How To Deep Fry A Turkey: A Step-By-Step Guide

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The Basics of Deep Frying a Turkey

Deep frying a turkey has become a popular cooking method in recent years, thanks to its ability to produce a moist and flavorful bird with a crispy skin. However, it’s important to follow the proper steps and precautions to ensure a safe and delicious outcome. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of deep frying a turkey, providing tips and answering frequently asked questions along the way.

Is Deep Frying a Turkey Safe?

When done correctly, deep frying a turkey can be safe. However, it’s crucial to follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents. Never attempt to deep fry a frozen or partially frozen turkey, as it can lead to oil splattering and fire hazards. Always use a fryer specifically designed for turkeys and operate it outdoors, away from any flammable materials.

What Equipment Do I Need?

To deep fry a turkey, you will need a turkey fryer, a propane tank, a meat thermometer, and a fire extinguisher. The turkey fryer should have a large pot, a burner, and a thermometer for temperature control. It’s also recommended to have protective gloves, an apron, and goggles to protect yourself from hot oil splatters.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Preparing the Turkey

Thaw the turkey completely and remove any giblets or neck from the cavity. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, both inside and out. It’s essential to remove any excess moisture to prevent oil splatters. Season the turkey with your desired spices and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before frying.

Step 2: Preparing the Fryer

Set up the turkey fryer outdoors on a level surface, away from any structures or flammable materials. Fill the pot with oil, making sure not to exceed the recommended fill line. Attach the propane tank to the burner and check for any gas leaks using soapy water. Place the thermometer in the designated spot and heat the oil to 325°F.

Step 3: Lowering the Turkey

Before lowering the turkey into the fryer, double-check that it’s completely dry to avoid oil splatters. Slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil using a turkey lifter or sturdy tongs. The turkey should be fully submerged in the oil but should not overflow the pot. Use caution and ensure a firm grip on the turkey to prevent any accidents.

Step 4: Frying the Turkey

Once the turkey is in the fryer, monitor the oil temperature closely. The temperature will drop initially when the turkey is added, but you should maintain it at around 325°F. Cook the turkey for about 3 to 4 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Use the meat thermometer to check the temperature, inserting it into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone.

Step 5: Removing and Resting the Turkey

When the turkey has reached the desired temperature, carefully lift it out of the fryer and let any excess oil drip off. Place the turkey on a platter or cutting board lined with paper towels to absorb any remaining oil. Allow the turkey to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving to ensure the juices redistribute evenly.

Step 6: Carving and Serving

Carve the deep-fried turkey using a sharp knife, following the natural lines and joints of the bird. Serve the succulent and crispy turkey alongside your favorite sides and enjoy!


Deep frying a turkey can be a rewarding and delicious cooking method when done safely and correctly. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can enjoy a moist and flavorful turkey with a crispy skin that will impress your family and friends.

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