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How to Deep Fried a Turkey - Recipe and Photos

Updated on February 2, 2017

Deep Fried Turkey and It's Roots

Deep fried turkey, is a family tradition, not only in the south, where it had its roots but all over the United States. If you plan to deep fry a turkey, in the near future, you will be in be in for a real treat. It is the second favorite way of preparing this poultry, other than baking.

As a northerner with southern roots, I can understand, if you have never had the opportunity to deep fry a turkey. The concept of putting a turkey, in a pot of boiling oil, may be foreign to some, but it is the most delicious, and moist turkey you will ever experience.

It is great not just for Thanksgiving, but for any occasion where friends or family gets together. The important thing is not to be intimidated, by the process. I will show you how to make a delicious deep-fried turkey, even your first time.

Where it all Started

The custom of deep frying turkey started in the south and thought of as a Cajun thing. Justin Wilson, the famous southern cook, recalled the first time he heard of a deep turkey fry, was in the 1930’s in Louisiana. When or wherever it started, it has become an American favorite that unites the North and the South.

Martha Steward is credited for taking the southern dish mainstream in the 90’s by showcasing, deep frying turkey, it in her magazine. Now people who have never fried turkey are making it a part of their family traditions and cook wear needed to fry a turkey can be found in department stores and online stores as well.

Interesting Fact about the Turkey

  • Turkeys have very delicate hearts.
  • As a matter a fact, they can have a heart attack.
  • Entire filed of turkeys have fallen dead because of the sound of an Air force Jet breaking the sound barrier.
  • There are two types of turkeys, wild and domestic. Wild turkey can fly, while domestic turkey have been bread to be flightless.
  • Turkeys can run up to 20 miles per hour.
  • The hanging, loose skin that hangs down on a turkey’s neck is called a wattle.

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is one of the best and recommended oils to use to deep fry a turkey. It is used extensively in Chinese cooking.

Peanut oil is one of the recommended cooking oils, for frying a turkey, because is has a very high smoke rate, which means it can tolerate high temperatures, without smoking up the house! Also, the way it is processed makes it safe for people with peanut allergies.

What you Need to Deep Fry a Turkey

There are a few things you will need to prepared your guest of honor:

  • Turkey
  • Turkey fryer
  • Spice rub
  • Propane tank
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • 5 gallons peanut oil
  • Oil thermometer
  • Meat thermomiter
  • Long cooking gloves
  • Long handle fork

Let's Fry us Some Turkey

Before you deep fry a turkey, make sure to wear a long -sleeve shirt, and protective cooking mitts to protect your skin from oil splatter or pot.

Pour the oil into the pot. Make sure to place the oil thermometer in the pot and turn on the fire. When the oil gets to 350 degrees, it is time to put the turkey in the pot. Slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil, with the lifting fork. It will begin to bubble as the cool bird, meets the oil.

Fry at to 4 minutes per pound for about 45 minutes, at 170 degrees. It is ready when tested at a temperature of 180 degrees for the breast. Remove it from the oil and allow to set and cool down until it is ready to serve. Allow the turkey to set about 20 minutes, before carving, to avoid shredding.

Safety Tips

  • Always have someone present wil heating and cooking the turkey
  • Make sure children and pets away from the cooking area at all times.
  • Allow oil to cool down before handling it, storing or disposing.
  • To prevent samenella contamination, always wash hands, and all areas that have come in contact with the raw turkey. equipment and
  • Turkey should be consumed immediately and leftovers stored in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking.


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    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      nina64, that turkey does look delicious! I think I will send my turkey out to be fried. There are restaurants out there that will fly your turkey for you!

    • nina64 profile image

      nina64 5 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      All I can say is to pass the cranberry sauce!!!!! This turkey looks so yummy. The way that you carved that turkey is making me hungry. I'll be over to your house for Thanksgiving (just kidding)!!!!! Great hub. Voted up and away!!!!! Be blessed.