Fried turkey is just what the name implies, a whole deep fried turkey. This method is used with chicken or with small turkeys. An 8- to 10-pound turkey is stuffed with garlic, onions, peppers and various seasonings and the entire bird is lowered into a huge vat of hot oil and fried until crispy and golden brown.
When frying a turkey, allow 3 to 5 minutes cooking time per pound. An estimated 5 gallons of oil is needed for an 8-10 pound turkey. The oil should be preheated between 365 and 375°F when adding the turkey to the oil. Remove the bird from the oil to check the internal temperature. Temperature should be checked in three parts including the breast, innermost portion of the win, and innermost portion of the thigh. The temperature for the inner thigh (dark meat) 180°F and the white meat to 170°F on a food thermometer.
- Read the manufacturers instruction closely before staring the process.
- Remove the neck and giblets before starting.
- Know how much oil to add: If the pot is too full oil can spill out the sides and result in burns or a fire. The National Turkey Federation recommends putting the turkey in a fryer basket in the pot and adding water until it’s at least 1 inch above the turkey and marking the pot. Be sure to thoroughly dry the pot before filling it with oil. Marking the pot helps indicate when to stop adding oil.
- Use a completely thawed bird. Read more about thawing. A mixture of water and oil can cause an explosion.
- Aim for oils with a high smoke point such as peanut, corn, refined canola, rice, or sunflower oil.
- Never leave hot oil unattended or near children or pets, and wait for it to cool completely before storing.
- Fryers should always be used outdoors on a solid even surface at a safe distance away from buildings and flammable materials.
- Wear protection. When frying a turkey wear well-insulated potholders, long sleeves, and safety goggles to prevent burns from oil spatter.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by.