How do I deep fry a turkey?

How do I go about deep frying a turkey? I want to try it this year so I have to know everything about it to convince the family back home to let me do it.

Are you a Turkey Fry Cook expert? I really need the Emeril of Fry Cooks here.

Answer #1

First let me be CLEAR to tell you to keep the fryer AWAY from the house ! it CAN and WILL cause a house fire, as oil that hot WILL melt siding. It’s not fun for you OR the fire dept to show up on thanksgiving !

You Will Need In addition to a turkey, you’ll need a 40 or 60 quart pot with basket or turkey frying hardware, plus a propane gas tank and burner, a candy/deep fry thermometer, a meat thermometer and lots of oil. Use oils that have a high smoke point, such as corn, peanut or canola oils.

You should also keep a fire extinguisher and plenty of heavy duty pot holders nearby. An injector to add marinades and seasonings to the meat is also good to have, although you can make a plain turkey without it.

As far as the turkey itself goes, smaller birds work better for frying. Try not to go over 15 pounds.

For the most flavorful birds, Before cooking you can inject the turkey with your favorite marinade and/or rub it with a dry spice rub. You will also need about 3 1/2 - 5 gallons of oil in which to fry the turkey.

Where to Fry Because so much oil is flammable, you should never fry a turkey indoors. Place the fryer, outdoors, on a level dirt or grassy area. Avoid frying on wood decks, which could catch fire. You will also want to avoid concrete surfaces, unless you don’t mind oil stains. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Before You Fry Before beginning, (and before you even season or marinate your turkey) determine the amount of oil you’ll need by placing the turkey in the basket (or on the hanger, depending on the type of fryer you are using) and putting this in the pot. Add water until it reaches about two inches above the turkey. Remove the turkey and note the water level by using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Remove the water and thoroughly dry the pot.

How to Fry

cajun fried turkeyfried turkey

Using the candy thermometer to determine temperature, heat the oil to about 325°F and no higher than 350°F. This usually takes between 20 to 30 minutes. Once the oil is hot enough, place the turkey in the basket or on the turkey hanger (follow instructions that came with your turkey frying kit) and slowly lower it into the pot.

fried turkey

With whole turkeys, you can estimate on about three minutes per pound to cook. Remove turkey and check the temperature with meat thermometer. The temperature should reach 170° F. in the breast and 180° F. in the thigh.

Using an Injector to Marinade Your Turkey

An injector, which resembles a large hypodermic needle, allows you to inject a marniade directly into the meat. While you can make a fried turkey without this step and get a moist bird, it won’t be as flavorful as if you take the time to inject your bird with marinade about an half hour or so before frying.

There are many kinds of injector kits available for sale.

Fill your syringe with marinade and inject it into both sides of the breast, the legs and the thighs of the turkey. Don’t be afiraid to move the needle around to get the marinade into the whole bird. Sometimes it’s easier to get the thighs from the inside of the cavity.

Injector Marinades

There are a plethora of commercial jarred injectable marinades available at the supermarket or gourmet shops, but why buy something that’s so easy to make yourself?

Again, there a TONS of injectable marinades available,but it’s easy to come up with your own too. Just remember, the injector needles are small so you must use ingredients that dissolve or that are pureed so finely they won’t clog the needle. As such, garlic and onion powder work better than their fresh counterparts. Also look for concentrated liquid spices in gourmet shops or like those sold by Watkins . Watkins also makes an incredible barbecue sauce concentrate. These potent sauce concentrates make great flavor bases for barbecue flavored fried turkeys and they are always a huge hit with crowds.

And There you go !

Answer #2


CPSC staff recommends consumers who choose to fry turkeys follow the following safety guidelines:

  • Keep fryer in FULL VIEW while burner is on.

  • Place fryer in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures.

  • Never use IN, ON, or UNDER a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.

  • Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter and avoid burns.

  • COVER bare skin when adding or removing food.

  • Check the oil temperature frequently.

  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.

  • If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water.

  • Make sure there is at least 2 feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner.

  • Place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any wind blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.

  • Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.

  • Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add. If those are not available:

o Place turkey in pot o Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water o Remove and dry turkey o Mark water level. Dump water, dry the pot, and fill with oil to the marked level.

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