Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey


Founder of
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Joined Oct 5, 2001
I will be deep frying our turkey this year and I have never done it before. Any tips/tricks etc to help make the experience a smooth and safe one?
Joined Nov 6, 2004
Hi Nicko :)

A deep fried turkey is a real treat! I think you'll like it.

Some tips...
  • A turkey under 14lbs works best. If it's over 14lbs you will have better luck removing the thighs and legs and cooking the breast separate.
  • Place the thawed turkey in the pot and fill with water. The minimum oil level should be at least 3 to 5 inches from the top. Remove the turkey and note the water level, this will be your fill level for the oil. Dry turkey.
  • Remove the pop up timer. Inject the turkey, if you plan to.
  • Preheat oil to 375f (Be selective with placement of the fryer, the area beneath the fryer will get oil on it. Do not fry on a wooden deck or near the house)
  • Use a broom stick to lower the turkey (on hanger) into the oil slowly, slowly.
  • Let the whole turkey fry for 3-4 minutes per pound.
  • Remove turkey from oil and let rest, draining over paper towels.
  • enjoy!
Joined Sep 29, 2009
Peanut oil, in my experience, gives great results. The added bonus is that it can be found in 5 gallon buckets at Costco, so no need to phone up the Sysco guy. Also, and I feel that it doesn't need to be said, make sure tha the skin and cavity are dry and the bird is completely thawed.

One last thing; steal the tail and the majority of the skin before serving. It's soooooooooo good. Bon appétit.
Joined Sep 21, 2001
Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and patted dry inside and out. The local news ran a story about unsafe turkey frying practices and had the local fire dept. drop the frozen turkey into the vat of hot peanut oil. The fireball that resulted was pretty spectacular. And then they went on to mention that the deep-fried turkey method is responsible for over 4000 house fires on Thanksgiving. They also mentioned the safest place was to do it outside if possible. How ever it works out, Happy Thanksgiving!!


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
To measure the oil, put the turkey in the pot, then add water to cover to the correct depth. Remove the turkey. Mark the pot at the water level or otherwise measure the amount of water in the pot. This is how much oil you will need.


Founder of
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Joined Oct 5, 2001
I was wondering if I should actually dry the turkey for a couple days in the fridge uncovered?

I have read all of the horror stories of people burning down their homes, decks etc and I wanted to be extra careful when I do this. Everyone I have talked to said it was really excellent flavor wise.
Joined Aug 7, 2008
I dry well with paper towels then air dry in the fridge over night with the bird setting on paper towels. I usually have to change the paper towels a few times.


Founder of
Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
DuckFat, do you inject the bird or just rub it with dry spices?
Joined Aug 7, 2008
I do dry spice but my dad always injects his. He lets his set and marinate in the fridge after he injects it. If you have two people the idea about the broom handle or a similar type of dowel is a solid idea.
Joined Nov 6, 2004
Hi Nicko,

A couple of key points that I can think of off the top of my head when deep frying a turkey...

Don't buy a turkey that's too big. If you stick around 12 lbs you should be fine in most pots.

Use the proper amount of oil! This is a big one where people have a slight miscalculation on the amount of oil to use. Take the bird out of it's packaging, remove the innards, position the bird on the hanger (as if your going to be frying now). Now place the bird in the fryer and cover with water. Be sure that the water has sufficient room above the oil line with the turkey in place. Remove the turkey and be sure the water inside the cavity remains inside the fryer. Note the water line, after turkey has been removed, this is your fill line for the oil. If your brining your turkey you could pour this water into your brining vessel and add your salt, etc.

Properly filling the pot with oil is crucial, and a common mistake that can be quite costly. Be sure the turkey is dry, inside and out. You can position it so it's standing up on it's rear and leave it in open air inside the fridge the night before if you like. I usually give it a thorough paper towel treatment, inside and out.

Another big one is placement of the fryer. Be aware of your surroundings and any pitch there may be to the ground it's sitting on. If the perfect place to fry appears to be uphill, near some combustibles,'s not the perfect place. Give yourself some room and be aware the area will get oil on it. Also give some thought to placement of the tank and access to the valve. You want easy access to both of these and you also want to put them in the safest area if you do have problems. If something should go wrong, you will want to shut your primary fuel source off. But it comes into question if you can't do this give a little thought to placement of the tank as well as the burner/fryer.

