The best way to enjoy a cooked bird is with crisp skin and juicy meat. The fastest way to do this is to deep fry the bird. Deep frying a turkey is popular because it takes less time to get excellent juicy results. You can use a stovetop, but a deep fryer will be a much more convenient and safer outdoor option. This article has a deep fried turkey time chart and all you need to know to do it properly.
Like all other cooking techniques, a turkey must be deep fried for a particular time so the meat won’t get too tender or mushy and the skin remains crisp. This depends on the turkey’s weight and seasoning.
Deep Fried Turkey Overview
The frying time for turkey varies based on weight. Generally, you have to cook the turkey for three to four minutes per pound. Here is how it works:
- 10-13 pounds require a total cooking time of 30-39 minutes, with 3 minutes per pound.
- 14-20 pounds require 56-80 minutes, with 4 minutes per pound. You can also reduce this to three minutes and thirty seconds per pound.
While things can go up and down, keep an eye on the turkey and wait for it to get golden brown. At that time, you can use a knife to touch the skin, and if it is crisp, the turkey is ready. Also, check the internal temp to make doubly sure.
If this is your first time deep frying a turkey, you must keep some essential factors in mind.
- Deep frying time highly depends on the weight, so it would be ideal to choose a lightweight turkey first. Choose somewhere between 10-15 pounds for starters.
- If you have frozen the turkey, completely thaw it before using it. A ten-pound turkey might take around two days to thaw in the fridge. With more weight, you’ll have to wait longer for the turkey to thaw. However, if you are in a hurry and can’t wait long, put your turkey in a plastic bag; tie or seal it, and submerge it in lukewarm water. This will save you time and still keep the turkey juice intact.
- You won’t need the neck and giblets, so remove them. You can discard them or make a giblet’s gravy.
- Next, place the turkey in the frying pot, do not turn it on. This step is to ensure the right level for the oil line. Fill the frying pot with water until it reaches one inch below the turkey top; take measures, as this will be your oil level line. Dry the turkey and the pot.
Ingredients/Utensils You Needs To Deep Fry a Turkey
- Thawed turkey with giblets removed
- Frying oil with a high smoking point (450°F preferably)
- Marinade for injection
- Dry rub for the skin
- Turkey fryer
- Oil thermometer
- Paper towels
- Fire extinguisher (optional but safety first)
Prepare the Turkey
Before doing anything, ensure that your turkey has an empty cavity with the neck and giblets removed. Rub the seasoning on the skin, covering it properly so you won’t have burnt skin. Perfectly cooked skin will enhance the overall experience; however, the seasoning you use must not be strong enough to overcome the taste buds.
Properly seasoned juicy white meat is a delight for your taste buds, and everyone will enjoy the food. On the other hand, inject a marinade into the turkey to get a soft, tender, and juicy result. The best part is that you can easily find a marinade-filled injector in the grocery store, so there is no need to prepare it.
- Remember to inject evenly, so every bite of your turkey has the same taste. This might require practice, but you can measure while injecting for ease.
- Marinate turkey for at least four hours or if you have time, let it marinate overnight for the best taste and tenderness.
- Don’t use any leftover marinades; don’t leave the turkey on the counter after marinating.
Prepare the Fryer
The next step is to prepare the fryer and cook the turkey. While choosing the turkey fryer, ensure to choose the one that fits the entire body but still has space for the steam to roam around.
Insert the stand loop from the neck, ensuring that the turkey’s body is well balanced on it, and exit through the legs. Take out the stand and insert it again if the body needs to be properly balanced. Tie the legs together with a piece of string; you can use any string you want, but make sure it stands the heat.
Using the water line you measured above, pour oil into the pot until it reaches that level. Also, attach the thermometer to the top of the pot using a clip. Most turkey fryers come with a thermometer, but you can use an external one too.
Start with a low flame and slowly increase the heat until the oil temperature reaches 325 – 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here is the thing, since you have to adjust the temperature multiple times to get it right, do not leave the fryer unattended. It might take up to 30 minutes for the oil to reach the optimum temperature; until then, stay near the machine.
Deep Fry Turkey
Now, to the main event: deep fry the turkey. The oil must be at an optimum temperature, like 350 degrees for 10-13 pounds or 320 degrees for 15-20 pounds.
Carefully pour the turkey into the oil, and keep your hands safe. It would be better to wear gloves while doing this to avoid getting burned by oil drops. One trick to prevent oil from boiling over is to dip and take out the turkey two or three times before submerging it. This also seals the turkey juices you might lose if you submerge the turkey on the first attempt.
After submerging the turkey, cook it for 3 or 4 minutes per pound. For example, if your turkey weighs 10-13 pounds, you must cook it for 30-39 minutes, while a 14-20 pound turkey would take nearly 56-80 minutes. Here’s the deep fried turkey time chart based on 3 mins per pound.
|Turkey Weight||Cook time at 350 Degrees F|
|10 lbs||30 minutes|
|12 lbs||36 minutes|
|14 lbs||42 minutes|
|16 lbs||48 minutes|
|18 lbs||54 minutes|
|20 lbs||60 minutes|
Using the thermometer, keep checking the internal temperature until it reaches 165 at the thickest part of the breast. Be sure not to touch any bone to get a correct temp. Also, don’t use the lid while frying; keep it open.
What to Do After Cooking
Even if you follow the proper timing, you may not know when it is done. So, wait until you see that the skin is dark brown, and then take out the turkey from the fryer.
Remember to use gloves while taking out the turkey to avoid burning your hands. Slowly lift and hold it, so the excess oil drips back into the fryer. Place the turkey on the paper towels to absorb as much oil as possible.
Let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes to let it cool before you start eating it. The internal turkey temperature will rise a little while it rests. It takes around three hours for the oil to cool down, so try not to empty the fryer before that. On the other hand, using a cheesecloth, you can strain the oil as it can be used two more times.
Deep frying a turkey is easy if you follow the right time chart. We shared the process and the correct time required to deep fry the turkey, so you get a crisp and juicy bird in the end.
However, remember to thaw the turkey completely if you have previously frozen it before proceeding with the deep frying. Also, ensure you wash your hands, use gloves and protect your face from the oil while frying. Keep kids and pets away.
We hope this post on a deep fried turkey time chart has helped!