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6 Steps to Deep Fry a Turkey

Prepare for holidays by cooking turkey for your family and getting insured with Andrew Gordon Inc

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, so now is the time to start thinking about the food you will be serving your guests.  Turkey is most often the big ticket item on the table.  Traditionally, the turkey is cooked in an oven for up to 4 hours.  Well, there is an alternative, and in my opinion, much better way to cook a turkey - and that is to deep fry it. 

Deep frying a turkey takes preparation. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to ensure your deep fry turkey gets cooked safely, and perfectly juicy. 

Step 1:  Gathering the ingredients and tools necessary.

  • Food                                                                                  
    • 1 five - ten pound turkey (depending on the size of your pot), fully defrosted 
    • 5-7 gallons of peanut oil (running short will be disastrous)
    • A jar of your favorite dry rub
  • Tools
    • Large stockpot - where to cook the turkey is important.  This process should not be done indoors.  I use my backyard, 50+ feet from my house, as the frying area. 
    • Outdoor gas stove
    • Full propane tank
    • Poultry rack
    • Thermometer
    • Gloves
    • Fire extinguisher

Step 2: Fill stockpot with peanut oil. 

To determine how much peanut oil is needed, place the frozen turkey in the pot and fill with water to just over the top of the turkey.  Remove the turkey and note where the water line is.  This is where you will fill the peanut oil too.  Having too much oil can be dangerous and may cause a fire if it overflows the pot. 

Step 3: Wash bird thoroughly. 

Coat turkey with dry rub or seasoning and allow to defrost to room temperature.  At that point, place the turkey on the poultry rack ready to be inserted into the pot.

Step 4: Heat the peanut oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Use the thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil.  Carefully lower the turkey into the peanut oil and make sure it is completed under the oil line. (IMPORTANT: You must lower the turkey into the oil very slowly.  If you drop the turkey into the pot too quickly, the oil will overflow causing a very large & dangerous fire.  It is important to have the fire extinguisher close by during this step).  Keep the turkey in the heated peanut oil for 3.5 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes per bird, approximately 40 minutes for our 10 pound bird. 

Step 5:  Turn off gas and carefully remove turkey from the pot.  

Let the turkey drain for a minute over the pot before bringing into the house.  Let the turkey sit in a pan for a few minutes, allowing excess oil to drain from bird.  As for the pot, allow the peanut oil to cool for a few hours before pouring the oil back into the gallon canisters that the oil came in. 

Step 6: Enjoy!

Serve your deliciously juicy fried turkey with your favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas sides. 

Remember to stay safe while cooking, because accidents do happen. Check out our website, for insurance resources or for a quote. Learn about personal insurance here.


Val Feeney

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