How to Deep Fry a Turkey

Disclaimer: Deep-frying a turkey is tremendously yummy and a fast way to prepare your turkey. But it involves flames and large amounts of very hot oil. Be very careful! Plan ahead so everything is ready to go when it needs to be. Never do this inside or under an overhang. Always have the correct kind of fire extinguisher at hand.

Cooking time: ~2.5-3 minutes/lb of turkey, plus time to heat the oil

On my fryer get-up, with a 16-20 lb thawed turkey, it takes just about 25 minutes to heat the oil, and just about 35 minutes to cook the turkey through. So about an hour (60 minutes) from raw to table.

  • 1 whole KOL Foods pastured, organic-fed turkey
  • lots of oil for your fryer
  • Oil thermometer
  • Meat thermometer

1. Thoroughly thaw your turkey.

2. Put the turkey in the frying pot, and just cover with water. Take the turkey out, and then mark/measure the liquid level on the pot. This is how much oil you'll need. Be careful not to over-fill the pot with oil.

3. Carefully pat dry the turkey, outside and in. (Putting it back in the refrigerator without a cover for a few hours or up to a day will dry it out nicely.)

4. Fill the fryer with the correct amount of oil. Heat until the oil reaches 350F.

5. Turn off the heat. Very slowly, very carefully, lower the turkey into the oil. Turn on the heat again. Monitor the temperature of the oil so it doesn't go over 375F.

6. After ~20 minutes start taking the temperature of the turkey in the thickest part of the thigh, or in the middle of the breast. Be careful to measure the center of the muscle, and not to touch bone when taking the temperature. When the meat reaches 160F, fully remove the turkey from the oil and turn off the fryer.

7. Let the turkey stand for 5-15 minutes before carving.