We get it. A turkey fryer is a serious investment, and nobody wants to spend $200 on a large contraption that will be used only once a year. Fortunately, you can use your turkey fryer for a whole lot more than frying turkeys.
Large-format feasts are the turkey fryer’s forte. It is the ultimate party tool, big enough to boil, steam, or fry heaps of food—and quick. And because you’re cooking outside, any odors dissipate quickly, so your house doesn’t end up smelling like whatever you cooked for the rest of the week.
If you already have a turkey fryer or are interested in getting one, here are some of our other favorite uses for them.
1. Seafood Boils: You can boil as well as fry in your turkey fryer. Crawfish boils, low-country boils, crab boils—the fryer is ideal for all of these. Just load the seafood and fixings into the steamer basket and have at it.
2. Fish Fries: In the South, turkey fryers might as well be called fish fryers, given how often they’re used for community events. Have your own Friday-night fish fry: Invite a bunch of folks over and let the turkey fryer turn out enough fish fillets and hush puppies for all.
3. Steamed Tamales: Yes, you can steam in turkey fryers, too. Get your friends and extended family together to assemble tamales, and steam enough for everyone to take some home.
4. Large Batches of Soup or Stew: The turkey fryer is essentially a supersize stockpot, so it’s great for making and holding lots of chili or soup. We particularly like it for making multiple batches of Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew.
5. Pretty Much Anything Else You Can Fry: Want to make a whole lot of fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, beignets, or onion rings in a hurry? As long as the fryer’s already on…