Deep Fried Turkey


  • 1 (8 to 10 pound) whole turkey, completely thawed
  • 5 gallons peanut oil or special high-smoke point blend made for turkey fryers (less oil may be required for electric fryers)
  • Liquid seasoning and injector (optional)
  • Dry rub seasoning (optional)


  1. To find the level of oil needed, place the turkey, in the original wrapper, inside the fryer. Add water until it reaches 1 to 2-inches above the turkey. Remove the turkey, and use a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Write down the measurement. This is how full you must fill the pot with oil.
  2. Drain or pour out the water and thoroughly dry the pot, including the drain spout, if your fryer has one. This step is best done a day or more before fry-time so there is no chance of moisture remaining in the pot.
  3. Fill the pot with the required amount of oil, and heat to 365 to 375 degrees. This will take 45 minutes to 1 hour. The fry guy should stay with the heating oil, while the other half of the team prepares the turkey.
  4. Remove the giblet package and neck from inside the bird. Check both the neck cavity and body cavity for giblets; often these are stored in both places.
  5. Thoroughly dry the turkey inside and out with paper towels.
  6. Trim excess skin from the neck and body cavity openings to allow oil to flow through the turkey as it cooks.
  7. Clip and remove the band of skin or any wire or plastic truss holding the legs in place.
  8. Cut off the wing tips at the first joint, and cut off the tail.
  9. Inject liquid seasoning deep into the breast, leg and thigh muscles. Do not inject liquid seasoning under the ski. this will cause popping and spattering when the turkey is lowered into the hot oil.
  10. Generously rub the skin and inside the body cavity with dry seasoning, if desired.
  11. When oil has reached the target temperature, place the turkey upside down (with feet facing up) on the poultry rack, or in the fryer basket, (if using electric fryer) and slowly lower into the hot oil.
  12. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the oil at a constant 350 degrees.
  13. Cooking time is 3 to 4 minutes per pound, so check for doneness after 25 to 30 minutes. Lift the turkey above the oil line, and check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. The turkey is done when the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 175 to 180 degrees.
  14. Carefully remove the turkey from the fryer, drain on paper towels, and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.
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