How to Fry a Turkey

Preparing a Deep-Fried Turkey

How to Fry a Turkey
Measuring Water to Fry a Turkey.

Deep frying a turkey is a very fast method of cooking that is gaining in popularity. The turkey comes out very moist and tasty with dark, crispy skin. If you're interested in buying a turkey deep fryer, there are a few things to consider. Be sure to read the instruction book carefully and follow all safety precautions. Here are step-by-step instructions, with pictures, showing how we deep-fry our turkey.

1. Select your turkey for deep frying. The best weight is between 10 to 20 pounds.

2. Completely thaw turkey before frying. A 20 pound turkey takes about 4 full days to thaw in the refrigerator.

3. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity. Discard or use for giblet gravy or stuffing.

4. Place the turkey in the deep-fryer pot and fill with plain water until the water reaches about 1 inch below the top of the turkey. Remove the turkey and note where the water level reaches. This will be your oil level line. Dry the turkey and the pot.

Saftey Tips:

  • Read the instructions that come with your turkey fryer carefully before use.
  • Locate fryer outside away from roof overhangs.
  • Do not use on a deck, patio or in a garage.
  • Do not fill the pot with oil while it is sitting on the cooking stand.
  • Never leave the pot unattended.

After experimenting with various seasoning rubs, we have found that injecting the turkey with a spicy marinade produces the best results: a very moist and tasty turkey.

1. Injecting the turkey with a marinade sauce makes a very tender and tasty turkey. Injectors and various marinade sauces are available at most grocery stores in the herb and spices aisle (compare prices).

2. Let turkey marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours, overnight for best flavor.

Do NOT leave the turkey on the counter after marinating and do not reuse any leftover marinade.

3. Your turkey deep fryer comes with a turkey stand to insert into the body cavity of the turkey. Place the loop of the stand through the neck of the turkey and exit through the body cavity at the legs. Tie legs together with a piece of string.

1. Use a high-quality cooking oil that has a high (450°F preferably) smoking point, such as canola or peanut oil.

2. Pour oil into the pot, using the water fill line. Attach the thermometer included with your turkey fryer to the top of the pot with the clip.

3. Light the outdoor cooker, beginning with a low flame. Gradually increase the flame until the oil reaches a temperture between 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do NOT leave the cooker unattended. You might have to adjust the temperature control several times to keep the oil at the right temperature, especially if it is windy outside. It will take at least half an hour for the oil to reach the correct temperature.

4. Once the oil has reached the correct temperature (350 degrees for turkeys that are 10-13 pounds, 325 for 14 to 20 pound turkeys) carefully lower the turkey into the boiling oil. Lower the turkey partially, then lift out, and repeat 3 or 4 times. This will help seal in the juices and keep the oil from boiling over. (This can be messy; oil can bubble out a bit. Wear gloves and try to stand back from the cooker.)

1. Once the turkey has been submerged in the hot oil, cook for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes per pound. Fry turkeys that are 10 to 13 pounds for 3 minutes per pound, and for turkeys from 14 to 20 pounds, cook for 3 1/2 minutes per pound. A 10 pound turkey will take about 30 minutes. A 20 pound turkey will require about 1 hour, 10 minutes.

2. Cook until internal temperature reaches between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do NOT use the lid while frying.

3. Once the turkey is fully cooked, wearing heavy gloves, grab the hook of the lifter. Slowly lift out the turkey and let the excess oil drip back into the pot. Place the turkey on a paper towel lined platter.

1. After cooking is complete, let the turkey "rest" for 10 to 20 minutes before carving.

2. Let the oil in the cooker cool completely, about 3 hours. Place the lid over the pot while cooling, if desired.

3. Once the oil is completely cool, you can strain the oil using a cheesecloth. The oil can then be used up to 3 times. (The oil will begin to break down after 3 uses.)

A deep-fried turkey is very dark brown when done.

The skin is crispy and the meat is very moist and not greasy tasting.