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Deep fried turkey is the quickest and tastiest way to cook a turkey. It’s also becoming an ever popular way to cook a turkey and impress your friends and family over the holidays. Get outside this Thanksgiving and deep fry your own turkey. Just follow our guidelines and you’ll be safe!
We deep fried our first turkey while camping for Thanksgiving. It was fun and turned out great. Everyone loved the results and it was exciting outdoor cooking adventure. I loved the super crispy crunchy skin, how quickly it was done and that my husband did the turkey this year!
I highly suggest you try deep frying your own turkey or better yet, let your cooking partner get all the credit!
Getting outside and hosting a camping friendsgiving has now been added to our thanksgiving traditions. We camping at remote lake, went trout fishing, foraging for chanterelle mushrooms and enjoyed watching the kids play on the forest floor- but the turkey was the highlight!
Deep frying is an easy method of cooking a turkey. But it’s also highly dangerous if you don’t follow the guidelines. I’ll share with you how to safely and effectively deep fry a turkey for impressive results!
HOW TO DEEP FRY A TURKEY
What you need:
Vegetable Oil or Peanut Oil
People often ask what to do with oil after frying a turkey. Clean and store the used oil in a sealed light proof container for up to three months to reuse. Only dispose small amounts of cooking grease into the trash.
Step by step guide to Deep Frying a Turkey
Deep frying a turkey can be incredibly dangerous, oil, water and fire can make a big mess resulting in fires, burns and a very unpleasant holiday experience.
I have to state the obvious, don’t be silly. And when I say don’t be silly I mean, keep animals and children far way from the deep fryer cooking zone. Don’t leave the deep fryer unattended while heating the oil, deep frying and while the oil is cooling down. Don’t drink while deep frying and be prepared with a fire extinguisher in case of a fire.
I’ve done the research for you, read through the steps to prepare, deep fry and serve the turkey and you’ll be happy with the results!
Preparing the Turkey
For best results, choose a turkey that weighs less that 15 pounds. Our turkey weighed 14 and took up most of the space in the fryer.
Remove the fully defrosted turkey from the wrapper and rinse with cold water. Remove the giblets and the neck from the cavities.
Use the turkey to remeasure the amount of oil needed for frying.
- Put the turkey in the empty fryer pot
- Fill with water until turkey is submerged completelyIt
- Remove the turkey
- Measure the water using a measuring stick to measure the height of the water.
- Mark the measuring stick at the water line.
- Get rid of the raw turkey water!
Having too much oil can cause a fire. The pot should not be more than 3/4 full or the oil could overflow when the turkey is added.
A 14 pound bird should need 5 gallons of oil, where as a 20 pound bird will need 5-6 gallons. It’s best to pre measure to get the exactly amount needed.
If marinating, inject or season then put into another bag to marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. It’s best to marinade overnight and recommended to use a favourite dry rub to marinate the bird.
Check out these top 6 turkey injection marinade recipes for seasoning inspiration.
Preparing to Deep Fry the Turkey
Use a Turkey Deep Fryer for best results and make sure to read the instructions that come with your turkey fryer carefully before use.
Before cooking, ensure that the turkey is dry by patting with paper towel inside and out. Any excess oil causes the oil to splatter. Do not stuff your turkey.
Locate fryer outside away from roof overhangs. Do not use on a deck, patio or in a garage. Do not fill the pot with oil while it is sitting on the cooking stand.
Attach the thermometer included with your turkey fryer to the top of the pot with the clip. Light the outdoor cooker, beginning with a low flame. Gradually increase the flame until the oil reaches a temperature between 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do NOT leave the cooker unattended. You might have to adjust the temperature control several times to keep the oil at the right temperature, especially if it is windy outside. It will take at least half an hour for the oil to reach the correct temperature.
In the picture below we are determining the amount of oil we’d need by submerging the Turkey in water first. We did not cook on the propane cooking grill.
Deep Frying A Turkey
Stand the measuring stick in the empty pot and fill to the marked point with vegetable oil.
Preheat the oil to 400 F. The optimal temperature for deep frying is 350 F. If the temperature is not hot enough the turkey will absorb more oil and may affect the taste. It’s best to use a thermometer to ensure accuracy. (350 degrees for turkeys that are 10 to13 pounds, 325 for 14- to 20-pound turkeys)
Turkey deep fryers comes with a turkey stand to insert into the body cavity of the turkey. Place the loop of the stand through the neck of the turkey and exit through the body cavity at the legs. Tie legs together with a piece of string.
Using oven mitts and long handled utensils, very slowly lower the turkey into the oil. As the oil bubbles, stop and wait before continuing to very slowly submerge the turkey. Lower the turkey partially then lift out, and repeat 3 to 4 times. This helps seal in juices and keeps the oil from boiling over.
How long does it take to deep fry a turkey?
A 10lb turkey takes about 35 minutes to cook. To check if the turkey is done, insert a meat thermometer into the thigh of the turkey. The optimal temp. is 170 F.
Fry the turkey for 3 minutes per pound (455 grams) plus five minutes per bird. For a 15 lb (6.8 kg) turkey, this will take 45 minutes. Make sure the oil temp is maintained at 350°F (180°C). After 45 minutes, turn off your propane burner and then gently remove the turkey from the oil.
Watching the temperature gage at 350 for 45 minutes for our bird! We did have a lid on the pot, although it is recommended to not
Removing the Deep Fried Turkey from the Cooker
At this point, remove your golden brown turkey from the oil. Make sure the oil has drained from the cavity. Place on a rack and cover with foil. Let the turkey stand for at least 20 minutes before carving to eat. This allows the turkey to finish cooking and lets the juices set.
You’ll know your turkey is done when it’s very dark brown with crispy skin and moist meat. A properly fried turkey should not taste greasy.
Serve your turkey with traditional thanksgiving side dishes. We went with our favourite easy sides for camping, mashed potatoes, kale salad, carrots, stuffing and fresh buns.