It’s Like We’re Living in the Future – Thanksgiving Edition
Kyle Maxey posted on November 21, 2012 |

This Thursday millions of Americans will sit down to Thanksgiving dinner.  Most Thanksgiving turkeys will be roasted in an oven, but for the fortunate few diners, deep fried turkey is on the menu!

Deep frying a turkey can be dangerous. Insurance company Allstate has prepared videos to educate people on what NOT to do when frying a turkey. 

And while Allstate addresses the risks of deep frying, the scientists of Purdue University have been working on ways to eliminate the longer term problems of fried turkey.

Professor Kevin Keener, a food scientist at Purdue’s College of Agriculture, has developed a “radiant fryer” that “could cook food that retains its "fried" flavor and consistency and has up to 50 percent less fat and fewer calories than food cooked using conventional methods.”

In conventional frying  food is immersed in oil for a set period of time and then removed once the cooking process is complete. This leaves the food saturated with fats that are unhealthy if eaten on a consistent basis. 

Prof. Keener’s Radiant Fryer avoids the most unhealthy part of frying by using “radiant energy” to cook food.  According to Keener, “Food is placed in wire trays that travel down a conveyor belt with radiant energy elements on either side… The radiant fryer does not require additional oil to finish the process, which means the food that it cooks could have 30 to 50 percent less oil than food cooked with the traditional frying.”

Keener is also quick to point out that there are numerous other benefits to his fryer including quicker cook times, more delicious meals, and a reduction of safety hazards associated with boiling oil. These added benefits and the technology at the core of this machine are explained in this video:

While Purdue’s website gives contact information for those interesting in licensing Prof. Keener’s “radiant frying” technology, I’ve yet to find a company producing these machines. In the meantime, here’s a great video that gives you step by step instructions on how to safely deep fry your turkey the old fashioned way.

Article and Image Source: Purdue University

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