- 1 Whole turkey
- 1 40- or 60-quart pot with turkey hanger
- 1 Propane burner, gas tank
- 1 Deep fry or candy thermometer
- 1 Meat thermometer
When selecting your bird, keep in mind that smaller birds work best for frying. A good weight is 15 pounds or less.
To deep fry a turkey, you’ll need enough oil to cover the bird, approximately 3-1/2 gallons. Oil that has a high smoke point, such as corn, peanut or canola oil is recommended. You can calculate the exact amount of oil needed by putting the bird into the pot, including the basket or hanger that will be used, and filling it with water until it reaches about 2 inches above the top of the bird. Remove the bird and basket/hanger and measure the distance from the pot’s top to the waterline. Dump out the water, thoroughly dry the pot and fill it with oil to the measured level.
While turkeys rubbed with dry spices or plain turkeys are delicious fried, injected marinades and liquid seasonings are very popular. If you intend on seasoning your bird in this manner, have the injector and selected seasonings on hand. An injector resembles a large hypodermic needle and is used to inject a marinade directly into the meat. Fill your syringe with marinade and inject it into both sides of the breast, the legs and the thighs of the turkey. Move the needle around to get maximum coverage into the whole bird.
You’ll need several heavy-duty potholders on hand and a fire extinguisher, just in case. Cooking oil is flammable, so you should never fry a turkey indoors. Pick an open area outside that is level and firm, at least 20 yards from your home. Avoid wood decks or anything that could catch fire and burn a path to your home, garage or other structure. Concrete surfaces should be avoided, unless you don’t mind oil stains, as there will be some splattering around the fryer when you put the bird in.
Heat the oil to about 325°F (confirm temp with thermometer) but no higher than 350°F. This usually takes between 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature. Once the oil is hot enough, follow the instructions that came with your turkey frying kit and place the turkey in the basket or on the turkey hanger and slowly lower it into the hot oil. With whole turkeys, your cooking time will be about 3 minutes per pound. To ensure proper cooking, remove turkey and check the inside temperature with meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 170° F. in the breast and 180°F. in the thigh.
When your bird is done, hold it above the pot to drain excess oil and remove it to a sturdy pan. Finally, carve the bird with all due pomp and ceremony – and enjoy every bite!