ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Fry a Turkey the Southern Way

Updated on October 11, 2011

How to fry a turkey

Frying a turkey is one of the best things you can do for a holiday meal. In fact, fried turkey is a wonderful treat any time of year. You don't need a special occasion for fried turkey. At our house, the fried turkey, or fried turkeys, are everyone's favorite things on the Thanksgiving table! They're picked clean, with no leftovers to worry about. How to fry a turkey? Read below!

Baked turkey is great, smoked turkey is amazingly wonderful, but deep-fried turkey is super-dooper delicious! I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but when we take one out of the fry pot and bring it into the kitchen, all the kids and grandkids attack it like it's a gazelle corpse and they're hungry hyenas. They don't even want to wait for it to cool - they'll chance second-degree burns just to grab a piece of the tantalizingly tasty bird. In fact, we have to cook two birds so that one will make it to the Thanksgiving table.

Why are deep fried turkey and Cajun fried turkey so good?

You know, here in the South, we deep fry a lot of stuff, and turkey is no exception. Deep fried turkey is awesome. It always turns out tender and moist. There's no need to brine a bird intended for turkey frying, either. Actually, little preparation is required. As a result, Southern fried turkey or Cajun fried turkey is almost a no-fail cooking method.

People who haven't eaten Southern fried turkey always ask me if the fried turkey is greasy. Fried turkey isn't greasy - it's just incredibly juicy and flavorful. The skin that always turns out rubbery on baked and smoked turkeys becomes a crunchy, yummy treat in and of itself on a Southern fried turkey or on a Cajun fried turkey. Once you learn how to fry a turkey and try the resulting fried turkey, that's how you'll always want your big bird prepared.

Frying a turkey isn't difficult, but there are some important steps you must take:

Turkey frying tips

* Buy the right size turkey. Your turkey fryer will tell you which size will work with your fryer. Most turkey fryers will cook birds from 12-14 pounds, but check to make sure.

* Once your turkey has thawed, place it in the turkey fryer pot and add cool water until the bird is covered by two inches of water. Remove the turkey and mark the water line in the turkey fryer. This way you'll know how much oil you'll need. Use peanut oil. It has a high flash point and gives the fried turkey a wonderful flavor.

* Make sure your propane tank is full and check any hoses and attachments. You don't want your fried turkey to be half-cooked. You don't want to have to stop frying halfway through and make a trip to the store for another tank, either.

* Place the cooker on cement or brick, away from any flammable materials. If you're cooking on a windy day, make sure you provide some sort of wind break. Every holiday season, a few cooks attempt to fry a turkey on their wooden deck. Bad idea!

* Have a fire extenguisher nearby. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

How to fry a turkey

* Fill the cooker with the proper amount of oil and place the thermometer in the oil, attached to the side of the cooker. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Have someone stay with the cooker as the oil heats. This will take about 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of your turkey frying pot.

* While your partner stays with the turkey fryer, go inside and remove the turkey from the refrigerator. It needs to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before it takes its hot oil bath. This gives you time to season the bird. You might want to use an injectable marinade. If you do, I suggest a large plastic injector. You can also rub the bird with Cajun spices for a Cajun fried turkey. For a Southern fried turkey, use garlic salt, black pepper, rosemary, red pepper, lemon pepper, and/or onion powder. Make sure the turkey is dry before seasoning, and be sure to season both the outside of the bird and the cavity. The turkey should be completely dry on the outside before it becomes a fried turkey.

* Place the bird in the basket, upside down, and using the handle that came with your cooker, s l o w l y lower the gobbler into the oil. Use gloves - the hot oil will hiss and spit a bit. Remove the handle and begin timing. Most cookers recommend 3 minutes of cooking time per pound, but we always cook ours for 3.5 minutes per pound. We like our fried turkey extra crispy!

* When the time is up, carefully remove the bird and place it on several layers of paper towels to drain. Let the fried turkey stand for about 20 minutes before carving - IF you can keep your guests away from it that long! For an extra treat, you might want to place some sliced sweet potatoes in the oil once the fried turkey comes out. They're great with the turkey! Yes, they're good with Cajun fried turkey, too.

When the turkey is done, immediately turn off the burner, unless you're cooking a second bird (which I highly recommend). Once the oil has cooled completely, use a funnel and a strainer and pour it into gallon jugs or back into the original oil containers for future use. Oil is expensive, so you want to take care of it. Store it in a cool dark place for best results.

A turkey fryer is a must-have for anyone who enjoys outdoor cooking. It can be used to fry fish, shrimp, and chicken and can also be used for boiling shrimp, crabs, ears of corn, and good ol' Southern boiled peanuts. You'll find all kinds of uses for the fryer, and they also make great gifts. Check out the great buys on turkey fryers below!

The turkey fryer: worth its weight in gold!
The turkey fryer: worth its weight in gold!
Our fried turkey is awesome!!
Our fried turkey is awesome!!

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)