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A few years ago a friend of mine mentioned that her family had decided to deep fry their Thanksgiving turkey. My first thought was, "Ewww. How gross can you be?" My second thought was, "Well they are from Louisiana, they deep fry just about everything down there."

Although invited, I couldn't attend her family's fried delight but to this day she continues to rave about that deep fried turkey. In the years since then I have heard more mention about this curious manner of turkey preparation. It seems not only is the frying time fairly quick but the turkey meat is rumored to be among some of the most delectably moist pieces you will ever have the pleasure of tasting.

As we prepare for next week's Thanksgiving feast at my house and are tossing around various meal ideas, the deep fried turkey concept is among the top contenders at the moment. From what I have read it sounds intriguing and downright tasty.

Nevertheless, deep frying a turkey requires thoughtful planning and the right utensils. The process for deep frying a turkey is not one to be taken lightly, you are dealing oil heated to 350 degrees. Unless you are a seasoned pro you should follow directions carefully when undertaking this endeavor.


  • Keith_Indy

    From a transplanted Yankee, fried turkey is great. I've cooked 4 or 5 of them now that way.

    You should skip the marinades and rubs the first time out though, it'll still be the best fried turkey you've ever had.

    Things to be ultra careful about:

    1 - Make sure your turkey is throughly defrosted. Ice and oil don't mix.

    2 - Make sure you do not put to much oil in. The link above has a good method for doing that.

    3 - Do not do it inside a house or garage, or on a porch/deck near your house or garage.

    4 - Have an adult who has common sense and will remain sober, keep watch of the thing.


    6 - If flames start, turn the gas off first, then deal with the fire. The one flare-up I've had, turning off the gas put out the fire.

    Stay safe and have a great Thanksgiving Day.

  • Julian Cook

    I second your comments Keith. It is UMM UMMM....
    If you're looking a safe way to deep fry turkey, I recommend the Alton Brown Turkey Derrick plans available here>

  • mavkato

    Julian - good call. I recommend watching the entire turkey frying episode of "good eats" for anyone even thinking about frying a turkey. there are a lot of valuable tips and safety info

  • Bill Pearson

    None better then fried. A simple way to measure for just the right amount of oil is to fill the fryer about 3/4 full of water then add the turkey.......put a mark on the outside of the fryer and stay just below the mark when you add the oil. It is messy if you have an oil overflow....the 1st year I fried a turkey I had every cat in my neighborhood in my driveway for about 3 months after I had an oil overflow. Wear heavy gloves and long sleeve shirt while cooking. Happy Turkey Day Go Mizzou.

  • Robert

    FRIED turkey? As if we do not have enough fat, unhealthy people waddling around this nation! Fried ANYTHING is poison. Eating dead animals is poison. There is plenty to eat on this planet that is healthy, inexpensive and does not negatively impact upon the environment. MOST of us are just too damn lazy to eat properly.

  • Niklis4

    Turkey is excellant deep fried. If you want to try other meats, I suggest deep fried pork tenderloin, it only takes about 8-9 minutes per tenderloin and the meat stays so moist it is the best I have ever eaten

  • Rod

    To Robert, Can I hve your share of the FRIED TURKEY ? I make Fried Turkeys too, and they don't retain excess oil if the oil is at the right temp. they also have ZERO ipact on the environment as turkeys are raised to be eaten as is 99.9% of all other meats. Without meat eaters the farming industry and a large portion of our economy would collaspe.


    PS: As a 2nd deg. black belt at over 6" and under 200 Lbs and someon ewho swims 4-6 miles per week and rides 50+ miles per week on my bike I don't think anyone would call me unhealthy.

  • Jose Alburro

    I've never tried deep fried turkey, but look forward to doing so. Sounds good!

  • haymans1

    If you want a safe way to fry a turkey. There is a good Fryer built by Masterbuilt. It is an electric controlled fryer. It has a wider based fry pot. The temperature is controled electronically plus all you have to do is put the weight into the control unit and it will fry it for the exact time needed. Cleaning this unit is a dream. It has a pour psot built into the bottom of the pot and drains right back into the oil bin. I have been frying turkeys for better then 7 years and I have never found a better or safer way to fry a turkey. I have never had a flair or or any other problem.

  • Jim Maguire

    As someone who has been frying turkeys for years at summer BBQ's, I can tell you that once you have tasted a fried turkey, you'll never want it prepared any other way. Here are a few tips:
    1) Try to use low fat oil like soybean or canola oil. You will find that these oils do not absorb into the turkey as much. Peanut oil can also be used.

