For best results, choose a turkey weighing less than 14 pounds. Turkey parts, such as wings, thighs and breasts can also be used. To begin, remove thawed or fresh turkey from the plastic wrapper, remove giblets and neck from the cavities and rinse with cool water. If marinating or injecting, do so and place bird into a large clean bag or large non-corrosive pot. Return to the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. Canola oil is recommended because of its high smoke point and is generally considered free of allergy concerns, but peanut oil is also popular.
To measure the correct amount of oil:
- Place turkey in an empty deep fry vessel
- Fill vessel with water until it reaches about 2″ above the turkey
- Remove the turkey
- Submerge a measuring stick into water to measure height of the water in the vessel. Mark the measuring stick at the watermark
- Dispose of water and thoroughly dry the pot
- Stand measuring stick upright in empty vessel and fill vessel to marked point with oil
Before cooking, ensure that the bird is dry by patting with paper towel, both inside and out. Excess moisture on or in the bird will cause the oil to splatter.
Preheat oil to 375°F (190°C). This can take about 45 minutes to one hour. Use a candy or deep frying thermometer to ensure accuracy. If the temperature is not high enough, the turkey will absorb more oil and may taste greasy. If the temperature is too high the turkey may burn. Continue to monitor temperature throughout the cooking process.
Using oven mitts and a turkey basket or holder, CAREFULLY lower the turkey into the oil. The turkey should be totally immersed in the oil to ensure even cooking.
Estimate 3 minutes per pound i.e. a 10 lb turkey takes approximately 30 minutes to cook. To check for doneness, remove turkey from oil, and insert a meat thermometer into the thigh. The optimum end-point temperature is 170°F (77°C).
When done, remove your golden brown turkey from the oil, ensuring that the oil is drained from the cavity. Place on a rack and cover with foil. Let the turkey stand for at least 20 minutes to allow it to finish cooking. This is a very important procedure…don’t rush and skip it.
Your completed turkey will be tender and juicy. Enjoy!
Additional Safety Tips
- Keep pets and children away from the deep fryer at all times
- Always follow the instructions that came with your deep fryer
- Do not stuff your turkey
- If you are using a frozen turkey, be sure the turkey is completely thawed before immersing in the oil. If the turkey is still frozen, the oil can spill over the top and be dangerous
- Be aware that the sides and handles of the fryer can become dangerously hot
- Overfilling the pot with oil can cause it to spill over and potentially catch fire
- Deep frying should only be done outside on a level dirt or grassy area and never on wooden decks or inside a garage
- Never use water to extinguish a grease fire — have a fire extinguisher available
- Allow oil to cool completely before disposing or storing it
- Do not store oil in the cooking pot