With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many people are wondering if popular fast food chain Bojangles will be offering deep fried turkeys this holiday season. Deep fried turkey has become an increasingly popular preparation method in recent years due to its juicy and flavorful results. Though deep frying a turkey can be dangerous if not done properly, many find the end result worth the risk and seek out restaurants and chains that offer this service. As a beloved fast food chain of the Southeast, Bojangles is on the top of mind for those wondering where they can pick up a conveniently prepared deep fried turkey this Thanksgiving.
Deep Fried Turkey Popularity
Deep frying a turkey has risen in popularity over the past couple of decades. Though chicken is typically the poultry of choice for deep frying in the American South, turkeys also lend themselves well to this cooking method. When submerged in hot oil, the turkey fries quickly, ensuring a juicy interior and ultra-crisp, seasoned skin. The entire process only takes about 45-60 minutes as opposed to roasting a turkey in the oven for over 2 hours. Additionally, deep frying often requires less oil than you would expect. Generally 1 gallon of oil is needed per 4 pounds of turkey. The end result is a moist, golden bird that many find worth the work and potential danger.
Why Deep Fried Turkey is Controversial
However, deep frying a turkey does come with risks. Having that much hot oil on hand could lead to explosive situations if not handled carefully. The National Fire Protection Association strongly discourages deep frying a turkey at home due to the high risk of fires. Between 2014-2018, deep fryers were involved in over 150 home fires around Thanksgiving each year. To deep fry safely at home, you need plenty of outdoor space, a large propane cooker or turkey fryer, and extreme caution when lowering the turkey into the hot oil. Any splash overflow could lead to severe burns or worse. Many people opt to leave it to the professionals which is why deep fried turkey offerings from restaurants and food chains are so popular.
Is Bojangles Offering Deep Fried Turkey?
So will Bojangles, the popular fast food chain known for their fried chicken and biscuits, be offering deep fried turkey this holiday season? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be no. After thorough research, there are no indications that Bojangles plans to add deep fried turkey to their menu or offer it as a holiday special this Thanksgiving.
Bojangles was contacted to inquire about potential deep fried turkey offerings. Though they did not rule it out for the future, they stated there are no current plans in place to provide deep fried turkeys to customers for Thanksgiving 2022. For those hoping to snag this convenient holiday option from their local Bojangles, it seems you will have to look elsewhere this November.
Why Bojangles Likely Won’t Offer Deep Fried Turkey
There are a few reasons why Bojangles probably won’t venture into serving deep fried turkey any time soon:
- Equipment limitations – Bojangles restaurants are equipped to deep fry chicken, fries, and their signature Bojangles biscuits. Frying a whole turkey would require special high-capacity fryers not found in their kitchens.
- Safety concerns – Deep frying turkey can be dangerous if not done carefully by trained professionals. Bojangles likely wants to avoid this liability, especially with so many home fires associated with turkey fryers each year.
- Limited seasonal demand – Deep fried turkeys are most popular during the holidays, primarily Thanksgiving. The limited seasonal demand may not justify the investment in special equipment and training.
- Significant prep work – Prepping and deep frying whole turkeys would require substantial labor and prep space. The work involved may not align with the operational flows of a fast food restaurant.
Though Bojangles is undoubtedly skilled in frying up delicious chicken and sides, the dangers and operational challenges of deep fried turkey likely make it unrealistic for now. Patrons will probably have to look to specialty restaurants and turkey frying kits to get their deep fried bird fix this Thanksgiving.
Where to Get Deep Fried Turkey
Since Bojangles will not be offering deep fried turkey this holiday season, where can you go to purchase this crispy, juicy fare? Here are a few options for getting a conveniently pre-fried turkey without the dangers of doing it yourself at home:
Some grocery store chains such as Food Lion, Publix, and Kroger offer complete deep fried turkeys during the holidays. All you have to do is place your order in advance, then pick it up ready-to-eat. This method allows you to still enjoy the flavor without having to tend to a bubbling deep fryer at home.
Butcher Shops and Specialty Markets
Local butcher shops in your area may offer deep fried turkeys for preorder as well. Specialty meat markets and poultry purveyors are also a great option – many focus specifically on high quality deep fried turkeys during the Thanksgiving season.
