How to Cook Fried Turkey


Deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey is a treat that has grown significantly in popularity in recent years. Utilizing a turkey deep-fryer outside, this unique turkey-cooking method produces delicious results and really cuts down on cooking time in comparison with a traditional oven-roasted turkey. The results produce a turkey that has a perfectly-crisp, golden-brown skin that looks beautiful on any Thanksgiving dinner table.

Things You'll Need

  • Thawed turkey, giblets and neck removed
  • Turkey deep-fryer with full propane tank and lowering hook
  • Deep fat thermometer
  • Long-handled lighter or match
  • Enough peanut oil for frying
  • Large baking sheet
  • Heat-proof gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Fire extinguisher

Prepping Your Fryer

  • Gather your fryer and necessary equipment and place the fryer outside at least ten feet away from foliage or other structures.

    The fryer should sit on concrete or pavement, not a wooden deck or in the grass.

  • Fill the fryer with the amount of peanut oil necessary for your turkey size. recommends placing the turkey, while still frozen and wrapped in plastic, in the fryer a few days ahead of time, then filling the fryer with water to determine the amount of oil necessary for frying the bird. The thermometer should remain stationery on the side of the fryer, submerged in about one inch of oil.

  • Check the connections and hoses that are attached to the fryer and make sure they are intact. Upon verification, have one person hold a long-handled lighter or match over the burner, being careful to keep his face clear of the burner. A second person should then slowly release the valve on the propane tank until the burner ignites.

    Adjust the flame until it is blue and low. Let the oil heat to 350 degrees. It will take approximately 40 minutes to heat the oil to the correct temperature.

Frying the Turkey

  • Place the turkey upside-down with legs facing up in the frying rack that accompanied your fryer. Let the turkey sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before frying it.

  • Put on the heat-proof gloves and goggles and use the lowering hook to very, very, slowly lower the turkey into the oil. It will take about a minute-and-a-half to lower the turkey into the oil safely.

    You can expect the oil to bubble and gurgle very loudly. This is normal, and is a big part of the reason why the turkey must be lowered very slowly into the frying chamber.

  • Remove the lowering hook and fry the turkey for three minutes per pound, or until the thigh reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees.

    Set the baking sheet on the ground next to the fryer.

  • Put the gloves and goggles back on and slowly remove the turkey from the oil. Hold it above the fryer so that residual oil can drip away.

    Place the turkey onto the baking sheet on the ground.

  • Close the propane tank valve and then the fryer regulator valve. Let the turkey stand for 15 minutes before serving.

    Let the hot oil cool before attempting to move it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the fire extinguisher on-hand in case of accidental fire.
  • There is no need to fill the oil to the "maximum fill line" on the fryer. The turkey should be submerged only according to your fryer's manufacturer directions.

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