How to Deep Fry a Turkey

How to deep fry a turkey

This post is intended to teach you how to deep fry a turkey successfully every time. There are some important safety rules to follow because this is can be a dangerous task if you are not paying attention. Many a house has been burned from people deep frying turkeys in closed rooms such as the garage. So, please be careful and read all of the pointers I offer you on how to deep fry a turkey without any disasters.

If you have watched, or are going to watch my How to Deep Fry a Turkey video please note that my husband is cooking this in his bare feet. This is an absolute NO-NO! Please wear shoes when doing this as you could end up with horrible oil burns on your feet. Keep in mind that this is not child’s play. You really do need to be diligent about following all these safety pointers. If you do you will end up with perhaps the most delicious turkey you have ever tasted in your life.

As far as I am concerned, deep fried turkey is the best way to eat this bird. Deep fried turkey is amazingly tender and, contrary to what one might imagine, not greasy at all. It cooks very quickly, at 3 minutes per pound plus an extra 5 minutes for added crispiness, at 350 degrees. This is absolutely worth it as you will end up with crackling skin over your meat.

The hot oil seals all the juices inside and renders a very tender and juicy meat. We cooked a 13 pound bird and it was ready in 44 minutes. We always let the cooked bird rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving it. This allows all the juices to settle.

Although I have brined turkeys before for deep frying I rubbed this bird generously with garlic salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. I can promise you that the results were phenomenal!

A few VERY IMPORTANT safety tips when it comes to frying a turkey:

1. Always work in a well vented area. Stay away from garages or closed rooms. Work outside placing your equipment away from walls.
2. Always work with a completely thawed bird. You never want to place a half thawed turkey into vat of extremely hot oil. It will burst out and burn you.
3. Use the proper equipment – large enough pot, strong gloves to protect your hands and metal hooks to place and remove the turkey from the pot.
4. In order to measure the proper amount of oil for your pot, place the unwrapped turkey – standing – into the pot and fill it with water. Place enough water to cover the turkey, adding an extra inch. Take the turkey out of the pot and mark the space between the edge of the water and the edge of the pot. Empty the pot and dry it very well. Add the oil up to the marked area.
5. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Make sure your thermometer works correctly! Place the turkey into the hot oil VERY slowly – this could take up to 90 seconds! Never drop it into the hot oil!
6. Do not use a lid when frying, EVER.
7. Stay next to your fryer. Never leave it unattended. You must monitor that the temperature remain at 350 degrees at all times and – more importantly- you DO NOT want anyone to get hurt or burned with the very hot oil or fryer. When you place the turkey into the hot oil the temperature will be reduced a bit. Increase your heat and return it to 350 degrees. This will take a few minutes.
8. Make sure to remove the grab hook from the the rack once the turkey is completely immersed in the hot oil.
9. Let the oil cool for 2 hours before you start cleaning up!

Just follow these common sense steps and you are on your way to enjoy a delicious little feast! Check out this video with step-by-step instructions on how to go through with this process.

You will need to rinse your turkey and pat dry it thoroughly. Make a rub of 3/4 cup garlic salt, 1/2 cup black pepper, 1/4 cup paprika and 2 tablespoons cayenne. Rub the bird generously, inside and out, and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Voila! You are ready to cook!

Print the Deep Fried Turkey Recipe Here

Although this is a law firm, these people have great information on Turkey Deep Frying safety. Their article is chock full of do’s and don’ts which you might find interesting. It also might save you some unwanted distress.Thank you Console and Holloway for sending this to us.

As stated on the attached website by Console and Hollawell, PC, “The dangers are so great that some safety organizations actually discourage amateurs from ever frying a turkey. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “continues to believe that turkey fryers that use oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for acceptably safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.” Despite changes in the design of turkey fryers that do address specific safety concerns, NFPA goes so far as to dismiss the idea “that consumer education alone can make the risks of either type of turkey fryer acceptably low.” If you intend to deep fry a turkey despite these warnings, read the precautions and visit their website for further safety techniques before attempting.

My name is Mary Ann Allen and I am here to help you get organized so you can save money on groceries and feed your family healthy, nutritious food. My multi-cultural cooking background comes from being born in the US and raised in Bolivia. I have 5 kids and own around 400 cook books. I absolutely love to cook!


  • […] out this step-by-step video on how to successfully deep fry a […]

  • November 12, 2011

    Bonnie Kleinpeter

    I was on your website looking at fried turkeys. I was wondering if you inject your turkeys before frying and what kind of instrument you use to inject them.

    I have an online retail site and Offer Charlie’s Marinade Injector you should take a look at.

    That’s in. No hard sell, No mass mail outs. Just something I think you will be interested in. Here is a link I that will show it in use in the preparing a whole hog for roasting. They were not paid to do this.

    I hope to hear back from you

    Bonnie Kleinpeter

  • January 5, 2012


    I have learn several excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you put to make such a wonderful informative site.

  • January 5, 2012


    Hi Cas!
    I am so happy you found value here! Thank you very much for coming by! Happy 2012!
    Mary Ann

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