How To Deep Fry A Turkey?

If you are looking to add a few extra flavors to your Thanksgiving feast, why not try deep frying your turkey? It’s a classic dish that never fails to impress. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps on how to deep fry a turkey safely and correctly. So pull out your fryer, and let’s get started!

What you’ll need –

To deep fry a turkey, you’ll need:

  • A turkey (obviously)
  • Peanut oil or frying oil
  • A turkey fryer
  • A meat thermometer
  • An injector (optional)

How To Thaw A Frozen Turkey?

Before you can start deep frying your turkey, you need to make sure it’s thawed properly. Let’s go the different ways you can thaw a frozen turkey.

1. The Refrigerator Method

The best way to thaw a frozen turkey is by letting it thaw slowly in the refrigerator. This method can take up to 4-5 days, so make sure you plan ahead. Simply place your frozen turkey in the fridge and let it thaw until it’s completely defrosted. When you’re in a hurry, you can also use the cold water method (explained below) to speed up the process.

2. The Cold Water Method

If you’re short on time, you can use the cold water method to thaw your turkey. This method is quicker than the refrigerator method, but it requires more effort on your part.

To thaw a turkey using this method, simply place your frozen turkey in a large container of cold water. Change the water in every 30 minutes to keep it cold. It should take about 2 hours for a small turkey and 4 hours for a large turkey to thaw using this method.

3. The Microwave Method

You can also thaw your turkey in the microwave, but I don’t recommend this method as it can dry out your turkey. If you select to thaw your turkey in the microwave, make sure to cook it immediately afterward.

How To Deep Fry A Turkey?

Deep frying a turkey is relatively simple, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind to do it safely. When you’re ready to start, follow these steps:

1. Prepare The Turkey

The first step is to make your turkey for frying. Start by removing the giblets and neck from inside the cavity of the turkey. You can either throw these away or save them to make gravy later.

Next, pat the outside of the turkey dry with paper towels. It will help the skin crisp up when it’s fried. Also, make sure to remove any excess fat from the turkey, as this can cause the oil to splatter when it’s frying.

2. Season The Turkey

Once the turkey is dry, it’s time to season it. You can use any type of seasoning you like, but I recommend a simple rub of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Just make sure to season the inside of the cavity as well as the outside of the turkey. If you want, you can also inject the turkey with a marinade. This is completely optional, but it will add even more flavor to your turkey.

3. Fill The Fryer

Next, you need to fill your turkey fryer with oil. The amount of oil you’ll need will depend on the size of your fryer and turkey. A good rule of thumb is to fill the fryer halfway with oil. Once you’ve added the oil, heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For safety reasons, it’s important to use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the oil.

4. Lower The Turkey

Once the oil is heated, this is time to lower the turkey into the fryer. Make sure to do this slowly and carefully to avoid hot oil splattering everywhere.

If you’re using a turkey waterier, you can attach it to the turkey before lowering it into the fryer. It will keep the turkey from sticking to the bottom of the fryer. And if you’re using an injector, now is the time to inject the turkey with your marinade.

5. Fry The Turkey

Once the turkey is in the fryer, let it cook for 3-5 minutes per pound. Keep an eye on this while it is frying, and makes sure the oil doesn’t start boiling over. If it does, turn down the heat slightly.

You’ll also want to check the internal temperature of the turkey periodically to make sure it’s cooking evenly. Is turkey done at 165 or 180 degrees? The great debate is still on the go but I suggest the internal temperature should be between 165-180 degrees Fahrenheit. While you’re frying the turkey, you can also baste it with some of the hot oil to help crisp up the skin.

6. Remove The Turkey

Once the turkey is cooked, carefully release it from the fryer and place it on a rack or paper towels to drain. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. In the meantime, you can use the turkey fryer to make some delicious gravy. Just add some flour and chicken stock to the hot oil and stir until it’s thickened.

7. Make Gravy

While the turkey is relaxing, you can use the drippings to make gravy. Simply pour the drippings into a saucepan and whisk in some flour or cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until thickened, and enjoy!

8. Carve The Turkey

After the turkey has rested, it’s time to carve it. Start by removing the legs and thighs. Then, carve the breast meat into thin slices. Serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy! If you have leftovers, they will store in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.

9. Let The Oil Cool

Once you’re done frying the turkey, let the oil cool completely before disposing of it. You can either pour it into a container or leave it in the fryer to reuse later.

Some people like to strain the oil to remove any bits of turkey before storing it, but this isn’t necessary. Just make sure to label the oil, so you know it’s been used for frying. And be sure to dispose of it properly when you’re done.

10. Clean The Fryer

Last but not least, don’t forget to clean your turkey fryer. It is especially important if you are planning on storing it for future use. Simply remove any food particles from the inside of the fryer and then wash it with soap and water. Dry it thoroughly before storing.

And there you have it! Now you know how to deep fry a turkey like a pro. Just remember to be careful with hot oil, and you’ll be just fine. Also, I recommend you to gather some information on how to smoke a turkey on a grill. You can be a step ahead in the field of grilling.

How Long To Cook A Turkey?

The cook time for a deep-fried turkey will vary depending on the size of your turkey. But don’t worry; it’s easy to figure out. Below I’ve provided a handy cook time chart to help you out.

Turkey Size – Cooking Time

·         Up to 10 pounds- 30 minutes

·         10-20 pounds- 3-5 minutes per pound

·         20-30 pounds- 4-5 minutes per pound

·         30-40 pounds- 5 minutes per pound

Now you know how to deep fry a turkey; it’s time to get cooking! Just follow the steps above, and you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family.

Tips For Keeping Your Kitchen Clean While Frying A Turkey!

It’s inevitable that your kitchen is going to get a little messy when you’re frying a turkey. But there are a few things you can do to help keep the mess to a minimum. Follow the tips below, and you’ll be sure to have a clean kitchen in no time.

1. Cover Your Countertops.

Place some old newspapers or a drop cloth over your countertops before you start cooking. This will protect them from any oil splatters. You can also line your sink with a few paper towels to catch any drips.

2. Place The Turkey Fryer On A Stable Surface.

Make sure to place your turkey fryer on a sturdy table or countertop. If you don’t want it tipping over and spilling hot oil everywhere.

3. Wear Protective Clothing.

Wear long sleeves and pants to save your skin from the hot oil. And be sure to tie back any loose hair.

4. Use Caution When Handling Hot Oil.

Be very careful when you’re dealing with hot oil. It can easily cause burns if you’re not careful. For extra safety, you can use a pair of long tongs to handle the turkey.

5. Keep A Fire Extinguisher Nearby.

Just in case, ensure to have a fire extinguisher close by while you’re cooking. With all that hot oil, there’s always a slight risk of a fire. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.

6. Don’t Leave The Kitchen Unattended.

It’s important to stay in the kitchen while the turkey is frying. This way, you can keep an eye on it and make sure everything is going according to plan.

7. Let The Oil Cool Before Disposing Of It.

Once you’re done frying the turkey, let the oil cool completely before disposing of it. You don’t want to pour hot oil down the drain.

8. Clean Up As You Go.

Throughout the cooking process, take a few minutes here and there to clean up any spills or messes. This will enable to keep your kitchen clean and tidy.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have a clean kitchen in no time. And your friends and family will be impressed by your deep-fried turkey. Go ahead, and then try it!


If you are looking for a delicious and unique Thanksgiving dish, deep frying a turkey is the perfect option. By following all the steps, you can create a mouth-watering main course that will be the star of your holiday feast. So what are you waiting for? Get frying and stay with GrillCharms!

John Rinder
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