this means that it’ll never live up to my expectations, but I’m curious to try it.

Sewer clogging is my bet on that too. My brother was watching some cooking show where they recommended mixing it with some seeds or nuts and letting the birds eat it.

Just give it to the next beggar on the street. They can use it in a fire barrel all night.

It’s the marinating 36 hours before that’s the secret of fried turkeys. You inject it into strategic areas with a big-ass syringe. My favorite marinate is garlic butter.

If that’s true, nobody in your country has ever lived life. Imagine fried chicken, but you’re frying the whole bird intact. I’m sitting about fifteen feet away from my parent’s turkey fryer right now, we average about three per year. Contrary to intuition, the bird doesn’t end up greasy at all. As long as it’s inserted into hot oil, it sears the outside and seals the juice in. Good stuff!

I felt the same way until last month, when I had Thankgiving at the home of my cousin. Both she and her husband are professional chefs, and each prepared a turkey. His was deep-fried in peanut oil, and was absolutely the best turkey I’ve ever had. He also made some very strange, delicious French fries in the same pot. You can, by the way, reuse the oil once or twice. I’m too lazy to go to all that trouble to cook a turkey, but it’s nice to have relatives who do.

By the way, the outside of the turkey was solid black, yet didn’t taste burnt. And not at all greasy. I have no idea what else he did besides frying it; he’s always experimenting, so I’m sure no one else’s will ever taste the same.

I’ve heard it can be a bit greasy.

Would it ever congeal enough for the birds’ interest? Presumably the turkey is fried in some sort of vegetable oil, and I’ve never noticed that congealing the way bacon grease does, even as cold as it gets up here. Or would the oil produced by the huge cooking bird itself do the trick to congeal the whole thing where smaller fried foods (like chicken) can’t?

OK, you guys got me.

The best turkey I have ever eaten was deep fried. Not in oil, but lard. :eek: Some Cajun guys did it. (Any opinion as to their “personal qualities”?) Sufficient seasoning seems to be the key (which may be a clue to the blackness mentioned above - perhaps the wrong seasonings were used). We burned our fingers picking the meat before it cooled to a level suitable for carving. The poor carcass was nekkid and still steaming. In June.

BTW, somewhere in Alton Brown land is video of what can go wrong in deep-frying a turkey.

It’s a fireball fifteen feet high and wide. :eek: Not something for a first-timer.