Turkey Questions

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

Try frying turkey instead of baking it.
Try frying turkey instead of baking it.
©Janusz Hylinski

Tired of cooking the turkey in an oven? Here are some general instructions from the National Turkey Federation on how to deep fry a turkey:

  • Set up a fryer outside on a level dirt or grassy area. The fryer should consist of a 10- to 15-gallon pot with a basket and a burner powered by propane gas. Heat 5 gallons of peanut, canola, or sunflower oil in the pot for an 8- to 10-lb bird; more for a larger bird. Use enough to cover the bird with about 2 in. of oil.
  • Heat the oil to 350°F. This takes 45 minutes to one hour. Inject the turkey with a marinade, or rub the turkey under the skin with seasonings. Do not stuff the turkey.
  • Place the turkey in the basket, and lower it into the hot oil. Cook a whole turkey about 3 minutes per pound, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh reaches 180°F and in the breast 170°F. Cook turkey parts about 4 to 5 minutes per pound or until the meat comes to the correct temperature.
  • Remove turkey, drain well, and serve. Remember also to let the turkey cool a little bit before digging into it for carving and for eating. Most recipes will suggest letting the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes to half an hour before serving.

Some additional words of caution: Wear long-sleeved clothing, long pants, and protective eyewear. Pull your hair back. Keep people -- especially kids -- and pets away from the cooking area. Have a fire extinguisher and potholders at the ready. Never fry indoors, on a wooden deck, or on a concrete driveway or patio. Never leave the hot oil unattended. Tired of traditional turkey recipes? Get inspired for new spins on turkey with these sites: