1. Choose a smaller bird for optimal frying. It should be 10 to 12 pounds, up to a maximum of 14 pounds. A much larger turkey will tend to darken too much on the outside as the inside cooks through. To begin, sprinkle a small amount of seasoning onto the outside of the bird, if desired. 01:22
2. In terms of equipment, what is needed is a propane burner, a propane tank, peanut oil which has a high smoke point, a large aluminum pot, a basket insert for the turkey, and a deep fry thermometer. It is also good to place cardboard underneath the burner to absorb any oil splatter. 01:55
3. Adding the proper amount of oil is key. Adding too much can cause the oil to overflow and possibly start a fire; adding too little can leave parts of the turkey exposed and undercooked. To do a test, place an amount of water into the pot then submerge the turkey to see if it is just barely covered. Once you've determined the right amount of liquid, discard the water and pat the turkey dry. Sprinkle on any spices or seasonings, if desired. 03:46
4. Add the peanut oil into the pot to the pre-determined level. Open the propane line to high and light the burner. Heat the oil until it reaches 350 to 360 degrees. 04:48
5. Once the oil is at temperature, prepare to add the turkey. Make sure the bird is as dry as possible since water in hot oil creates splatter. Remove the deep fry thermometer so the pot is open and clear. Carefully remove the basket (it will be hot) and place it on nearby cardboard or newspaper. Pick the turkey up by the drumsticks and lower it into the basket. 06:15
6. To protect the skin, wrap the hand holding the basket with a dry towel, and cover that same arm with another towel. Alternatively, wear long, oven-safe gloves. Use the wrapped hand to pick up the basket and slowly lower it into the hot oil until it reaches the bottom. The oil will bubble vigorously; that is okay. Do not drop the basket into the oil. Once the turkey is fully submerged, step back and allow for the bubbling of the oil to subside. 07:28
7. Once the bubbling has slowed, carefully place the thermometer back into the pot. Check to make sure the oil temperature is still around 350 degrees. Adjust the gas as needed. Fry the turkey for two to three minutes per pound, or approximately 22 to 25 minutes for a 10-12 pound turkey. 08:52
8. Once the appropriate amount of cook time has passed, use tongs to lift up the basket handle and, with a towel-covered hand, lift the basket slowly out of the pot. Be sure to tilt the basket at an angle to allow excess oil to drain off. Set the basket aside onto a sheet pan. 09:43
9. To determine doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey thigh. It should read 150 to 160 degrees and, after residual cooking, should ultimately end up around 165 degrees. Then place the turkey on a paper-lined tray to absorb excess oil and allow to rest for 30 minutes to an hour before carving. 10:27
What You'll Need
- Whole turkey, raw (1, 10 to 14 pounds)
- Peanut oil (for deep frying)
- Seasoning mix (optional)
- Propane burner
- Propane gas tank
- Large aluminum pot
- Aluminum insert basket with handle
- Barbecue lighter
- Deep fry thermometer
- Clean, dry dish towels and/or protective gloves
- Sheet pan
- Sheet pan lined with paper
For safety reasons, deep frying a turkey should always be done outside, a
safe distance away from any flammable structures, in dry weather
conditions. If starting with a frozen turkey, make sure it is completely
thawed and dried before frying. Set the burner up on a flat surface. Wear
safety goggles and long sleeves while frying to prevent splatter burns.
Should a grease fire occur, never try to extinguish it with water.
Instead, smother it with a large pan lid.
It is important to wash your hands before and after touching raw poultry which can contain Salmonella and other harmful bacteria. Similarly, be sure not to cross contaminate ingredients and utensils by touching them with hands that have just touched raw poultry.