How Long Does It Take to Deep Fry a Turkey

How Long Does It Take To Deep Fry A Turkey

How Long Does It Take to Deep Fry a Turkey: Deep-frying a turkey has become a popular way to prepare this delicious poultry dish. It involves immersing the turkey in hot oil, resulting in a crispy and flavorful exterior while keeping the meat juicy and tender. One common question people have is how long it takes to deep fry a turkey to perfection. In this article, we will explore this question in detail, providing you with all the information you need to achieve the ideal deep-fried turkey.

How Long Does It Take to Deep Fry a Turkey?

The cooking time for deep-frying a turkey can vary depending on several factors, including the turkey’s size, the oil’s temperature, and the cooking method used. On average, it takes about 3 to 4 minutes per pound to deep fry a turkey. However, it’s important to note that this is just an estimate, and other factors can influence the cooking time.

How Long Does It Take To Deep Fry A Turkey

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

Size of Turkey

The size of the turkey plays a significant role in determining the cooking time. Smaller turkeys generally require less time to cook compared to larger ones. For a whole turkey weighing between 10 to 14 pounds, the cooking time will be approximately 30 to 40 minutes. For larger turkeys weighing between 15 to 20 pounds, the cooking time will range from 40 to 60 minutes.

The temperature of the Oil

Maintaining the correct temperature of the oil is crucial for achieving a perfectly cooked deep-fried turkey. The oil should be preheated to a temperature of 325°F (163°C) before immersing the turkey. When the turkey is added to the hot oil, it will cause the temperature to drop slightly. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the oil’s temperature and adjust the heat accordingly to maintain a consistent frying temperature.

Cooking Method

There are different methods for deep-frying a turkey, such as using a traditional fryer, an outdoor propane fryer, or an electric fryer. Each method may have slight variations in cooking time. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific fryer you are using and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

FAQs about Deep-Frying a Turkey

  1. How can I ensure the turkey is fully cooked?

To ensure the turkey is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh without touching the bone. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) for the turkey to be considered safe to eat.

  1. Can I reuse the frying oil?

Yes, you can reuse the frying oil. However, it’s important to strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any food particles or debris. Store the strained oil in a cool, dark place, and it can be used for future frying sessions.

  1. Is it necessary to brine the turkey before deep frying?

Brining the turkey before deep frying is optional but highly recommended. Brining involves soaking the turkey in a saltwater solution, which enhances its flavor and moisture content. If you choose to brine, ensure you rinse the turkey thoroughly and pat it dry before immersing it in the hot oil.

  1. Can I deep-fry a frozen turkey?

No, it is not safe to deep fry a frozen turkey. A frozen turkey can cause the hot oil to splatter and pose a significant risk of fire. Always thaw the turkey completely and ensure it is dry before placing it in the hot oil.

  1. What precautions should I take while deep frying a turkey?

When deep frying a turkey, take the following precautions:

  • Set up the fryer on a flat and stable surface away from flammable materials.
  • Use protective gear, such as oven mitts and safety goggles, to shield yourself from hot oil splatters.
  • Slowly lower the turkey into the oil to avoid sudden splashing.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of accidents or oil fires.
  1. Can I deep fry other meats besides turkey?

Yes, deep frying can be used to cook other meats as well. Chicken, duck, and game birds can also be deep-fried using similar techniques. Adjust the cooking time according to the size and type of meat being fried.


Deep frying a turkey can result in a succulent and flavorful meal. The cooking time for deep-fried turkey varies based on factors like the turkey’s size, the oil’s temperature, and the cooking method used. It is crucial to follow proper safety precautions and monitor the turkey’s internal temperature to ensure it is fully cooked. By following the guidelines provided in this article, you can enjoy a perfectly deep-fried turkey that will be a hit at any gathering.

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