Deep Fried Turkey Recipe: Fry Turkey Like a Pro

Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and for many people, that means preparing the perfect turkey. While there are many ways to cook a turkey, one method that has been gaining popularity in recent years is deep frying. Not only does it result in a juicy and flavorful bird, but it’s also a fun way to switch things up and impress your guests.

In this article, we’ll introduce our deep fried turkey recipe and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fry turkey like a pro. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a first-time fryer, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure a successful cooking experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Deep fried turkey is a popular and flavorful cooking method that can elevate your Thanksgiving game.
  • Our article will provide a detailed deep fried turkey recipe and step-by-step instructions for preparing and frying the turkey.
  • Proper safety measures, equipment, and preparation are key to successfully deep frying a turkey.
  • Additional tips and troubleshooting advice will be provided to ensure the best possible outcome.
  • Cleaning and maintenance are essential for prolonging the life of your turkey fryer and ensuring its usability for future cooking endeavors.

Why Deep Fried Turkey?

Deep fried turkey has become a popular cooking method for a variety of reasons. One of the most significant benefits is the flavor. When using a turkey fryer, the turkey cooks in hot oil, allowing the meat to absorb the flavors and stay juicy, resulting in a delicious and memorable meal. Additionally, the skin of the turkey becomes crispy, providing a satisfying texture to complement the juicy meat.

Another reason why deep fried turkey is a great choice is because of the turkey fryer itself. The fryer provides a safe and efficient way to cook a large bird, as opposed to using the oven, which can result in uneven cooking and dried-out meat. The turkey fryer ensures that the bird is cooked evenly throughout, leaving the meat moist and flavorful.

“Deep fried turkey has become a staple at our family Thanksgiving dinner. The crispy skin and juicy meat are unbeatable, and the turkey fryer makes the cooking process easy and stress-free.” – John, satisfied customer

Overall, deep fried turkey is a great choice for those looking to impress their guests with a delicious and unique Thanksgiving meal. The combination of juicy meat and crispy skin, achieved with the help of a turkey fryer, is sure to make for a memorable dining experience.

Essential Equipment for Deep Frying Turkey

Deep frying a turkey requires specific equipment to ensure a safe and successful cooking experience. Here are the essential items you will need:

Turkey FryerA specialized cooking appliance designed for deep-frying turkeys.
Quality OilChoose high smoke point oils, such as peanut or canola oil, that can withstand the high temperatures required for frying.
ThermometerA cooking thermometer is necessary to monitor the temperature of the oil and ensure that it stays within the safe range.
Safety EquipmentProper safety gear is essential to prevent accidents. You should have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency and wear protective gloves to handle the hot fryer and oil.

Before you begin, make sure to carefully review the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific turkey fryer. It’s important to also consider the size of the turkey and the amount of oil needed.

Safety First

When deep frying turkey, safety is paramount. Here are some tips to ensure a safe experience:

  • Set up the fryer outdoors on a flat surface away from any structures or flammable materials.
  • Ensure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before placing it in the hot oil to avoid splatters and flare-ups.
  • Never overfill the fryer with oil, as it can spill over and ignite.
  • Always monitor the temperature of the oil and never exceed the recommended temperature.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.

By following these guidelines and having the right equipment, you can safely and successfully deep fry your turkey.

Preparing the Turkey

Before deep frying the turkey, it’s important to properly prepare it to ensure maximum flavor and moisture. Here are some tips on how to do it:

Marinade, Rub, or Brine?

Marinading the turkey is an excellent way to enhance the flavor and moisture. A good marinade can include herbs, spices, and even citrus or vinegar. Rubbing seasoning on the turkey will create a crispy skin that’s full of flavor. Alternatively, brining the turkey will add moisture to the meat, making it tender and juicy.

Cooking Time and Temperature

When preparing the turkey, it’s crucial to consider the cooking time and temperature. The internal temperature of the turkey should reach 165°F for safe consumption. The cooking time can vary depending on the size of the turkey and the heat of the fryer. As a general rule, it’s recommended to fry the turkey for around 3-4 minutes per pound.

Moisture is Key

To keep the turkey moist throughout the frying process, bring it to room temperature before frying. This will help the turkey cook more evenly and retain moisture. Also, be sure to pat the turkey dry with paper towels before frying to remove any excess moisture.

