Simple Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

Background and History

Deep frying turkey has become a popular alternative to traditional roasting, particularly in the Southern United States. This method of cooking is believed to have originated in Louisiana, where the flavorful and crispy skin achieved through deep frying is highly prized. The technique gained widespread attention in the 1990s and has since become a staple for Thanksgiving and other festive occasions. Deep frying ensures a juicy and tender turkey with a crisp, golden-brown exterior, making it a favorite for many households.


  • 1 whole turkey (12-14 pounds, thawed if frozen)
  • 3-4 gallons of peanut oil or canola oil (for frying)
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • Optional: Turkey injector marinade (such as garlic butter or Cajun flavor)


  • 8-10 people


  • Preparation: 30 minutes
  • Cooking: 3-4 minutes per pound
  • Total Time: Approximately 1.5-2.5 hours

Cooking Time

  • Frying: 3-4 minutes per pound (approximately 45-56 minutes for a 14-pound turkey)



  • Thaw the turkey completely if frozen. Ensure the turkey is dry, both inside and out, to prevent oil splatters.
  • Remove the giblets and any excess fat from the turkey.
  • Mix the salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl.
  • Rub the spice mixture all over the turkey, including under the skin and inside the cavity.
  • If using a marinade, inject the turkey with the marinade according to the instructions on the marinade package.

Frying Setup

  • Fill a deep fryer pot with oil, making sure to leave enough space for the oil to rise when the turkey is submerged.
  • Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) using an outdoor propane burner.


  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the hot oil to prevent flare-ups.
  • Using a fryer basket or sturdy lifting device, carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil.
  • Turn the burner back on and maintain the oil temperature at 350°F (175°C).
  • Fry the turkey for 3-4 minutes per pound. For a 14-pound turkey, this will take approximately 45-56 minutes.
  • Check the internal temperature of the turkey with a meat thermometer. The turkey is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the breast and 175°F (80°C) in the thigh.

After Frying

  • Carefully lift the turkey out of the oil and allow it to drain in a safe area on paper towels or a wire rack.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.

Nutrition Facts (per serving, based on 10 servings)

  • Calories: 600-800
  • Protein: 50g
  • Fat: 40g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Sodium: 1000mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g


  • Ensure you have a fire extinguisher nearby and never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Always fry outdoors, away from structures and on a flat, stable surface.
  • For added flavor, consider using different marinades or spice rubs tailored to your taste preferences.

Allergy Warning

  • This recipe uses peanut oil, which can trigger allergic reactions in individuals with peanut allergies. Substitute with canola oil or another high smoke point oil if necessary.

How to fry a turkey for beginners?

To fry a turkey for beginners, start by choosing a turkey that’s 12-14 pounds for easier handling. Thaw the turkey completely, remove giblets, and pat it dry. Season the turkey with your favorite rub or marinade. Fill a deep fryer pot with oil, leaving enough space for the oil to rise when the turkey is added. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C). Carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes per pound. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the breast and 175°F (80°C) in the thigh. Allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

What is the formula for deep frying a turkey?

The formula for deep frying a turkey is to fry for 3-4 minutes per pound at an oil temperature of 350°F (175°C). For example, a 14-pound turkey will take approximately 45-56 minutes to cook.

How long does it take for turkey to deep fry?

It takes approximately 3-4 minutes per pound to deep fry a turkey. For a 14-pound turkey, this equates to about 45-56 minutes.

What is the best oil to deep fry a turkey in?

The best oil to deep fry a turkey in is peanut oil because of its high smoke point and ability to maintain a steady temperature. Canola oil is also a good alternative if there are peanut allergies.

When to inject turkey before frying?

Inject the turkey with marinade 12-24 hours before frying. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat thoroughly. Ensure the turkey is patted dry before frying to prevent oil splatters.

Can you use vegetable oil to fry?

Yes, you can use vegetable oil to fry a turkey. Ensure the oil has a high smoke point, such as canola oil or corn oil, to withstand the high temperatures required for deep frying.

How many times can you use the oil for deep-frying a turkey?

You can reuse the oil for deep-frying a turkey 3-5 times if properly filtered and stored. Let the oil cool completely, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove food particles, and store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Which oil is better for deep-frying?

Peanut oil is considered one of the best oils for deep-frying due to its high smoke point and stability. Canola oil is a suitable alternative, especially for those with peanut allergies, as it also has a high smoke point and neutral flavor.

How much oil for deep-frying?

To determine the amount of oil needed, place the turkey in the fryer and add water until it is covered. Remove the turkey and measure the water level. This is the amount of oil you will need. Typically, 3-4 gallons of oil is required for a 12-14 pound turkey.

How safe is it to deep fry a turkey?

Deep frying a turkey can be safe if proper precautions are taken. Fry outdoors on a flat, stable surface away from structures, keep a fire extinguisher nearby, never leave the fryer unattended, and ensure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before frying to prevent oil splatters and fires.

What can go wrong when frying a turkey?

Several things can go wrong when frying a turkey, including oil spills, fires, and burns. These risks are often caused by overfilling the fryer with oil, frying a partially frozen or wet turkey, or frying too close to structures. Always follow safety guidelines to minimize these risks.

Ignatius Thornfield
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Ignatius Thornfield, the discerning Recipe Connoisseur behind this site, is a culinary aficionado dedicated to transforming pet dining into an art form. With an exquisite taste for flavors and a keen eye for nutritious combinations, Ignatius shares a curated collection of gourmet pet recipes. His site is a sanctuary for pet owners seeking to indulge their furry friends with delectable and health-conscious meals. Ignatius's expertise in the realm of pet cuisine is evident in the sophisticated and thoughtfully crafted content he presents. For those who appreciate the finer culinary experiences for their pets, Ignatius Thornfield's site is a treasure trove of gastronomic delights.