    2) When you pour the oil into the kettle, make sure you leave a good 3-4 inches from the top of the kettle. This way when you put the bird in, there is less chance of it spilling over.

    3) If you want to add to the flavor of the bird, you can use a rub or inject it with a marinade. I prefer to use Lawrey's Seasoned Salt as a rub. It gives the bird a nice flavor. The problem with injecting it with marinade is that if you don't inject every square inch of the bird, you wind up with parts that are marinaded and parts that aren't.

    4) Try to use a "fresh" turkey if possible. This way you don't have to worry whether its completely thawed. If you use a frozen turkey, it is imperative that it be COMPLETELY thawed. Putting ice into hot oil will cause an erruption the likes of which you have never seen.

    5) Cook your bird at 375 degrees Farenheit at 3.5 minutes per pound. Also, make sure you remove the birds giblets before cooking.

    I recommend you purchase a turkey-frying kit. They usually contain a propane burner, kettle, thermometer, injector, and turkey lifter. Try to find one with a kettle that is 40 qts. or more. Less chance of spillage. Get ready to enjoy the best turkey you've ever had.

  • Denise Brock

    Deep fried turkey is the best...hoping my parents will have deep fried turkey this year for Thanksgiving. Absolutely love it and as long as you can keep from eating the skin it isn't too fatty. But the skin is the best part of the whole darn turkey!!

  • Elizabeth

    Deep fried turkey is the best. It is not greasy, unless you don't properly fry it. What is even better is if you put the turkey in a brine the day before. It is just like heaven, we raise our own turkeys, and also use the turkey fryer as a scalder. We also east deep fried turkey all year round.

    To Robert, hey get a grip people are meant to be omnivores. Go hug a tree, then see if it feels bad about eating the decaying bodies of worms. Check me out I just love food.

  • Tom San Diego

    A friend of mine has been doing this for about 10 years, and as he has a group of 40 or so family and friends who eagerly look forward to this incredibly tasty and moist turkey, he used two of the machines. It's just incredible, and the oil does not get to the real meat.

  • Sam

    Have to admit fried turkey rocks.I still prefer it baked not for taste but for health.Heck with all that crap Im going to put down my face last thing I need is fried meat.

  • Sandi Andrews

    When I deep fried my first turkey ten years ago, I swore I'd never bake another. We used to do the injections but have omitted that now. People who don't like turkey because they say it is too dry need to try a deep fried one. All the meat is so moist and stays that way even after it is deboned.

  • Jon Boy

    i had deep fried turkey once. it was so damn good. but i feel really nasty eating because it was in a vat of hot oil for a while...


  • Joseph Leslie

    I watched my neighbors house burn down 5 years ago on Thanksgiving and I will say "No THANK You!" and I will have my Fire Department's Blessing!
    I will say that I have Bar-B-Qued an entire turkey and everyone wants the recipe for my sauce and the Fire Department doesn't have to be on the ready.
    Deep Frying a Turkey? What do you do? Stuff it with COPENHAGEN Chewing Tobacco first?

  • Jane


  • JeepGuy 98

    After eating several Fried Turkeys at the homes of friends and relatives over the past few years, I decided to do one of my own last year. After mulling over the choices of gas fryers I came across an electric one at Wal Mart that has works wonderfully for me. Theres no hastle with refilling propane tanks, and the danger level is greatly reduced. In fact, you CAN cook with it indoors. Although I wouldn't recomend cooking things with oil, I would only cook with water to keep things safe. I would also recomend paying a little more for the model with a built in external oil drain. Although I saved 30 dollars initially, the hassle of trying to carefully pour the oil into containers using a funnel wasn't worth the money I saved.
    I practiced with a chicken a week or so before, and the results were so-so, but I was able to familiarise myself with the cooker. When I cooked the turkey though, It turned out wonderful, and I recieved the most compliments of ANY turkey I had prepared over the years.

  • Barb

    A few years ago, my son said he was going to deep fry the turkey.
    I thought, Oh my, there goes tradition. He did it outside and stayed by it the whole time. It was done in hardly any time at all and to my surprise tasted delicious. I thought it was going to be greasy, but it wasn't. It was crispy on the outside and very moist on the inside with
    delicious taste. And the leftovers we also delicious. Loved the crispy skin. I wouldn't mind having it done that way every year.

  • 38 Comments / 2 Pages

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