How to Deep Fry a Turkey

Learning how to deep fry a turkey is the quickest way to turn out an irresistibly tender and juicy turkey. Remember to follow the instructions carefully!

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Deep-Frying Turkey Indoors

Using an electric fryer indoors is a great way to get crispy texture and delicious flavor without braving the elements. Given the high temperatures, follow instructions carefully:

  1. Completely thaw your turkey, or use a fresh turkey.
  2. Take the wrapper off of the turkey. Remove and discard the neck and giblets. Pat dry.
  3. Add oil to the fryer, but do not exceed the maximum fill line. Preheat oil in the fryer to 375° F.
  4. While the oil is heating, prepare your turkey with any seasonings, marinades, or injected flavors. Tuck legs.
  5. Once the oil is heated, place the basket in the fryer for 30 seconds. Remove basket from oil, place turkey in basket. Slowly lower the turkey into the fryer. The turkey may not be totally immersed in the oil. This may cause the top part of the breast to remain white even though it is cooked to the proper end temperature.
  6. Set the timer and cook the turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
  7. Cook all dark meat to an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F, and all white meat to an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F. Here's some help on how to check your turkey for doneness.
  8. When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and place it in a pan or on paper towels to drain.
  9. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket to carve.

Turkey Tips

Pro Tip

To completely drain excess moisture, place on an empty can, bottle or tube pan and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

Did You Know?

A thawed turkey may be kept in the refrigerator (40 degrees F or below) up to 4 days before cooking.

Frozen Whole Turkeys and Frozen Whole Turkey Breasts need to be thawed before cooking.

Thaw Fully Cooked Baked and Smoked Turkeys via the refrigerator method.

Refrigerator thawing is preferred and the least labor-intensive but requires more time.

Cold water thawing takes less time but requires more attention.

Deep-Frying Turkey Outdoors

Although you’re outdoors, using a propane deep fryer can be very dangerous. Never leave your deep fryer unattended and follow instructions carefully:

  1. Take the wrapper off of the turkey. Remove and discard the neck and giblets. Pat dry.
  2. Deep-fry your turkey on a flat surface, far away from homes, garages, wooden decks, etc.
  3. To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered. Remove the turkey, allowing the water to drain from the turkey back into the fryer. Measure and mark the water line, and use that line as a guide when adding oil to the propane fryer.
  4. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  5. Add oil to the fryer (based on the water line).
  6. Preheat oil in the fryer to 375° F.
  7. While the oil is heating, prepare your turkey with any seasonings, marinades, or injected flavor that you desire.
  8. When the oil is hot, turn the burner off and slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. Slowly lowering the basket helps prevent the oil from bubbling over. Turn the burner back on.
  9. Cook the turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
  10. The turkey is done when the dark meat is at an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F and all white meat is at an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.
  11. When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and place it in a pan or on paper towels to drain. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket.

Turkey Tips

Pro Tip

There should be at least 3 to 5 inches from the fill line to the top of the pot so oil doesn’t boil over.

Suggested Products

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How to Place a Meat Thermometer

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When you know the basics of marinating, you can guarantee great flavor every time. Let us show you the steps and some great recipes, too. There's a marinade for every occasion and every palate.

How to Inject a Turkey

Looking to add a little extra flavor? Try injecting your turkey with a favorite marinade. It's simple and easy.

How to Check for Doneness

Is the turkey done yet? You may have heard of different ways to check, but there’s only one way to be sure.