Your frying an awfully big bird...with an awful lot of oil. I would always suggest using two people when lowering the bird into the oil. You have more control of the rate that you drop the bird into the oil...and you will have more stability should the bird slip or shift while your lowering it into the hot oil. When you, and your assistant, are lowering the bird into the oil GO SLOW! You may have to lower it in and hold it in position for a moment before lowering it more. After your done be sure to Place the top part of the hanger and the pole/broomstick in an area that is both accessible, and free of any oil splatter.

Before the turkey goes into the fryer give some thought to how your going to pull the bird out...and what your going to place it on when you do. Get a large pan (possibly a large roasting pan) ready and in place. You don't want the turkey to be finished cooking and your trying to get the pan ready.

When the bird is done, shut your fuel off and be sure the area is secure. You don't have to have armed guards standing around it. But be aware that the oil is going to stay quite hot for some time. You'll want to give thought to placement while your cooking...but also to that placement when your finished cooking as well. Put it in an area outside where you can still be social and have it accessible, but one that's also out of the way a bit too. If you can, keep it away from high traffic areas. You don't want people tracking through the oil splattered area and then walking around. It's a mess and it's a slipping hazard. Be sure that any children are aware that they should not go near the cooking area, even after the bird has been eaten.

Lastly, pay attention to the weather report. Right now they're calling for possible snow in our area. Obviously snow and rain are a deal breaker when you're frying. Another one that I've run into at work is people frying a turkey in their garage. Some people consider this an extension of the outside, and not part of their house. Should you have to tell people not to use a lp gas turkey fryer in a structure?

I know you're just trying to be extra cautious...But use commonsense, go slow and be aware of tank placement and valve position.

have fun!
Joined Nov 6, 2004
You were planning on letting us know how you liked/disliked your first deep fried turkey, right?


Hope all went well and everyone was thoroughly full :)

Joined Aug 21, 2009
My inlaws deep fry their turkeys and they do it outside, far away from the house and anything else that might catch fire. They're very careful about where they do it and what is around. It does taste really good though and so moist!
Joined Dec 2, 2009
Ive been deep frying turkeys for years and have used all kinds of injections, marinades, rubs etc. But this year I was pressed for time, so here's what I did:

thawed turkey. (Thanksgiving morning)
washed and dried turkey. (must dry very well)
injected it with just melted butter and garlic powder.
sprayed some canola oil on it to help rub stick.
rubbed it with a non-salty cajun seasoning, inside and out.
put in fridge until one hour prior to frying.
removed from fridge.
cooked turkey at 350 for 3.5 mins per pound.
removed and let set under foil for 15-20 mins.

That's is it. It turned out to be the best turkey we've made and did it all within
an hours prep time. I've found to my and my friends and family's taste that all the crazy injections (such as old bay liquid) and over nite marinades are NOT worth the time and take away from the taste of the turkey. I will now always keep it simple.
Joined Nov 16, 2009
Here is the detail. there is also video for that..

Deep Fried Turkey - BeTheCook - Food & Cooking Recipes


* 5 ¼ kg Turkey
* 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
* 1 40 litre cooking pot
* 1 temperature gauge
* 1 gas burner and bottle of gas
* Approx 25 litres peanut
* 1 metal handle or hook
* 1 metre of wire for wrapping turkey
* 1 Protective gloves
* 1 Protective jacket
* 1 Foam extinguisher
* 1 Large clean bucket, roughly same size as turkey


Step 1
First, sprinkle the cayenne pepper over the top and around the legs of the turkey, rubbing it in as you go. Then turn it on its side, sprinkle more cayenne and rub it in. Turn the turkey over upside down, repeat sprinkling and rubbing the underside. Keep doing until the entire body has been well covered and rubbed.

Step 2
Place the turkey on its head, then spear a wire through it, just underneath the breast and by the wings. Then pull the wire through carefully, loop the wire around about three times to make a metal handle. Twist the ends of the wire so there are no sharp ends. do a little test to make sure that your handle it totally safe when lifting up the turkey. when you are convinced that the handle is strong enough, then you move onto the next step.

Step 3
The frying of the turkey must be done outside, in a dry and well ventilated area. Our gas burner is set on a level, grass surface, as this is one of the safest options. Make sure other people, especially children, and animals are kept away from the cooking area.
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