How to safely deep-fry a turkey


While it may not be the healthiest of cooking methods, there’s no denying that deep-frying makes almost anything taste better. From deep-fried Oreos at state fairs to good ol’ French fries, deep-fried foods are one caloric indulgence we can’t seem to resist.

With that in mind, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Of course, serving a turkey as the centerpiece of your meal is probably a given, but have you ever thought of putting a twist on the holiday dinner by deep-frying your bird?

You may have heard that there’s an art to frying a turkey just right—and it’s true. What’s more, it can be a potentially dangerous cooking method. However, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can ensure that your bird comes out perfectly crispy on the outside, scrumptiously moist on the inside, and that you manage to avoid calling the fire department in the process.

deep fried turkey photo
Flickr | Mot the barber

Here are some of the key elements to getting your fried turkey just right, according to Good Housekeeping:

  1. The right temperature for your frying oil is essential. The magazine recommends frying the turkey at 350 degrees for three minutes per pound.
  2. Just as important as the temperature of the oil is the type of oil, with peanut or vegetable oil being the best option.
  3. Don’t skimp on the seasoning. The flavor profile you go for is all down to your personal preference, and there are several tempting options, from cilantro-lime to ginger and garlic to a classic au poivre.

As for making sure you stay safe while frying your turkey, the magazine offers the following guidelines:

  1. Cover up—wear a long-sleeve shirt, pants, thick gloves and closed-toe shoes.
  2. Never fill the oil above the indicated line on your fryer.
  3. Never place a frozen turkey in the fryer, and be sure your bird is completely thawed and dry before frying.

deep fryer turkey photo
Flickr | ukanda

You should never leave a turkey unattended in a fryer. And choosing the right spot for this ambitious cooking project is a must.

“If you’re cooking your turkey in a deep fat fryer, always do it outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable material, and never leave it unattended,” State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace tells “Hot oil is extremely dangerous, so never use turkey fryers on a wooden deck or in your garage.”

For more advice on how to fry a delicious bird while staying safe, head on over to Good Housekeeping. Then get ready for your best Thanksgiving yet!


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About the Author
Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything.

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