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How To Deep Fry A Turkey

Updated on August 12, 2011

Fried Turkey

This is a Turkey for any occasion. You don't have to need a holiday before you fry a Turkey. With a few vegetables and rolls on the table, a Fried Turkey makes for a great Tuesday dinner, Sunday dinner, or holiday dinner.

Frying a turkey can be an easy meal for any occasion. Don't tie up the oven with long cooking time for the traditional way of cooking a turkey. Purchase a Turkey Fryer, and it will pay for itself in many ways. If you have not had a moist turkey before, you're missing out.

For a little more than a hour cook time, you could be enjoying a moist and great tasting fried Turkey. Just follow the safety rules, and use common sense, and it should be a slam dunk each time.

Safety is First:

  • Plan ahead.
  • Make sure you locate a safe and level place to cook your turkey
  • Keep away from house, decks, automobiles, gas lines, kids toys, etc., anything flammable. (use common sense)
  • Use proper cooking utensils, such as a Turkey Fryer shown in this article. (The depth of the fryer is important so that oil cannot overflow the top when a turkey is submerged into the hot oil)
  • Make sure the Turkey is completely thawed. A frozen turkey will cause many problems with safety.
  • Make sure the Turkey weight is appropriate for the size and weight that the Fryer recommends.
  • No drinking alcohol while cooking. Wait until you are done if you need to drink.

(The max size for the Fryer in this article is 18 lbs)

Supplies Needed:

It's very important that you have all the proper supplies before you get started.

  • 1 Turkey Fryer: Follow the instructions by the manufacture to assemble your Turkey Fryer.
  • 1 Propane Tank: Have a New propane tank ready, or one that you know is fairly full in fuel. (you do not want to run out of fuel in the middle of your cooking)
  • 3 Gallons of Cooking Oil: You will need 3 gallons of Cooking Oil. I prefer Peanut Oil, but have used standard Vegetable oil also, and you cannot tell the difference in taste. A 3 gallon container can run from $27-$32.
  • 1 Turkey Spice Injection Kit (optional): Some people inject some type of flavoring into the turkey. That’s up to you. Personally, I can’t taste the difference. The Turkey will have a great moist taste from the Peanut Oil alone.
  • Pot Holders or Cooking Mittens (preferred).
  • 1 Thawed Turkey.

Turkey Fryer

Fryer being prepared
Fryer being prepared
Turkey slowly placed in hot peanut oil after the oil reaches 350 degrees
Turkey slowly placed in hot peanut oil after the oil reaches 350 degrees
Turkey frying. 3 minutes per pound, and add another 10-15 minutes at the end.
Turkey frying. 3 minutes per pound, and add another 10-15 minutes at the end.
Turkey done, and slowly pulling turkey out.
Turkey done, and slowly pulling turkey out.
Turkey all done, and hanging for a few minutes to make sure all hot oil has drained from inside turkey.
Turkey all done, and hanging for a few minutes to make sure all hot oil has drained from inside turkey.

Preparing Turkey Fryer:

  1. Once the Turkey Fryer is assembled and placed at a Safe and Level location, The pot is filled with the Cooking Oil (3 gallons).
  2. Place the pot on the Fryer Rack. (Make sure it is level, and sturdy)
  3. Turn On the gas from the propane tank.
  4. Light the Turkey Fryer.
  5. Make sure your turkey fryer has a lid with a tempature gauge. (The oil has to reach 350 degrees before placing the turkey in the pot) The lid should be placed on the pot.
  6. DO NOT leave the Fryer alone while the oil reaches 350 degrees.
  7. It should take 30-40 minutes for the oil to reach 350 degrees.

Cooking the Turkey:

  1. Calculate the time to cook the turkey. (3 minutes per pound plus 10-15 minutes at the end)
    Example for a 16 lb turkey: (16 x 3 = 48minutes + 15 mins = 63 minutes) Total Cook Time 63 minutes. This is a good estimate. I’ve cooked them 20 mins longer, and 10 mins longer. They’ve all turned out perfect.
  2. So, you have your estimated time to cook figured out. The oil has reached 350 degrees.
  3. Place the thawed turkey (butt up) inside the basket that came with the fryer.
  4. Turn OFF the gas at the propane tank. (turning off the hot flame for safety)
  5. Use a pot holder or cooking mitten to remove the lid safely from the fryer.
  6. Use the coat hanger device that came with the Fryer (NOT A COAT HANGER), and hook it to the basket handle.
  7. Slowly lower the turkey into the Hot Oil.
  8. Once the Turkey is completely submerged, place the lid back on the pot.
  9. Turn back on the gas, and re-light the fryer. (make sure no oil has gotten on the pot before re-light)
  10. The tempature on the gauge will drop some, don’t worry about it.
  11. This is a noisy process now that the Turkey is cooking.
  12. DO NOT leave the scene.
  13. Once your cooking time has elapsed, Turn Off the Gas making sure the flame is out.
  14. Open the lid with your cooking mittens, and hook the basket handle again with coat hanger device that came with the fryer. (NOT A REAL COAT HANGER, IT LOOKS LIKE ONE AND IT CAME WITH THE FRYER)
  15. Slowly lift the Turkey. There are some tabs on the basket that you can hang the basket on the side of the Fryer, allowing the oil to completely drain from the turkey.
  16. Wait about 5 minutes and the oil should be all drained out. Lift the basket and turkey completely out of the Fryer, and place on a flat surface.
  17. Remove the Turkey from the basket slowly. It will be stuck a little where the Turkey met the basket. Place the turkey on a platter, and let it set a little. It’s very hot at this point.
  18. When ready, slice the Turkey and enjoy.


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