How Long Does It Take Deep Fry a Turkey

Author: Jenny J. Brown
January 5, 2024

If you’ve ever tried to cook a Thanksgiving dinner at home, then you probably know that frying food takes longer than baking or grilling. And since turkeys don’t bake well, they require special attention.

Deep frying a turkey is definitely a challenge because the temperature has to be maintained throughout the entire cooking time. The key to successful deep frying is using high-quality oil and a thermometer.

Table of Contents

How Long Does It Take to Deep Fry a Turkey?

It depends on the size of the turkey. A 10-pound turkey should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to fully cook.

It’s important to note that the temperature of the oil must remain constant during the entire cooking process. Otherwise, the outside of the turkey could overcook while the inside remains undercooked.

You can tell whether the oil is too hot by watching the color change. When the oil turns dark brown, the temperature is correct.

  • When the oil starts to smoke, the temperature is too high.
  • When the oil begins to smoke, the temperature needs to be reduced.
  • Once the oil stops smoking, the temperature is right.
How Long Does it Take Deep Fry a Turkey
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Cooking Time difference based on Methods

Air frying time of Turkey

The air fryer cooks food faster than any other method. It’s perfect for small batches of food like chicken tenders or french fries. However, if you’re trying to cook a whole turkey, you may have to wait up to an hour before your bird is done.

Baking Time of Turkey

A turkey can also be baked in the oven. This works best when using the oven as a roasting pan. If you do this, make sure to preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, place the turkey breast side down into the oven. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Baking Time of Turkey
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Grilling Time in Turkey

A grill will work great for cooking a turkey. Just remember to keep the heat low so that the meat doesn’t burn. To get the most out of your grill, try placing the turkey breast side down over indirect heat. Grill slowly until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Does it Take Deep Fry a Turkey
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Stovetop Cooking Time of Turkey

To cook a turkey on the stove top, start with a large stock pot filled halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add salt to taste. Add the turkey to the hot water and cover. Let the turkey simmer for 30 minutes per pound. Remove the turkey from the pot and let cool.

To check the internal temperature, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.

What Temperature Should I Use?

The ideal temperature for deep frying is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, the turkey won’t dry out but will still be cooked through.

However, if you are unable to maintain that temperature, you can lower the temperature slightly. For example, if the oil is already at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, reduce the temperature to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you find that the oil isn’t heating properly, it might be due to a clogged filter. You can clean the filter by running warm tap water through it.

What Temperature Should I Use?
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How Do I Keep My Oil From Spitting?

Oil spitting happens when there is not enough oil in the fryer. This causes the oil to spit onto the surface of the food being fried.

This problem usually occurs because the oil has been sitting idle for too long. To prevent this, drain the oil after every batch of food.

How Much Oil Will I Need?

The amount of oil required depends on the type of food being prepared. However, here are some general guidelines:

• If you’re frying a whole bird, such as a turkey, then you’ll need approximately 8 quarts of oil. Remember, though, that you’ll need more fat than you think.

• If you’re deep frying small items like chicken tenders, then you’ll need 2 gallons of oil.

• If you want to make sure your oil doesn’t go bad before you use it again, then you’ll need 4 gallons of oil.

How Much Oil Will I Need?
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What Makes reducing less time in deep frying turkey?

Reducing Temperature

You can reduce the temperature of your oil while cooking without affecting the quality of the food.

Here are three ways to do this:

1) Reduce the size of the pot. A smaller pot heats up faster than a larger pot.

2) Turn down the burner. Lowering the flame reduces the amount of energy used.

3) Increase the distance between the burner and the pot.

Size of Turkey

A large turkey requires more space than a small turkey. Therefore, it takes longer to cook. When cooking a large turkey, you should allow 15 to 30 minutes per pound.

The total cooking time will depend on the size of the turkey. Here are some guidelines:

• Small turkeys take about 45 minutes to cook.

• Medium turkeys take about 60 minutes to cook.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

How long does it take to deep fry a whole turkey?

It typically takes about 3-4 minutes per pound to deep fry a whole turkey.

What type of oil should I use for deep frying a turkey?

Peanut oil is the best choice for deep frying a turkey due to its high smoke point and neutral flavor.

What is the recommended oil temperature for deep frying a turkey?

The oil should be heated to a temperature of 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit for deep frying a turkey.

How do I lower the turkey into the hot oil?

Use a turkey fryer with a lifting hook or carefully and slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil to avoid splattering.

How can I ensure that the turkey is fully cooked?

Use a meat thermometer to check that the thickest part of the turkey registers at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it is fully cooked.

Can I deep fry a turkey indoors?

It’s safer to deep fry a turkey outdoors to prevent any risk of fire or fume buildup indoors.


Deep frying is an easy way to prepare delicious foods. However, it does require a bit of practice. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to create tasty dishes with ease.

The key to successful turkey deep frying is timing. Start checking the temperature of the oil after 20 minutes, and continue monitoring it throughout the entire process. If needed, adjust the heat accordingly. When the oil reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius), remove the turkey from the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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