How to Fry Your Thanksgiving Turkey

turkey frying

See All of Our Staff’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes.

It’s become our family tradition that my husband fries our turkey every Thanksgiving. While I’m inside cooking the side dishes, he’s outside with his cocktail and whatever men-folk he can lure away from football. I’m telling you, this is the best turkey you will ever have. We do two 11 lb turkeys.

The first time we did this, we set the cooked fried turkey on the counter to carve and the next thing we knew, our guests had picked it apart like vultures. It’s hard to resist. So, this is our tradition now: we make the first bird spicy and put it out with the appetizers. Everyone goes for the skin; it’s a bite of heaven, crispy, salty, spicy goodness. We then carve the second turkey at the table.

3 Perks of Fried Turkey:
• It’s ready in 30 minutes.
• It frees up an oven.
• And lets me off the hook for the biggest part of Thanksgiving dinner.

Buying a Fryer
You can buy a turkey fryer from places Amazon, Lowe’s, Walmart or restaurant supply stores. They start at around $100. We found the complete Bayou Classic 30 Quart Pot on Amazon Prime for around $175 and the King Kooker on sale for only $86. Just make sure you get the right size for the turkey you plan to cook and that it specifies that it’s for frying turkeys and comes with the burner. You’ll also need a propane tank for the fryer.

injector turkey• Make sure you your pot is big enough to fry the turkey with oil. If you are unsure, put a FROZEN turkey into pot and the fill with water until turkey is submerged. Take turkey out and then mark where the water level is without turkey. That is how much you should fill with PEANUT oil. (Typically it is about 3 gallons).

• Thaw the turkey before hand. You can imagine what ice does when it hits 350 degrees. Start thawing the turkey in the fridge a few days in advance. Click here to find out how many days you need.

• Apply a rub to the turkey and inject it with a marinade the night before. You can buy pre-made marinades at the store. My husband simply injects one turkey with beer and the other with hot sauce. Your turkey fryer kit will come with an injector. Then, place the turkey in a cooking bag and return to the fridge.

Time to Fryturkey fry
1. Fill pot with oil without turkey and preheat to 350 degrees. It may take up to hour. My husband prefers to pre-heat with a cover off so that when you fry the turkey without the cover on, you don’t lose the heat.

2. Once heated, lower the thawed turkey slowly into the oil. Go slow and wear long sleeves and a cooking glove. Don’t let the steam scare you and do not drop the turkey in.

3. Cook for 4 minutes per lb (44 minutes for an 11lb bird).

4. Remove turkey slowly. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.turkey fryer

• You have to use peanut oil or an oil with a high flash point. Regular cooking oil can catch fire at the cooking temperatures we are taking about.
• Make sure to wear long cooking mitts.
• If it’s raining, you need to seek cover. One year, we fried our turkey in the garage.
• Do not drop the turkey in; lower slowly.


Our Favorite Cocktails for Fall: From Boubon Apple Sippers to Moscow Mules

The Complete Guide to Thanksgiving: From Apps to Dessert

25+ Fun Family Games

family games

15+ Easy Apps for Thanksgiving

Cranberries with Cherries & Cloves

Spiced Pumpkin Pie with a Gingersnap Crust


Covid & This Year’s Flu

Facebook Twitter Google Digg Reddit LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."