5 Keys To Frying the Perfect Turkey

5 Keys To Frying the Perfect Turkey

When I told my Facebook friends that I was entertaining the idea of frying a turkey, people were slightly scared. I am quite clumsy and I can see why people could envision me with a large tub of hot oil as a problem. The more I researched it, I found it can be safer than most people realize. Also, it’s not like a huge deep fried KFC breaded turkey, the oil barely absorbs into the skin. The result is a nice, juicy turkey!

Here are some tips if you’re thinking about frying your bird on Thanksgiving!


Keep an extinguisher nearby and always be safe, especially if you have an outdoor device.  Make sure pets and kids are far away!

Make sure you have a thermometer to keep the oil at the correct temperature (between 325 and 350) and after cooked, make sure the turkey is at a safe internal temperature (170 for the breast, 180 for the thigh).

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Unless you have an outdoor fryer, I think that the new indoor devices made for frying turkey are MUCH safer.  Also, a big perk of making a fried turkey is that your oven is freed up for other tasty treats!

The only drawback is that turkey fryers are pretty expensive.  Much more so than a large roasting pan.  You can only use it a couple of times a year, too!


Pictured: Deep-Fried Turkey

Did you know that you can fry a turkey in under an hour?!  That is a huge plus in my book!  No more waking up at 6 am! The rule of thumb is 3 1/2 to 4 minutes per pound.

Brining and Seasoning

Pictured: Turkey with Apricot Chardonnay Glaze

There is always a brining debate with any poultry.  Some chefs swear by it, others don’t even consider it.  For a roasted turkey, it’s okay to brine it overnight in a salt/water bath…but for a fried turkey it’s not necessary. Since frying the turkey keeps the juices inside the bird, it will be flavorful enough. 

The big thing to remember with a fried turkey is that all seasoning belongs UNDER the skin, not on top.  Be creative with Cajun spices or bay leaves!  I have a fun injector that I use for mine. 


Since the turkey will be cooked in oil, you will need to purchase a large container of it, usually priced $20-30!  This time of year you can always find some in your local grocer.  Top two choices: canola or peanut. 

How do you cook your turkey? Any tips?

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