How Do You Hook A Turkey for Deep Frying?

Author: Jenny J Brown
November 13, 2023

Do you know how to hook a turkey for deep frying? And why is it important to properly prepare your turkey before frying?

Deep frying foods has become quite familiar over the years. In addition to chicken and fish, you also deep fry turkeys, ducks, and even pork chops.

Just like cooking a regular piece of meat, there are some things you should know before attempting to fry a turkey. Learn how to hook a Turkey for deep frying and all the steps involved in this process.

Deep Frying

Deep Frying
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Deep frying is a cooking technique where food is cooked at high temperatures for a long using oil or fat. This process makes foods crispy and delicious. For example, the best way to deep fry chicken is to use vegetable oil.

This way, the outer layer of the food becomes crispy while keeping the inside moist. People use this method for making chips, French fries, onion rings, shrimp, etc.

The main difference between shallow-fried foods and deep-fried ones is that the former requires less oil and a shorter cooking time, whereas the latter needs much more fat and a longer cooking time.

Why should I deep fry my turkey?

Turkey is a delicious meat dish that's often served at Thanksgiving dinner. However, if you decide to do turkey during the holiday season, you should consider deep frying it instead of baking or grilling. The reason is deep-fried turkeys taste way better than baked or grilled turkeys.

How do you hook a turkey for deep frying?

You will need a large turkey, a turkey fryer, and a propane tank. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Remove the giblets and rinse the turkey inside and out. Dry out the turkey using paper towels.

Hooking the turkey to the stand

  1. Place the rack in a large pot or sink.
  2. Center the hook over the rack so that it is balanced.
  3. Slowly lower the turkey into the oil, ensuring it is completely submerged.

How to deep fry Turkey?

You can deep fry almost anything, from chicken to fish to potatoes. For turkeys, however, the method requires some adjustments. Here are some recipes that you can follow:


Recipe 1
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Things You'll Need

  • A large stockpot or turkey fryer
  • A propane tank
  • An injector syringe
  • A meat thermometer


  • 1 (12-16 pound) whole turkey, thawed if frozen
  • 1 gallon of peanut or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup of your favorite marinade or injection seasoning


Step-1: Measure the Oil Level

Use a measuring cup or a food scale to measure the oil.

What type of oil to use

The type of oil you use for deep frying your turkey is essential. You want to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil.

How much oil to use

When submerged in the fryer, you will need enough oil to cover the turkey. For most turkeys, this will be between 3 and 5 gallons (11-19 L) of oil.

Step 2. Set Up the Fryer and Heat the Oil

When choosing a location for your turkey fryer, ensure it is situated on level ground and at least 15 feet away from other structures. Also, be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of any accidents.

Oil temperature

The oil should be heated to between 325 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit. An excellent way to gauge the temperature is to insert a candy thermometer into the oil.

How to heat oil

There are two ways to heat the oil for frying. The first method is to use a propane-powered turkey fryer. These fryers come with an attached burner that heats the oil to the desired temperature.

The second method is to use a stovetop pot filled with oil. Place the pot on the stove and heat the oil until it reaches the desired temperature.

Step-3: Prep Your Turkey

If you're starting with a frozen turkey, allow enough time for it to thaw completely. The general rule is to allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. So, if you have a 15-pound turkey, it will take about three days to thaw in the fridge.


Injecting your turkey with marinade is optional, but it's a great way to add flavor and moisture. If you decide to inject your turkey, do so at least 24 hours before cooking.


Brining is another optional step, but it's worth doing if you want a juicy and flavorful turkey. To brine a turkey, you'll need to soak it in a saltwater solution for 12-24 hours before cooking.

Step-4: Slowly lower Turkey into the oil

When you're deep frying a turkey, it's essential to be careful not to splash oil. It can be dangerous and cause the lubricant to smoke, making your turkey taste terrible. Instead, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the oil and monitor the turkey closely as it cooks.

Step-5: Fry Until Turkey Reaches 165°F

The ideal frying temperature for turkey is between 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frying time

It takes about 3 minutes per pound to fry a turkey. So, for example, a 15-pound turkey would need to fry for 45 minutes.

How to check the turkey's temperature

To ensure that your turkey is cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the breast and thigh. The internal temperature should be at least 163 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step-6: Let the Bird Rest Before Carving

  • It allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it moister and flavorful.
  • It makes the turkey easier to carve.
  • It allows you to make the gravy while the turkey is resting.

How long to let it rest

The best is to let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. This will give the juices time to redistribute and make the meat more succulent and delicious.



  • 1 (12-16 lb) turkey
  • 1 gallon of peanut or canola oil
  • Injector syringe
  • Deep fryer

Step by step Instructions

  1. First, you will need to thaw your turkey. Your turkey must be entirely softened before frying. If it is not completely thawed, it will not cook evenly and could even explode while frying. To thaw your turkey, place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.
  2. Next, you need to prepare your injector syringe with your favorite marinade. Inject the marinade into the meatiest parts of the turkey, such as the breast and thighs.
  3. Now, it's time to heat the oil in your deep fryer. The oil should be heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Carefully lower the turkey using a wire rack or basket designed for deep frying turkeys into the hot oil. Fry for 5 to 6 minutes per pound or until golden brown is cooked.
  5. Remove the cooked turkey from the fryer and allow it to rest on a wire rack or paper towel for at least 10 minutes before carving.

A recipe for juicy fried turkey is a popular Thanksgiving dish that includes breading and frying the turkey before cooking. The breading consists of cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper.


