Here is my deep fried turkey recipe, its not rocket science, and you will be amazed at how great turkey can taste. Deep frying is the best way to cook turkey, I think. I've had way too many dry Thanksgiving dinners, where the only moist thing is the gravy. With this, you don't need gravy. Watch our video and get the recipe below.
How to deep fry turkey – gear you need:
There is some equipment needed to deep fry turkey, but once you have it, you will have it for years.
- Propane Burner
- Deep Fryer Pot & Accessories
- Silicone Oven Gloves
- Digital Cooking Thermometer
- Long Butane Lighter
This post covers the basics of how to deep fry turkey. We show you some more tips in our follow up video here.
How much oil to use in a turkey deep fryer?
It depends on the turkey, but with a 14 lb bird, approx 3.5 gallons of vegetable oil usually works for me when using a 30 quart pot. Check the instructions that come with your turkey fryer pot. As you fry the bird, the level of the oil may drop a bit, that is OK. The legs may stick out a bit – I fry with the legs pointing up – that is ok too.
You will heat up the oil to 350F, turn off the burner, and then lower the turkey into the fryer. Fire up the burner again, you'll notice the temperature will drop quite a bit. The last time I did it, the temp dropped to 200F. The ideal is to keep the oil temp at or near 350F, but that doesn't always happen. If you are deep frying in cold weather or the wind is blowing, the fryer may not get back to 350F after putting in the turkey. I keep the cover on the pot when initially heating the oil up to 350F, and keep the cover off when the turkey is in the pot. But if its cold outside, you might try keeping the cover on while frying, but you have to keep constant watch on it, to make sure it does not boil over.
How long does it take to deep fry a turkey?
Usually its 4-5 minutes per pound. What is more important to done-ness is temperature of the meat. I use a digital thermoter, and stick it in the thigh. You can pull out the turkey at 145F, I usually pull it at 150F or so. Its an inexact science at best. I've had turkey at 170F that was fine. Let the turkey rest 20 minutes on a baking tray before carving.
Important deep fried turkey recipe safety tips:
- Turn off the burner when putting the bird in the pot and when removing it. I don't think you need a ladder – derrick rig.
- You do need to use common sense.
- Wear silicon oven gloves or welding gloves.
- Turkey must be fully defrosted! Any water or ice in the turkey can cause the oil to boil over the pot.
- Lower the turkey very slowly into the hot oil, take 30 seconds at least.
- 1 fresh or defrosted turkey 12-15 lbs is best
- 3 gallons vegetable oil - buy what's on sale
- ½ cup Dry Rub spice mix - if you like to spice your turkey
- ¼ cup table salt - if you want to dry bring the turkey
- Defrost your turkey fully. This will take several days, or buy a fresh turkey.
- If you want a dry rub or brine, apply the dry rub or salt the day before cooking to the turkey. You can put the dry rub under the skin if you want. Keep the turkey in the fridge overnight.
- hours before dinner time, assemble deep fryer burner rig. Put on fry pot and add vegetable oil.
- Light burner using long butane lighter.
- Heat oil to 350F. This can take 30-45 minutes.
- Place turkey legs up on the poultry rack that comes with the fryer pot.
- Use the grab hook to slowly lower the turkey into the deep fryer.
- Re-light the burner and heat the oil back to 350F.
- Cook the turkey until the thigh temperature reaches at least 145F
- Turn off burner and remove the turkey using the grab tool.
- Rest on a baking sheet for 20 minutes before carving.