Setting Up the Fryer

Before you start deep frying your turkey, it’s crucial to set up your turkey fryer correctly. Follow these essential steps to ensure a safe and successful cooking experience:

  1. Finding the Right Location: Choose a flat and well-ventilated outdoor space that’s far from any flammable materials or structures. Avoid setting up the fryer on wooden decks or indoors as it can lead to potential fire hazards.
  2. Assembling the Fryer: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble your turkey fryer and ensure every part is securely in place.
  3. Adding the Oil: Fill the fryer with the right amount of oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Use a dry measuring cup and leave enough space at the top for the turkey to be safely lowered in.
  4. Setting the Temperature: Use a thermometer to check the oil temperature and adjust the heat source accordingly. Most recipes suggest heating the oil to 350°F (175°C). Keep monitoring the oil temperature throughout the cooking process.
  5. Checking the Propane Tank: Ensure the propane tank is securely connected to the fryer regulator and valve. Check for any leaks by applying soapy water to the connections and look for bubbles.
  6. Positioning the Fryer Basket: Attach the fryer basket to the hook and slowly and carefully lower it into the oil. Avoid the temptation to overcrowd the basket with multiple turkeys, which can impact the cooking time and temperature.
  7. Being Prepared with Safety Tips: Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, wear protective clothing such as oven mitts and goggles, and avoid placing frozen or wet turkeys into the hot oil.

By following these simple steps and taking extra safety measures, you can confidently deep fry your turkey to perfection. Now that you know how to set up your fryer, let’s move on to the next crucial step: preparing the turkey!

The Deep Frying Process

Once the turkey is prepared, it’s time to move on to the deep frying process. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Fill the fryer with the recommended amount of oil. Use the fryer basket to determine the correct level. Using too much oil can be dangerous, and not using enough can result in uneven cooking.
  2. Preheat the oil to the recommended temperature for deep frying. This is typically 375°F (190°C), but check the manual for your specific fryer.
  3. Carefully lower the turkey into the fryer basket, breast side up. Make sure the turkey is fully submerged in the oil.
  4. Start the cooking timer based on the turkey’s weight. Generally, it’s recommended to cook the turkey for 3-4 minutes per pound.
  5. Monitor the temperature of the oil throughout the cooking process. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the proper temperature.
  6. After the cooking time is complete, carefully remove the turkey from the fryer using the basket. Let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.

Using the fryer basket is essential for safety and ease of use. It allows you to easily lower the turkey into the oil and remove it once cooking is complete. Additionally, monitoring the cooking time and temperature is crucial for achieving a perfectly cooked, juicy bird with crispy skin. Don’t forget to have a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.

Safety Measures for Deep Frying Turkey

Deep frying turkey can be a fun and delicious cooking experience, but it’s important to prioritize safety to avoid accidents. Here are some essential safety measures to keep in mind when using a turkey fryer:

Turkey Fryer Safety

  • Always use the turkey fryer outdoors, away from any structures or flammable materials.
  • Make sure the fryer is on a level surface to avoid it tipping over.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended while it’s in use.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.

Fire Extinguisher

It’s important to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an emergency.

  • Make sure the fire extinguisher is within reach and in good working condition.
  • Know how to use the fire extinguisher before starting to deep fry the turkey.
  • If a fire occurs, turn off the fryer and use the fire extinguisher immediately.

Room Temperature Turkey

Before deep frying the turkey, make sure it’s at room temperature to avoid hot oil splatters and potential hazards.

Hot Oil Safety Tips

  • Use quality oil with a high smoke point to avoid it burning.
  • Heat up the oil slowly and gradually to the desired temperature.
  • Don’t overfill the fryer with oil to avoid spillage.
  • Use protective gear, such as oven mitts and goggles, to avoid getting burned.

By keeping these safety measures in mind, you can enjoy a tasty and safe deep fried turkey cooking experience.

Tips for Flavorful Deep Fried Turkey

Deep fried turkey is a delicious and unique way to prepare your Thanksgiving bird. To ensure it’s as flavorful as possible, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

Monitoring Internal Temperature

The internal temperature of your deep fried turkey is crucial to ensuring a juicy and flavorful finished product. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the temperature reaches a minimum of 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the meat.

