How to Deep Fry a Turkey – Tips and Tricks


The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to start collecting ideas and recipes for those festive feasts! For a special treat this Thanksgiving, try deep frying your turkey. If you have not fried a turkey before, small birds work best; try to keep your turkey under 15 pounds. Deep frying a turkey not only keeps the bird extremely moist, but you still have the option to season your bird by using a dry rub or injecting marinade. Frying your turkey is much faster than cooking it in the oven and it’s a good option for those with smaller kitchens because it allows you to maximize your oven space for side dishes. tips for deep frying a turkey

Ingredients and equipment:

  • 1 turkey (12 lb)
  • Turkey Fryer
  • 40-60 quart pot with drain basket
  • 3 gallons peanut or vegetable oil
  • Fuel for fryer
  • Thermometer
  • Optional:  An injector to add marinades to your turkey.

Marinade ideas can vary, depending on the flavor profile of your choice:

Port Wine: Port Wine, garlic juice
Honey Beer: apple cider, honey, ale, garlic juice
Italia: Italian herbs, red wine, olive oil
Cajun: Cajun spices, medium ale, Italian salad dressing

Here are some simple steps to fry your turkey:

  1. Since you will be working with a large amount of flammable oil, choose a level spot outdoors to fry your turkey.
  2. In your quart stockpot, heat peanut oil to 400 degrees F.  The pot should have plenty of room left for the turkey otherwise the oil will spill over.
  3. Start with a room temperature turkey (neck and giblets removed), rinse thoroughly and then pat dry with paper towels. If you are going to inject a marinade go ahead and inject it directly into both sides of the breast, the legs and thighs of the turkey. Another option is to coat your turkey with a dry rub (a basic recipe is 1 cup of salt, ¼ cup black pepper, ¼ cup garlic powder).
  4. Put turkey into drain basket and slowly lower into the hot oil until it covers the turkey.
  5. Maintain the peanut oil at a temperature of 350 degrees F and cook for around 45 minutes (cook time is about 3 to 3.5 minutes per pound).
  6. Carefully remove the basket from the oil. Drain turkey. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh; the internal temperature should be at least 180 degrees F.
  7. Enjoy your deep fried turkey with family and friends


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