How Long Should You Deep Fry a Turkey?

If you're feeling brave this Thanksgiving, we suggest tackling a deep-fried turkey. One of the most common questions when cooking this way is how long should you deep fry a turkey? You're probably used to traditional roast turkey, which takes 12-15 minutes per lb. The cook time on a deep-fried turkey is quick; about 3.5-4 minutes per lb.

The benefit of fried turkey, aside from the quick cook time, is the golden brown crispy skin. There's nothing better than crunching down on a hot, juicy, perfectly fried turkey leg.

If you're ready to attempt to cook a turkey in a new way, we've got you covered. We've broken it down step by step, including all the tools you'll need to successfully and safely fry a Thanksgiving turkey.

Equipment You'll Need

The first thing you'll need is your whole turkey. For 6-8 servings, we suggest a 13-14 pound turkey. If you need more than a 20 lb turkey, we suggest buying two smaller ones and repeating the cooking process. You can use a large deep fryer for turkey frying, but we suggest using a turkey fryer. Turkey fryers come with a stockpot and fry thermometer. You'll also need a propane tank or propane burner.

Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Liquid Propane Turkey Fryer

You want high-quality oven mitts to be able to pull the turkey out without burning yourself. Make sure to have a meat thermometer to make sure the bird is cooked through.

Safety Tips

Deep frying a turkey at home can be dangerous. All you have to do is search "deep-fried turkey explosion" to see what kind of mishaps can happen if you're not careful. If you follow these safety tips, you'll serve a wonderful dinner, with everyone's eyebrows and limbs intact.

1. If you're using a frozen turkey, make sure it has thawed completely. If you don't want to worry about thawing time, use a fresh turkey instead.

2, Make sure all the innards and giblets are removed.

3. Set up your fryer on a flat surface, away from anything flammable, like wooden decks or trees.

4. Make sure the internal temperature of the turkey is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You don't want to give anyone food poisoning at Thanksgiving.

5. Always wear protective gear when frying a turkey. This includes long sleeve shirts and goggles. Most importantly, keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of grease fires.

Deep-Fried Turkey Recipe

Before cooking the bird, make sure to follow all of the above safety instructions.

First, fill your fryer pot with your desired oil. We like peanut oil because of its high flash point.

To determine the amount of oil necessary, place the turkey in the pot and fill it with water until it just covers the turkey. There should be at least 5 inches below the maximum fill line on the pot. When you remove the turkey, see where the water levels off, and that's how much oil you'll need. If the oil level is not 5 inches below the top, use a larger pot.

A 13-pound turkey will need about 4.5 gallons peanut oil.

Next, attach your oil thermometer to the top of the pot. The temperature of the oil should always be 350 degrees.

Pat the turkey dry with paper towels to remove excess water. The bird should be at room temperature before frying.

If you are using a dry rub or marinade, slather it all over the turkey.

Carefully lower your turkey into the hot oil, attach the lid and cook turkey 3 1/2 minutes per pound. Remove the turkey from the fryer, season with kosher salt, and let it rest for 20 minutes on a baking sheet.

At last, slice the magnificent turkey and enjoy your hard-earned meal. Don't forget some classic side dishes like cranberries and stuffing.

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