What Size Turkey Can I Deep Fry In My Fryer?

Author: Jenny J. Brown
December 16, 2023

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and you’ve decided to fry your turkey deep this year. But before you fire up the fryer, knowing what size turkey your fryer can handle is important. Too small of a bird won’t feed your hungry guests, and a turkey that’s too big could cause a dangerous situation.

Deep frying a turkey has become a popular method for cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. The crispy skin and juicy meat it produces make it a delicious and impressive meal. However, it’s important to know the capacity of your fryer before choosing a turkey size.

Choosing the right size turkey for your deep fryer is crucial for a successful and safe cooking experience. In this article, we’ll discuss the recommended turkey sizes for different fryer capacities and safety tips to keep in mind while frying.

What Size Turkey Can I Deep Fry In My Fryer?
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What Size Turkey Can I Deep Fry in My Fryer?

If you’re using an 18-pound turkey fryer, it’s safe to deep-fry a whole turkey as long as it weighs 14 pounds or less. For turkeys weighing 15 pounds or more, it’s best to separate the legs and thighs from the breast and fry them separately. It’s important not to try and deep fry a stuffed turkey.

If you’re using an oil-less fryer, you can deep-fry a turkey that weighs up to 22 pounds. The best way to determine whether your particular fryer can handle the size of your turkey is to read the manual that came with it.

Will a 20 Pound Turkey Fit In A Deep Fryer
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Will a 20-Pound Turkey Fit In A Deep Fryer?

The answer to whether or not a 20-pound turkey can fit in a deep fryer depends on the size of your fryer. Generally speaking, most standard home-style deep fryers have an oil capacity ranging from around 3 to 5 gallons.

If you have a 5-gallon fryer, you should be able to fit a 20-pound turkey easily. However, if you have a smaller fryer with a capacity of 3 gallons or less, you will be limited to a turkey weighing 14 pounds or less.

Things to Considered While Choosing Turkey Size For Air Fryer

When it comes to deep-frying a turkey, there are several things to consider before deciding on the size of the bird. The most important factor is the size of your air fryer. Most air fryers have a maximum capacity that should not be exceeded if you want to avoid dangerous overflows and splattering.

The second thing to consider is what type of turkey you plan to fry. If you plan on frying a stuffed turkey, it’s best to choose one that is smaller. The third factor is the number of people you intend to serve. A 14-pound turkey will feed approximately 8-10 people, while a 20-pound turkey will feed up to 16 people.

Finally, keep in mind that deep-frying a turkey requires several gallons of oil. Make sure you have a large enough container to accommodate the size of your turkey and the amount of oil needed for deep-frying.

What Type of Oil to Use for Turkey
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What Type of Oil to Use for Turkey?

Using the right type of oil for deep-frying is essential for achieving delicious results. It helps keep food from sticking to the pan and also gives the finished product a beautiful golden-brown color. In order to pick the right oil to use, it’s important to look for one that has a neutral flavor, as well as a high smoke point.

Peanut oil is a great choice for deep-frying because it has a neutral flavor that won’t overpower the taste of your food. It also has one of the highest smoke points of all oils, which means less chance of burning or smoking when you cook with it at high temperatures.

Canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, and rice bran oil are all good alternatives that have similarly high smoke points. Whichever type you choose, make sure it’s fresh and not expired. That way, you’ll get the best results.

What is the Perfect Way to Prep Turkey
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What is the Perfect Way to Prep Turkey?

It’s important to properly prepare the bird before deep-frying it. First, make sure that the turkey is completely thawed before taking any further steps. Here’s a guide for how long to let the bird thaw, whether it’s in the refrigerator or in cold water.

Once thawed, you can truss up the bird to help promote even cooking and prevent flare-ups while frying. This is done by tucking the wings behind the turkey and tying the legs together with twine. This step isn’t necessary if you don’t want to take extra time to do so – just keep an eye on your turkey while frying and adjust as needed.

Deep-fried turkeys are definitely worth the extra effort of prepping them. Just make sure you’ve taken all necessary safety precautions when frying, including using a deep fryer outside or in a well-ventilated area, never leaving oil unattended, and making sure that it comes up to temperature slowly for best results (at least 30 minutes). Following these simple tips will guarantee delicious results every time.

Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey
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Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

Deep-frying a turkey can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure a safe and successful cooking experience:

• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before frying.

• Always use a deep fryer with a lid. This will reduce the risk of oil splashing out while cooking.

• Place the fryer on the flat, stable ground away from any structures or combustible materials.

• Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.

• Only fill the oil to the recommended level, and make sure it is enough to cover the turkey completely.

• Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil throughout cooking. The ideal temperature for deep-frying a turkey is 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. How Many Gallons Of Oil Do I Need To Fry A 25-Pound Turkey?

To prepare for cooking a turkey, you will need 4 to 5 gallons of cooking oil, an apron, long heavy-duty oven mitts (typically used for grilling), and an instant-read thermometer to check the turkey’s internal temperature.

2. How Long Does It Take To Deep Fry A 25 Lb Turkey?

To cook a turkey, a general rule of thumb is to allow for 3 to 4 minutes of cooking time per pound. To ensure that the turkey is fully cooked, the dark meat should reach an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F, while all the white meat should have an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.

3. Can I Reuse Peanut Oil After Frying A Turkey?

Yes, you can reuse peanut oil after frying a turkey. The amount of oil used for deep frying a turkey varies depending on the turkey’s size and the fryer’s size. Generally, you should use about 4 to 5 gallons of oil for a 12-14 pound turkey in an 8-quart fryer, the most common size for deep frying turkeys.

After you have used the oil for cooking the turkey, you should allow it to cool completely before straining it through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Once strained and cooled, the oil can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cabinet.

4. Is It Better To Put Butter Or Oil On A Turkey?

When deciding whether to use butter or oil when deep frying a turkey, it is important to consider the size of the bird. The size of the turkey will determine how much butter or oil is needed. For smaller turkeys, such as those eight to twelve pounds, melted butter is usually sufficient for achieving a golden-brown crispy skin.

However, for larger birds, such as those that are thirteen to eighteen pounds, it is usually best to use oil. The amount of oil used should be enough to cover the entire bird.

5. Should I Season My Turkey Before Deep Frying It?

Yes, you should season your turkey before deep frying. This will help increase the meat’s flavor and give it a nice crispiness when cooked. Depending on the size of your fryer, you can usually deep fry turkeys up to 18-20 pounds in weight.


The size of a turkey that you can deep fry in your fryer depends on the size of your fryer. Generally, you should use 4 to 5 gallons of oil for a 12-14 pound turkey in an 8-quart fryer. Make sure to season your turkey beforehand and keep an eye on the temperature of the oil throughout cooking. Lastly, be sure to follow all necessary safety precautions when using the fryer.

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