Full service catering companies will usually provide deep fried turkeys on request. Though pricier than a grocery store bird, you’ll be paying for their expertise and professional grade fryers for a turkey that’s guaranteed to impress.
Some local restaurants may advertise deep fried turkey dinners or offer the pre-fried birds for takeout. This option means less work for you without resorting to questionable at-home turkey frying methods.
Turkey Frying Kits
If you’re set on deep frying your turkey outside in the safety of your backyard, turkey frying kits are widely available. Kits from Bayou Classic, Masterbuilt, and Char-Broil include the large fryer, propane burner, thermometer, hooks, and all the accessories you’ll need to DIY it safely.
Nutrition of Deep Fried Turkey
One concern with deep fried turkey is that it must be less healthy than a roasted bird due to all of that oil. However, you may be surprised to find out just how comparable they are calorie and fat-wise. Take a look at the nutrition information comparison below:
|Turkey Cooking Method||Calories (3 oz serving)||Total Fat|
As you can see, deep fried turkey is very close to roasted in terms of calories and fat per serving. The hot oil sears the outside, sealing in moisture and flavor. Unlike chicken, the turkey does not absorb much oil so you get all the crispy skin without a significant increase in fat and calories.
Tips for Healthier Deep Fried Turkey
If you are concerned about the health factor of deep fried turkey, there are some tweaks you can make:
- Use a high quality peanut oil – it has a neutral flavor and high smoke point.
- Minimize basting oils – brush with broth or rub with herbs instead.
- Cool completely before slicing – this prevents absorption of excess oil.
- Use thigh meat – breasts and thighs have similar calorie counts but thighs have more moisture.
- Go easy on gravy – drippings are flavorful but high in fat. Use them sparingly.
How to Fry a Turkey Safely at Home
If you are adventurous enough to take on deep frying a turkey at home this holiday season, please keep safety precautions in mind. Here are some tips for how to deep fry a turkey properly:
Choose an Outdoor Location
It goes without saying, but attempting to deep fry a turkey indoors is extremely dangerous. Always set up your turkey fryer outdoors on a flat surface away from anything flammable. Avoid wooden decks or surfaces as they can catch fire easily.
Use a Quality Turkey Fryer
Invest in a heavy duty turkey fryer designed for this purpose. Quality fryers will have sturdy bases that won’t tip, hooks and thermostats, proper lid covers, and capacity to hold the oil and turkey safely.
Heat the oil slowly over moderate heat. The optimal temperature for frying turkey is between 350-375°F. Monitor the oil temp continuously with a thermometer – any hotter increases fire risks.
Use Thawed Turkey
Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before frying. Ice crystals can cause hot oil to splatter dangerously. Thaw turkey in a refrigerator for 24 hours per 5 pounds.
Dry Turkey Completely
Pat the turkey very dry inside and out with paper towels before frying. Any water on the skin will cause splattering when it hits the hot oil.
Slowly Lower Turkey
Use the hooks and proper lifting equipment to gently lower the turkey into the oil. Lower slowly and carefully to prevent overflow splashes. The oil may bubble up slightly.
Fry According to Size
Once submerged, fry the turkey for 3-5 minutes per pound. A 10-12 lb turkey will need 30-45 minutes. Monitor temperature to ensure even cooking.
Remove and Drain Properly
When fully cooked, use hook tools to slowly lift and remove the turkey. Allow excess oil to drain off completely back into the fryer before bringing it to a platter.
While deep fried turkey from popular chains like Bojangles would certainly be convenient this Thanksgiving, it unfortunately doesn’t seem to be in the cards for this year’s holiday season. For those intent on serving this crispy, juicy fare, your best bets are ordering from grocery stores, specialty markets, caterers or restaurants. With proper equipment and safety precautions, you can also successfully deep fry a turkey at home outdoors. Just be extremely careful, follow turkey fryer directions, and monitor temperature closely. While Bojangles may not be offering deep fried turkey just yet, there are still plenty of options for enjoying this indulgent dish.