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How to Safely Fry Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is around the corner and you sure want to impress guests with some finger-licking Thanksgiving Dinner. If you have done your research well, you probably are in favor of deep-fried turkey. There are safer infra-red fryers on the market, but those big enough for a turkey are hard to find.

Furthermore, the crunchy texture and juicy meat of the deep-fried turkey are hard to ignore. However, your safety during the frying process is not to be exchanged for anything. Not only do we outline safety procedures, but there is also some useful information on the right ingredients. There is also a procedural guide on safely frying the turkey.

Ingredients you will need to fry a turkey

Obviously, you need a turkey. Next, you need some oil with a smoke point higher than 425F. Refined corn, safflower, or peanut oil will do just fine.

After that, you need to determine the exact amount of oil required, as follows.

  • Place your thawed turkey in the fryer pot you intend to use
  • Pour water until the turkey is fully covered
  • Remove the thawed turkey
  • Take note of the water level

That is the exact amount of oil you will need to safely deep fry your turkey.

Setting up your turkey and deep fryer

After that, you will need to dry rub and apply seasoning to your turkey. If doing it outdoors, double-check check you have gathered several things. You will need gloves, long-sleeved clothing, and goggles for safety. Kitchen shears help in slicing, and you might need paper towels. You will also need an oil thermometer to keep temperatures in check. A fire extinguisher also comes in handy in case a fire starts. As for the turkey fryer, make sure it has a stable stand, rack, stock pot, probe thermometer, as well as an injector for your propane tank.

How to maintain safety during the frying process

It is imperative that everything goes as outlined. Oil spillages and fires are an imminent risk. Thus, everything that is manageable should be taken care of. Apart from checking on the temperature of the turkey and the oil, you should ensure that the gas line connected to your grill/stove is secure and has no leakage. You could also consider the flammability of the gas that you use for cooking outdoors. Natural gas, while easier to burn, could burn significantly faster than propane, which means the chances of a fire breaking out would be much higher. If you are anxious about your HVAC gas system, you may wish to consider consulting professionals to get a maintenance check or new installation before partaking in outdoor cooking activities.

Never Fry a Frozen Turkey

  • First, ensure your turkey is completely thawed before coming into contact with oil. Ice or sludge could lead to oil spillage. 4-5 pounds of turkey require 24 hours of thawing.
  • The smaller the turkey, the better
  • Turkey should not be stuffed before frying
  • Before frying, make sure the fryer is stable, and not within reach of flammable objects. That includes garages and trees, among other farm structures like patio covers.
  • Internal turkey temperature should be maintained at or above 165F
  • Do not let oil temperatures go beyond 350F
  • Always wear protective clothing
  • Keep abreast with weather updates, at no time should you operate a fryer when it is raining or in the presence of snow
  • Observe a space of at least 2 feet between the fryer and the tank. For cases where one is using a propane tank
  • Keep pets and children away from the fryer at all times
  • Never leave your fryer unattended
  • It is always wise to read instructions if your fryer comes with such a booklet
  • Lastly, cautiously remove the pot from the deep fryer once through. The oil should cool down for about 12 hours before disposing of it.

Step-by-step frying procedures

Now that you have the safety tips at the back of your mind let the action begin!

  1. Keep the flame low before placing your pot. Once the oil is in the pot and put on the burner, increase the burner intensity.
  2. Attach your oil thermometer to the pot’s side with the thermometer’s tip submerged in the oil. Keep checking until you get to the desired levels, 325-350oF.
  3. Use paper towels to get rid of any excess moisture.
  4. Use the shears to get rid of excess fat, and slit every leg at the front.
  5. Using a marinade, dry rub, or both apply your seasoning of choice. Avoid water-based marinades.
  6. Hook your turkey to the lifter and remove the thermometer.
  7. Reduce the flame and lower the turkey slowly into the oil. It should take about a minute.
  8. For every pound, the turkey should cook for an average of 3.5 – 4 minutes.
  9. Once cooked, gradually remove the turkey from the pot letting excess oil drip off.
  10. Check the turkey’s internal temperature with the help of a probe thermometer. It should be at least 165oF.


Once done, place the turkey on a pan or paper towels. After around 15-20 minutes, it should be ready for serving.

This is Affordable Shade Patio Covers wishing you a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. And enjoy lots of turkey and pumpkin pie!