It’s Turkey Frying Time: How to Deep-Fry a Turkey without Over-Cooking It

It’s Turkey Frying Time: How to Deep-Fry a Turkey without Over-Cooking It

Looking to try something different for your Christmas 2016 dinner? Christmas Eve is fast approaching, meaning time is running out if you’re hoping to find a new and delicious way of changing it up this year. Luckily, we’ve got a fast and tasty method that is sure to please everyone at your dinner table. Cover up and grab the oven mitts, it’s turkey frying time!

How to (Safely) Deep-Fry a Turkey

This method is not for the faint of heart. If you’re like me and get nervous frying bacon on the stove, then it may be best to turn back now. No hard feelings, dropping a turkey into a vat of boiling oil isn’t for everyone. However, if you’re one of the brave who are determined to see it through and present a beautifully deep-fried turkey for dinner on Christmas Day, then read on for some tips and tricks to help guide you on the safest way to go about this task.

This first step is determining the right place to fry your turkey. Deep-frying anything has the potential to cause grease fires that can easily get out of control and cause a lot of damage. With that in mind, make sure you choose a location where any oil fueled accidents will cause the least amount of damage. Popular Science recommends finding a flat, level surface made of cement or dirt that is at least 10 feet from any buildings. Stay away from wooded areas for obvious reasons.

Next, ensure that your turkey is completely dried and thawed. Water and oil are not friends, and a little pocket of frozen moisture hidden away in the turkey can result in spatter, fire, burns, and damage when it hits the hot oil. While frying the turkey itself is a much faster process than roasting it in the oven, you absolutely cannot skip or cut corners on this step without jeopardizing the safety of yourself and your surroundings.

Finally, one of the most important and dangerous steps is lowering the turkey into the pot. Cover up any exposed skin – this means long sleeves, oven mitts, pants, and shoes. It is vital to go slow and stay in control, especially if the oil starts to spit. Never drop the turkey into the pot as the oil could slosh over the sides and onto the burner, resulting in a fire. It’s best to practice lifting the turkey a few times with your tools of choice before going for it.

With all of this preparation, it would be a shame to ruin the bird by over (or under!) cooking it. The rule of thumb when deep-frying a turkey is to keep it in the oil for approximately three minutes per pound, though it is always best to check that the internal temperature has reached 145° F using a meat thermometer before serving. To all of you who have made it this far, good luck, and remember—safety first!



Bushwick, S., “How to Deep-Fry a Turkey without Killing Yourself,” Popular Science web site, November 23, 2016;, last accessed December 22, 2016

“Deep-fried Turkey,” Food Network web site,, last accessed December 22, 2016