Using a Delicious Rub

Creating a flavorful rub is an easy way to add depth to your deep fried turkey. Combine aromatic spices such as paprika, garlic, thyme, and cumin to make a mouth-watering rub.

Pro Tip: Rub the turkey under and over the skin for maximum flavor penetration.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

When it comes to deep frying turkey, quality ingredients are key. Look for a fresh, free-range turkey to ensure the best texture and taste. Additionally, using a high-quality oil will contribute to a delicious and crispy skin.

Brining for Moisture

Brining your turkey before deep frying can help keep it moist. Create a brine solution using salt, sugar, and aromatics such as rosemary and bay leaves, and let the turkey soak for at least 12 hours for maximum flavor and moisture retention.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to create a flavorful and delicious deep fried turkey that your loved ones will rave about for years to come.

Alternative Deep Fried Turkey Options

While our deep fried turkey recipe is sure to impress, there are alternative options for those looking to mix things up. Here are some ideas:

Smoked Turkey

Smoking a turkey can provide a unique and delicious flavor that is hard to achieve through other cooking methods. If you have the equipment and time, consider smoking your turkey for a mouth-watering twist on the classic Thanksgiving dish.

Deep Fried Turkey Breast

If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd or just love the taste of tender turkey breast, consider deep frying just the breast meat. This can be a quick and tasty option for those who want the flavors of deep frying without the longer cooking time.

Indoor Turkey

If you don’t have access to outdoor equipment or don’t want to deal with the hassle of outdoor frying, there are indoor methods for cooking a turkey that can still result in delicious flavor and juicy meat. Consider using a roaster oven or slow cooker for a stress-free, indoor Thanksgiving meal.

Deep-Fried Turkey Recipes

Finally, there are endless variations on the classic deep fried turkey recipe. From using different marinades and rubs to experimenting with different spices and seasonings, the possibilities are endless. Get creative and have fun with your deep frying adventures!

Troubleshooting and Common Mistakes

Deep frying turkey can be a fantastic and delicious way to prepare your Thanksgiving meal, but it does come with some potential pitfalls. Here are some common mistakes to avoid and safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Safety First: Always follow safety guidelines and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before frying to avoid splatters. Do not overfill the fryer with oil, and never fry a turkey indoors or near flammable materials.
  2. Cooking Time: Make sure to calculate the appropriate cooking time based on the turkey’s weight and maintain the proper temperature of the oil. Using a thermometer can help ensure the turkey is fully cooked, with an internal temperature of 165°F.
  3. Oil: Always use fresh, high-quality oil, and never mix different types. Be mindful of the temperature of the oil to avoid smoking or fire hazards.
  4. Equipment: Before starting, ensure your equipment is clean, dry, and in good working condition. Check for any leaks or damage to the fryer, and ensure all connections are secure.

By avoiding these common mistakes and following proper safety and cooking procedures, you can enjoy a delicious deep fried turkey without any issues.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your turkey fryer are essential to its longevity and safe operation. Here are some tips to keep your equipment in great condition:


After use, allow the oil to cool completely before attempting to clean the fryer. Drain the oil into a sealable container for later use or proper disposal. Thoroughly clean the inside of the fryer with warm water and dish soap, making sure to remove any food particles or grease. You can use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub the inside. Rinse the fryer with clean water and dry it thoroughly.


Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the fryer’s safe operation. Before each use, inspect the fryer for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or rust. Check all valves and hoses, making sure they are properly connected and free of leaks. Replace any damaged or worn parts immediately.

Store the turkey fryer in a cool, dry place that is easily accessible. Make sure to protect it from any moisture or extreme temperatures that could cause damage.

Oil Disposal

Proper oil disposal is essential for both safety and environmental reasons. Do not pour used oil down the drain, as it can cause blockages and damage to your plumbing system. Instead, dispose of used oil in a sealable container and take it to a recycling center or designated oil disposal facility.


Congratulations! You have now completed our comprehensive guide on how to deep fry a turkey like a pro. By following our recipe and tips, you can guarantee a juicy, crispy, and flavorful turkey that will impress your guests and elevate your Thanksgiving game.

