If you’re looking for some solid information about how to fry a turkey and not burn your house down, then you’re certainly in the right place. Keep on reading for all the details you need to know about this very important topic!
How to Deep Fry a Turkey: All you need to know
If you want to know how to deep fry a turkey, you’ve come to the right place! All the tips and tricks for deep frying a turkey can be found here, with links to the best resources around the Internet.
But, first things first. If you need some turkey frying equipment to get your deep frying on in style, then you’ll need to check out the following.
Indoor Turkey Fryers
- Aluminum basket with patented drain clips
- Oil drain Valve for easy clean-up
- Dishwasher safe components (pot, basket, lid, drain valve)
- Designed and tested to meet commercial standards.Magnetic breakaway cord for safety
- Magnetic breakaway cord for safety
Indoor Oil Fryers: If you want to fry up a big turkey for that next Thanksgiving feast, but live in a cold climate, then you’ll need an indoor oil turkey fryer.
Our personal favourite are the Masterbuilt turkey fryers. They’re some of the largest ones out there so they can handle a turkey big enough to feed your entire family and then some. Besides that, they’re easy to use, and perhaps more importantly, very easy to clean.
Outdoor Turkey Fryers
- The new 42-qt 'Grand gobbler' Turkey Fryer is specifically designed to Fry large turkeys up to 25-lb
- 42-Qt aluminum stockpot with lid and riveted handles
- Patented poultry rack and lift hook
- Stainless 12" Fry thermometer & 2-oz. Seasoning Injector
- Protective leather glove (right hand only)
Outdoor Oil Fryers: Traditionally what people think of when you mention deep fried turkey, outdoor turkey fryers are amazing! A big pot, an open flame and some turkey frying awesome. You know, just the one that you’ll often see on videos of people with their house burning down!
But, not to all doom and gloom here, there are certainly some things you can do to alleviate this concern. If you’re like our recommendation for outdoor deep fryer, we recommend the Grand Gobbler. It’s one of the biggest, but most durable ones.
How to Deep Fry a Turkey
How Can I Deep Fry a Turkey Safely?
There are certainly some things to do, and some things to not do if you want to fry a turkey without burning anything down. Here are some of the top tips:
- Be sure to do it at least 10 feet away from your house with an outdoor fryer (more is better)
- Keep pets and small children far away
- Make sure your turkey fryer or stand is on flat ground
- Ensure that your turkey is completely thawed and dry before frying (NO NOT brine it)
- Continuously monitor it. You should always be standing next to the fryer at all times while your turkey is frying. Have an assistant who can get you things as necessary.
Find out more about frying a turkey safely here: Deep Fried Turkey Safety.
All About Setting Up your Turkey Deep Fryer
When the big day hits, it’s time to set up your fryer safely to make the most of your bird.
Scope out an area in your yard away from the home. Find a flat surface, but avoid wooden decks.
Clear the area around the fryer of any debris, especially flammable objects.
Secure all pets and children safely inside the house, or at least very far away from the fryer. It might not be a bad idea to round up the tipsy relatives, too.
You basically want to keep away anyone or anything that might touch the fryer while it’s full of hot oil. Then you’re good to go!
Handling the Turkey
Dropping your turkey into the turkey fryer or pulling it out too quickly can splash oil and cause a fire. Here’s how to handle it safely.
Before you put your turkey in the fryer, load it onto the rack. Most fryers come with a frying rack that has a pole through the middle, so you can hook your turkey to pull it out safely.
Put the turkey onto the rack head down, so the pole is sticking through the opening.
Then, lower it into the oil very slowly. The oil may sputter, but this will avoid big splashes.
When the turkey finishes cooking, pull it out just as slowly. Hold it above the oil for a moment and allow the excess oil to drain.
Set in in a pan lined with paper towels and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. Most people cover it with tin foil during this process to keep in the heat.
Learn More about Deep Fried Turkey Safety
Some tips from the experts in this short video below:
How to Deep Fry a Turkey
Butterball– One of the most trusted names in turkey deep frying (we LOVE their indoor turkey fryers), their site is a serious wealth of information. Temperatures, times, safety tips. Both indoors and outdoors. Butterball should be your first stop for basic information on deep frying turkeys.
Canadian Turkey– Another great site for some basic turkey deep frying tips to get you started. We particularly like the step by step instructions they give. Just about anyone can fry a turkey with ease and not injure themselves while doing it.
Serious Eats-How to Deep Fry a Turkey Safely Without Killing Yourself– We’re all about safety first here at Love Deep Fried Turkey. And this articles gives it to you straight-how to deep fry a turkey indoors or outdoors and not kill yourself. LOVE IT! It’s all fun and games until someone catches on fire while deep frying turkey, you know?
What Size Turkey Can I Deep Fry?
Some fryers claim they can handle turkeys of at least 25 pounds. But, for the best results, use a turkey that’s a maximum of 15 pounds.
That ensures that the whole bird will cook without the outside getting overdone.
If you have a crowd, use two turkeys instead of one big one.
