How to Deep Fry a Turkey


If you have watched, or are going to watch my How to Deep Fry a Turkey video please note that my husband is cooking this in his bare feet. This is an absolute NO-NO! Please wear shoes when doing this as you could end up with horrible oil burns on your feet. Keep in mind that this is not child’s play. You really do need to be diligent about following all these safety pointers. If you do you will end up with perhaps the most delicious turkey you have ever tasted in your life.

As far as I am concerned, deep fried turkey is the best way to eat this bird. Deep fried turkey is amazingly tender and, contrary to what one might imagine, not greasy at all. It cooks very quickly, at 3 minutes per pound plus an extra 5 minutes for added crispiness, at 350 degrees. This is absolutely worth it as you will end up with crackling skin over your meat.

The hot oil seals all the juices inside and renders a very tender and juicy meat. We cooked a 13 pound bird and it was ready in 44 minutes. We always let the cooked bird rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving it. This allows all the juices to settle.

Although I have brined turkeys before for deep frying I rubbed this bird generously with garlic salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. I can promise you that the results were phenomenal!

A few VERY IMPORTANT safety tips when it comes to frying a turkey:

1. Always work in a well vented area. Stay away from garages or closed rooms. Work outside placing your equipment away from walls.
2. Always work with a completely thawed bird. You never want to place a half thawed turkey into vat of extremely hot oil. It will burst out and burn you.
3. Use the proper equipment – large enough pot, strong gloves to protect you hands and metal hooks to place an remove the turkey from the pot.
4. In order to measure the proper amount of oil for your pot, place the unwrapped turkey – standing – into the pot and fill it with water. Place enough water to cover the turkey, adding an extra inch. Take the turkey out of the pot and mark the space between the edge of the water and the edge of the pot. Empty the pot and dry it very well. Add the oil up to the marked area.
5. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Make sure your thermometer works correctly! Place the turkey into the hot oil VERY slowly – this could take up to 90 seconds! Never drop it into the hot oil!
6. Do not use a lid when frying, EVER.
7. Stay next to your fryer. Never leave it unattended. You must monitor that the temperature remain at 350 degrees at all times and – more importantly- you DO NOT want anyone to get hurt or burned with the very hot oil or fryer. When you place the turkey into the hot oil the temperature will be reduced a bit. Increase your heat and return it to 350 degrees. This will take a few minutes.
8. Make sure to remove the grab hook from the the rack once the turkey is completely immersed in the hot oil.
9. Let the oil cool for 2 hours before you start cleaning up!

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