The art of cooking a turkey has been boiled down (no pun intended) to baking it in the oven. If you've ever been to a Thanksgiving dinner, there's an extremely high likelihood that you've eaten a baked turkey. While it's delicious, baking a turkey is extremely time-consuming. Hours of preparation and baking only to have the whole thing eaten by in-laws in a matter of minutes. Is there an easier way?
Fortunately, there is! Many people choose to deep fry their turkey instead of bake it. This faster, more efficient way of cooking a turkey is much easier. If you are thinking of deep-frying a turkey, you may be wondering how much oil to use. Luckily, we've got the answer!
- For small turkeys around 9 pounds, use 3-4 gallons of oil.
- For medium size turkeys around 12-14 pounds, use 4-5 gallons of oil.
- For larger turkeys up to 22 pounds, use 5-6 gallons of oil.
Keep reading to find out more information about deep frying a turkey as well as safety tips, as we answer more frequently asked questions.
How Do You Measure The Perfect Amount Of Oil?
One easy way to measure exactly how much oil you will need is to take the turkey and place it in your empty fryer as if you are going to fry it. Then fill it up with water until it's completely covering the turkey, no more than an inch or two past the turkey. Next, take out the turkey so that the water is the only thing left in the fryer, being sure to drain the water from the cavity of the turkey back into the fryer.
Mark the spot that your water is sitting at after the turkey is removed and drained. This will be the mark you use to know how much oil needs to be in your fryer. Fill the fryer with oil up to the mark.
What Kind Of Oil Do You Use To Deep Fry A Turkey?
While it is not required to use this type of oil, peanut oil is the best kind of oil to use. Peanut oil has the highest flash point of any oil, so it is very difficult to burn. This is great for frying turkeys because the oil will get very hot. If you cannot use peanut oil for medical reasons or because you do not have any, an acceptable substitute is vegetable oil.
What Temperature Should The Oil Stay At?
Just because peanut oil has a high flash point does not mean it doesn't need to be monitored closely. You should deep fry a turkey in oil that is 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil starts to burn at certain temperatures, so do not let it go over 375 degrees. This can be a safety hazard and may cause a fire.
Peanut oil is great for deep frying because its smoke point is at about 445 degrees. Vegetable oil is a fine substitute because it is close, at around 428 degrees. Again, frying with other oils can be dangerous, so make sure you are using one of these two.
You never want to place your turkey in the oil before it is hot. Wait until your oil is at 325 degrees then slowly place your turkey in the deep fryer.
Do You Have To Prepare A Turkey Differently To Deep Fry It?
No. Deep frying a turkey may present completely different challenges, but one thing is for sure: you can still prepare a turkey the same way. Many people choose to inject butter into the turkey, and plenty of other things. You can still do all of this before deep-frying a turkey. You do not have to compromise on flavor!
Can You Brine A Turkey Before Frying It?
Yes. Brining a turkey is one of the most popular ways to flavor the meat. It usually involves soaking it in a bag with plenty of spices and marinades for 8-18 hours. This process is very popular in the world of baking and frying turkeys. You do not have to worry about messing up your turkey's deep fry by brining it beforehand.
How Long Does It Take To Deep Fry A Turkey?
The average 12-pound turkey needs to fry for around 45 minutes. A good rule of thumb to go by is 3.5 minutes per pound the turkey weights.
Tips To Deep Fry A Turkey Safely
Deep frying can be a dangerous way to cook if the proper precautions are not taken. If done carelessly, you could end up burned, getting others burned, or even set your house on fire.
When taking your turkey in and out of the fryer, turn off your burner/fire so that you don't accidentally start a fire. After all, you are dealing with an extremely hot liquid. Also be sure to invest in some thick, fire-proof gloves you can use. When handling a turkey and lifting it in and out of boiling oil, you want to make sure your hands are covered from the splashing and accidental touching.
Deep-frying a turkey can make Thanksgiving (or any time) more fun and less work. But making sure you are doing it right is key. Using the right amount of oil is the most important part of deep-frying a turkey. Safety precautions are also vital when dealing with deep fryers, so be vigilant to deep-fry in a safe manner. All-in-all, this is one of the best ways to cook a turkey, and you can do it all from start to finish in under 2 hours!
More questions about cooking? Check out these other guides -