While most people roast their Thanksgiving turkeys, many would argue that a deep-fried turkey is the way to go. Why? It creates a juicy, perfectly browned turkey that oozes with deliciousness. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot more fun than roasting — and, dare we say, more delicious — if you’re brave enough to try it!
We had Chef Cullen Campbell fry up several turkeys for us at the Thanksgiving.com booth during the 2017 azcentral.com Food and Wine Experience. Here, you can see what a perfectly deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey looks like, and get a step-by-step guide to the whole process from start to delicious finish!
Just as when you’re roasting, completely thaw your turkey before frying. You can thaw it in the fridge for a few days, or submerge it in cold water until thawed, changing the water every 30 minutes.
Once it’s thawed, pat the turkey dry, and remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. Sprinkle the turkey with your choice of seasonings, such as salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and paprika. Allow the turkey to sit at room temperature for an hour or two before frying.
Step 3: Preheat the fryer
Slowly pour the oil into the deep fryer, making sure not to fill the oil higher than the maximum fill line. While any vegetable oil will work, peanut oil is best for frying turkeys. Preheat the oil to 375 F.
Tip:Use your deep fryer outside only and on non-combustible surfaces, such as concrete or brick. Never fry over wood or plastic.
Step 4: Lower the turkey into the oil and fry
Very slowly and carefully, lower the turkey into the preheated oil so it’s submerged. (If parts of the turkey aren’t submerged, that’s OK. It will still cook properly.)
Your turkey will probably need 3 to 4 minutes of frying time per pound, so have your timer handy. Once the dark meat reaches 180 F and the white meat reaches 170 F, your bird is done.
Step 5: Remove the deep-fried turkey and let cool
As soon as the internal temperatures have been reached, turn the burner off. Carefully raise your turkey out from the oil and place onto paper towels to drain.
Step 6: Let the turkey rest, then carve it
Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving.