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Deep Fry a Turkey

Updated on October 30, 2012

It's Thanksgiving time and everyone is talking about how they are going to prepare their turkeys. Everyone has their own method of cooking a turkey, whether it's a method they came up with on their own or one that has been passed down through the generations. But it's nice to do something a little bit different if you get the chance. One thing that most people don't do is deep fry their turkey.

Deep fried turkey?!

If you haven't tried it, deep fried turkey sounds a little bit ... is gross too strong of a word? But if you've tasted it, you know that just like everything else that's deep fried, deep fried turkey is delicious. If you're looking to do a little bit of something different this Thanksgiving (or at any time of the year really), deep fried turkey might be the way to go.

The first thing that you'll need to do is make sure that you live somewhere that will let you cook outside. Although some people try to deep fry a turkey on their stove, it's better not to do this job indoors. It's too messy and not particularly safe. So plan on cooking in a yard or on an open balcony instead. If you live in an apartment or a place where it's just too cold to cook outside, you'll probably want to forego the deep fried turkey this year and plan on making it a treat some other time.

If you can get outside, you'll need some basic equipment for cooking the turkey. Primarily, you'll need a pot that's large enough to hold the turkey as well as the oil that the turkey will be immersed in. Aim for at least a 50 quart pot if you can get your hands on one. You'll also need something to cook on, of course. A propane gas tank with a burner attached is probably the best way to go. As far as the food goes, you'll need the turkey and a whole lot of oil.

Once you have your outdoor spot and your materials together, you'll be ready to prepare the turkey. Here's how to do it:

o Fill the pot with enough oil to cover the turkey well.

o Heat the oil to at least 325 degrees (use a basic cooking thermometer to check the temperature).

o While waiting for the oil to heat up, you can prepare your turkey in whatever fashion and with whatever seasons you desire.

o Immerse the prepared turkey in the oil. You'll do this by lowering it down with a cooking basket. Make sure that you are careful since the oil is hot.

o Let it cook. The turkey will fry itself in the oil without much help from you. It should take approximately 30 - 45 minutes to cook.

o Remove the cooked turkey, drain the excess oil and get ready to eat.

Deep fried turkey is a unique dish that takes a familiar favorite food and puts a bit of a twist on it. This makes it a perfect treat for Thanksgiving, adding something new to the old traditions. Compliment it with some Southern foods and other deep fried items and you've got yourself a meal!


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  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I fill the pot with H2o and dunk the turkey in it first, just to see how much oil I need. Second I dry the pot and Mr. Turkey himself. Third I fill the pot with peanut oil and pre heat to 350. Once at 350, I shut the flame off and skinny dip the turkey ( about 3-4 Dunks)after a few bubbles an some loud cracks. Finally, I turn the flame back on. 3.5 min per lb

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Wow. You probably should have mentioned that you need to make sure the oil/turkey doesn't catch fire. If you just let it "cook itself" on a propane stove as you suggest, I think after 30+ minutes you will end up with a significant fireball in the back yard...

  • profile image

    Mark Hansen 

    10 years ago

    Great post Kathryn!! I learned enough to write my own as well. Thank you.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 

    10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Some friends usually deep-fry a turkey on the 4th of July, as a change from the usual hot dogs and hamburgers. For those who haven't tasted turkey cooked this way, you're missing a GREAT treat!


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