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Someone basting a deep fried turkey on a platter.

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 52 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Turkey 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Deep Fryer
  • Cuisine: American


How to Deep Fry a Turkey – a step-by-step tutorial on how to successfully deep fry your turkey! Super simple and so delicious!


  • 1 whole turkey (15 pound turkey pictured)
  • Peanut oil (approx. 3-4 gallons – see Notes)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 23 Tablespoons kosher salt


  1. Thaw: Completely thaw your turkey (very important) – do not cook unless it is 100% thawed – and bring to room temperature.
  2. Remove Giblets: Remove giblets, neck, etc. from inside. Additionally, remove any hock lock that is holding the legs in place.
  3. Brine (optional): Complete any sort of brine you desire, if you choose (optional)
  4. Peanut Oil: When you are ready to deep fry, add enough peanut oil to your aluminum deep fryer (you can test out how much you need by practicing with water first) so that your turkey will be completely submerged.
  5. Temperature: Bring oil temperature up to 400 degrees F. – do NOT let it go over 400 degrees F. as it is very dangerous and could catch on fire. Keep covered when heating oil.
  6. Slowly Drop Turkey: Place turkey in an aluminum basket/strainer (usually comes with a turkey fryer) and very, VERY slowly drop into the hot oil. Ensure oil does not bubble over the top.
  7. Cover: Cover immediately.
  8. Temperature: Your temperature will drop from 400 degrees F. down to 350-325 degrees F. You are going to want to cook the turkey at 350 degrees F. for 3 1/2 minutes per pound.
  9. Keep Covered: Cook covered, uncovering only occasionally to keep an eye on internal temp.
  10. Check Internal Temp: Once you have cooked the turkey for 3 1/2 minutes per pound, carefully raise the turkey up out of the peanut oil enough so you can check the internal temperature with at meat thermometer. Turkey is fully cooked when the dark meat is at 165.
  11. Remove + Baste: Carefully remove from fryer, drain and place on a large platter. Baste with melted butter and sprinkle with salt.
  12. Rest: Let rest for 30 minutes.
  13. Carve: Carve your turkey and serve!


  • Do I Need to Prep/Pat Dry the Turkey: Nope. You don’t pat dry or rub with olive oil beforehand – you will be basting with melted butter afterwards though! You can brine your turkey beforehand, but that is completely optional and it will turn out amazing without doing so.
  • Cooking Time: the cooking time in the recipe card was calculated using a 15 pound turkey (15 lbs x 3.5 minutes = 52.5 minutes).  Make sure you are calculating your cook time based upon the number of pounds your turkey is.
  • Meat thermometer: You will want a trusty meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. I have this meat thermometer and love it.
  • Peanut Oil: You can just buy peanut oil from your local grocery store. You will most likely need 3-4 gallons (this will obviously depend upon how big your turkey is and how large your deep fryer is).
  • Hock Lock: You will want to remove any hock lock that is holding your turkeys legs together – they are usually plastic and will melt in the deep fryer.
  • Fully Thaw Your Turkey: It bears repeating that you MUST fully thaw your turkey and allow it to come to room temperature before you deep fry it.
  • Leftovers: try making some Homemade Turkey Stock, Turkey Pot Pie or Leftover Turkey Salad!

Keywords: how to deep fry a turkey, deep fried turkey