You'll need the following:

  • A propane burner
  • A large fryer A fryer basket or perforated poultry rack
  • Burn-proof oven-mitts Canola, peanut, or vegetable oil
  • A thermometer
  • And a whole turkey, fresh or thoroughly thawed


Step-1: Remove any wrappers, as well as the giblets and neck, from inside the turkey's body cavity.

Step-2: We're going to prepare our outdoor workstation. Always deep-fry your turkey outside, not in your house, garage, or deck.

Step-3: Place your propane burner on a perfectly level surface, and make sure your pot is 100% stable.

Step-4: Now be ready to prepare deep frying oil. Canola, peanut, or vegetable oil work best because they have a high smoking point. Determine how much oil is needed so that you don't have any spills or boil-overs.

Step-5: Place the turkey on the perforated poultry rack or in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer.

Step-6: Fill the fryer with enough water until the turkey is fully covered. The pot should be large enough so that the oil is still at least 3 to 5 inches from the top of the pot. Next, remove the turkey and mark the water line. That line will be your guide when adding oil to the fryer.

Step-7: Now dump out your water, dry the fryer, and fill the fryer with oil up to your marked water line. Remove the tape.

Step-8: Heat the oil in the fryer to 370° F. Never leave your deep fryer unattended.

Step-9: While the oil is heating, dry the turkey using paper towels, and add any seasonings.

Step-10: Place the turkey onto the perforated poultry rack or basket. When the oil has reached 375 F, turn the burner off.

Step-11: Wearing oven mitts, slowly and carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil.

Once the turkey is safely submerged, turn the burner back on—Cook the turkey for about 3 to 4 minutes per pound. The turkey will be done when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 163° F.


  • While the turkey is deep frying, prepare a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
  • When the turkey is done, turn off the flame,
  • slowly lift it from the pot and place it in the pan to drain.
  • Allow the turkey to rest breast side down and legs up for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket.



  • Turkey (Up to 14lb)
  • Seasoning
  • Injector/Baster
  • Dowel or Paint Stick
  • Food Safe Marker
  • Paper Towels
  • Thermometer
  • Peanut Oil
  • Fryer
  • Carving Knife & Fork
  • Propane Tank
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Carving Board


  • Set up your cooking space; it should be on a hard-level surface at least 10 feet from your home with no limbs or hanging objects overhead.
  • Determine how much peanut oil you need to add to the pot.
  • Place the thawed turkey in the basket
  • Then place them both down in the fryer
  • Add water until it reaches the top of the turkey, then lift both out, allowing the water to drain back.
  • Place a dipstick into the pot and Mark the water level on it; use this as your guide when it's time to add oil after discarding the water
  • Pat the turkey dry inside and out, then return it to the refrigerator before you begin preparations.
  • Be sure to allow 12 to 14 hours to thoroughly thaw a frozen turkey, remove the neck and giblets, and discard the wrap and organs.
  • Remove any excess fat, then dry the bird inside and out to avoid moisture pockets. These can create dangerous oil splatters later if your fryer isn't large enough to accommodate your turkey.
  • Separate the legs and thighs so you can fry them separately, then add any injectable flavorings, seasonings, or marinades
  • Make small incisions under the neck, wings, and legs so the oil will drain quickly when you pull it from the fryer.
  • Add oil up to your predetermined fill line and heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, monitoring it with a thermometer
  • Once the oil is hot, turn off the burner and lower the empty basket into the pot for about 30 seconds to preheat
  • Now remove it place the turkey in the basket, and slowly lower them into the hot oil; turn the burner back on. Cook it for about five to seven minutes per pound until it reaches its ideal temperature.
  • Turn the burner off and slowly lift the basket from the pot.

Some Extra tips

  • Ensure your turkey is completely thawed before frying to ensure even cooking.
  • Inject your favorite marinade into the meatiest turkey parts for extra flavor.
  • Be careful when handling hot oil and cooked turkey to avoid burns.


1. Why is my fried turkey skin not crisp?

Your fried turkey skin is not crispy because it has been sitting out for too long. To ensure your fried turkey skin stays crispy longer, keep it covered with foil until ready to serve.

2. How long do you deep-fry a 20lb turkey?

You can deep fry a 20-pound turkey for about an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. How many times can you reuse peanut oil to fry a turkey?

You can reuse peanut oil up to 4 times before it becomes unusable.

4. How much oil do I need to deep-fry a 20-pound turkey?

You will need approximately 1 quart of oil for each pound of meat you are frying. If you want to fry more than one bird at once, increase the amount of oil accordingly.

5. Can I deep-fry a turkey in vegetable oil?

You can fry turkey breast in vegetable oil at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The meat will be tender and juicy.

6. Why did my deep-fried turkey turn black?

The reason why your turkey turned black is that it was cooked at too high a temperature. If you're cooking food for longer than 30 minutes, you should use an oven instead of a microwave.

7. Do you leave the thermometer in the turkey while deep frying?

It is essential to leave the thermometer in when cooking with oil. If you remove the thermometer, you may burn yourself if there are any bubbles.

8. How long do you deep fry a 10lb turkey?

You can deep-fry a whole turkey for about 4 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit within 30 minutes.

9. How long do you deep fry a 16-pound turkey?

You can deep fry a 16-pound bird for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. However, if you want to make sure it doesn't dry out too much, I suggest cooking it for only 10-15 minutes


So, there you have it. Our foolproof guide on how to hook a turkey for deep frying. This method results in juicy, delicious fried turkey every time. So, whether you're cooking for a holiday or want a delicious meal, give these recipes a try, and don't forget to share them with your friends and family. We hope our article seems helpful to you.

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