Don’t Forget about Defrosting your Turkey
Defrost your turkey at least 24 hours in advance, or use a fresh turkey. You want to make sure there isn’t one bit of ice left in that turkey before you fry it.
Water, especially ice, mixed with hot oil can cause an explosion. Check the cavity of your turkey to ensure there’s no ice hiding in there.
Pat excess water off the turkey with paper towels. Then, it’s time to flavor!
Deep Fried Turkey Recipes
If you want to make your turkey as delicious as possible, then you’re going to need some recipes and tricks for doing it. Check out our top ideas here:
Or, consider using one of these Deep Fried Turkey Rubs.
Either way, you can’t really go wrong with one of these rubs, or seasonings. The good news is that most of them are made from simple ingredients that you probably already have around your house.
Or, you could consider buying a pre-made seasoning pack or package. This can be an easy way to prepare your turkey quickly and easily. You can see some of our top picks below:
Some Advice from the Experts about Fried Turkey Recipes
Besides that, here’s some more advice about how to season you fried turkey form the experts.
Epicurious– Now that we’ve gotten the basics of safety and tips out of the way, we’re onto the recipes. Here’s a delicious one from Epicurious that most certainly has our mouths watering.
Chowhound-Deep Fried Turkey with Southern Rub– They’re all about the deep fried deliciousness down south, so you really can’t go wrong with this deep fried turkey recipe, southern style. Paprika, mustard, black pepper? Yum!
Food Network- Alton Brown– We love Alton Brown here at Love Deep Fried Turkey. And his recipe is a seriously delicious looking one. We are counting down the days until our next Thanksgiving feast to try this one out.
Food Network- Paula Deen– For all things deep fried, you really can’t go wrong with Paula Deen. She cooks things up right-the delicious way! House seasoning? Love it.
How Long Does it Take to Deep Fry a Turkey?
A common question that many people have is how long does it take to deep fry a turkey? The good news is that it’s around 1/3- 1/2 the time it takes to cook a turkey in the oven.
Of course, how long it takes depends on a few factors, mostly how big your turkey is and what temperature your oil is at. For more details, you’ll want to check out the following article:
What Temperature Should I Fry my Turkey At?
Before you turn on your turkey fryer, figure out the time and temperature needed for your turkey.
Preheat your oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature allows for the drop in temperature you’ll see when you put the turkey in, so don’t jack up the flame. Ideally, it would hover around 350 degrees for the duration of the cooking process.
Of course, experts have differing opinions about the ideal temps, so check in with people like Alton Brown, Martha Stewart and Paual Deen for their advice.
What Kind of Oil Should I Use?
That’s another great question and we’re happy that you asked! You want to consider two basics things: smoke point and what the fat composition is. You’ll want to find something with a high smoke point to prevent burning, and a low ratio of saturated fat if you’re concerned about your health.
And, you’ll also want to consider price. Something like avocado oil has a high smoke point and is quite a healthy fat, but you don’t want your deep fried turkey to cost $500 either!
Taking this into account, the top picks are:
- Peanut oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Corn Oil
- Safflower Oil
You can learn more about this here: What Kind of Oil Should I Fry a Turkey With?
How Much Oil Should I Use?
Overfilling your fryer causes the oil to boil over when you lower in the turkey. To find the right amount, grab your turkey and your pot a day or two early.
While the turkey is still wrapped in its plastic, lower it into the pot. Pour in water until it covers the turkey by a few inches.
Make sure you also leave a few inches between the top of the water and the top of the pot. That will give the oil room to bubble and splash without boiling over.
Remove the turkey and measure where the water sits. That’s the point to which you need to fill your oil.
Mark or memorize that point and empty the water from the pot. Make sure the pot is completely dry before you try to put oil into it.
Can I Reuse Turkey Frying Oil?
It’s certainly possible to use deep fryer oil more than once. This makes it far more economical and the taste is fine. The key is to not approach the smoke point because this is where the oil begins to break down and the quality of it becomes much lower.
Check out this video for some tips about filtering, storing and then reusing it:
How Can I Clean my Turkey Fryer?
Okay, so you’re fried your turkey safely, nobody is missing any hair or body parts and your house is still intact! That’s good news. Plus, everyone has raved about delicious your Thanksgiving turkey was this year.
Now, it’s time for the worst part: clean-up. Think about how to clean up a vat of kind of solid oil. It’s not easy. Thankfully, we have a few tips and tricks for you:
- Consider a pot (or deep fryer) with a spigot to drain the oil from.
- Stainless steel pots are often easier to clean than aluminum ones
- Consider boiling it with water to get it ultra-clean
More details here: How to Clean a Deep Fryer.
Do you have any Recommendations for a Turkey Deep Fryer?
You have two basics choices for a deep fryer that’s big enough to handle a turkey: the inside ones that run on electricity (Masterbuilt Butterball is the most famous option here) and the outdoor ones that require a propane tank (Bayou Classic is a popular choice).
You can check out some of our top picks below:
Have your Say about How to Deep Fry a Turkey
Do you have any questions for us that you’d like answered about deep frying turkey? Or, any tips or tricks that you’d like to share with us. Please leave a comment below and let us know.
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Last update on 2020-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API