Remember to always prioritize safety when deep frying, from handling the hot oil to having a fire extinguisher nearby. Additionally, maintaining the proper temperature and cooking time, as well as using a delicious rub or marinade, can enhance the taste of your turkey.

If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t hesitate to try alternative deep-fried turkey options, such as smoked turkey or deep-fried turkey breast. And if you run into any issues, our troubleshooting tips can guide you towards a successful cooking experience.

After all the cooking is done, make sure to properly clean and maintain your turkey fryer, including disposing of the oil safely. That way, you can be ready for your next deep-frying adventure.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you have a delicious and satisfying deep-fried turkey experience!


What is the benefit of deep frying turkey?

Deep frying turkey results in a flavorful and juicy bird with crispy skin.

What essential equipment do I need for deep frying turkey?

You will need a turkey fryer, quality oil, a thermometer for monitoring temperature, and a fire extinguisher for safety.

How should I prepare the turkey before deep frying?

Preparing the turkey involves marinating, using a rub or brine for added flavor and moisture, and considering the cooking time.

How do I set up the turkey fryer?

To set up the fryer, follow instructions for maintaining the proper temperature, handling the oil safely, and securely connecting the propane tank.

What is the step-by-step process for deep frying turkey?

The deep frying process involves using a fryer basket, determining cooking time based on the turkey’s weight, and maintaining the right temperature of the oil.

What safety measures should I follow when deep frying turkey?

Safety measures include handling hot oil carefully, keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, and ensuring the turkey is at room temperature before frying.

How can I achieve a flavorful deep fried turkey?

To achieve a flavorful deep fried turkey, monitor the internal temperature, use a delicious rub, and choose the right ingredients to enhance the taste.

Are there alternative options for deep fried turkey?

Yes, you can try cooking smoked turkeydeep fried turkey breast, or explore indoor cooking methods. We also provide additional recipe ideas for different variations.

What are common mistakes and troubleshooting tips for deep frying turkey?

Common mistakes may include not following safety tips, incorrect cooking time, or issues with the oil. Refer to our troubleshooting tips and safety reminders for a successful cooking experience.

How should I clean and maintain the turkey fryer?

Proper cleaning and maintenance involve cleaning the fryer after use, disposing of the oil properly, and ensuring the equipment is ready for future cooking endeavors.

Deep Fried Turkey

Deep Fried Turkey

Experience the juicy tenderness of a whole turkey, with an irresistible crispy exterior, in this delectable deep-fried version that's perfect for festive feasts and beyond.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thanksgiving
Keyword: Deep Fried Turkey
Servings: 1 turkey



  • 1 whole turkey 10-15 pounds, thawed and all innards removed
  • 3-5 gallons of peanut oil or another high smoke point oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional marinades or rubs for added flavor


  • Safety First: Ensure you’re frying outdoors on a stable surface, away from any structures or flammable materials. Have a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Preparation: Pat the turkey dry thoroughly inside and out with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, and any additional seasonings or inject with marinade if desired.
  • Fill the propane deep fryer with the peanut oil up to the marked line or just enough to cover the turkey.
  • Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) using the propane burner. Monitor the temperature closely with the deep-fry thermometer.
  • Once the oil reaches the desired temperature, turn off the burner (to prevent flare-ups). Using the turkey hook or basket and wearing heatproof gloves, slowly and carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil.
  • Reignite the burner and maintain the oil temperature between 325°F (165°C) and 350°F (175°C).
  • Fry the turkey for about 3-4 minutes per pound. A 12-pound turkey will typically take around 36 to 48 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the turkey from the oil once it’s golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Let the turkey rest on a large platter or tray for about 20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.
  • Carve, serve, and enjoy your deep-fried delicacy!


Notes & Variations:
  1. Marinades & Rubs: Enhance the flavor by injecting your turkey with a marinade like Creole garlic or using dry rubs.
  2. Safety: Never leave the hot oil unattended, and always ensure your turkey is fully thawed; water and hot oil can cause dangerous splatters.
  3. Oil Choice: While peanut oil is popular due to its high smoke point and flavor, alternatives like canola or sunflower oil can also be used.
  4. Leftovers: Deep-fried turkey makes fantastic sandwiches, salads, or reheats for a savory treat!
Remember, always prioritize safety when deep frying and enjoy your delicious feast!
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