How to Deep Fry a Turkey: The No-Filler Guide

Nothing fancy here! Just a no-nonsense guide to transforming a cold turkey into a deliciously fried centerpiece.

November 17, 2022
How to Deep Fry a Turkey: The No-Filler Guide

Nothing fancy here! Just a no-nonsense guide to transforming a cold turkey into a deliciously fried centerpiece. It may seem like a long list of steps to get from beginning to end, but the reality is that the process is simple and intuitive. In addition to showing you an alternative method for cooking a holiday bird, this guide will help you do it safely–to keep all the holiday fun intact!


  1. Thaw your bird; catch some quick tips here.
  2. Brine your turkey.
  3. Remove the twine holding the legs together as well as the plastic packet of giblets from inside the chest cavity.
  4. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  5. If necessary, remove any excess fat from the bird; it will ultimately overfry and become unusable anyway. (Note: Market House Turkeys come with 55% less fat than other brands, making this step largely unnecessary.)
  6. Inject melted butter into the turkey, starting with the breast and moving to the legs; inject until butter is emerging from the meat. (For this, you can use a standard syringe or a marinade injector.)
  7. Place the turkey on the rack, and lower it into your frying pot.
  8. To measure how much oil you need (an important step for safety), fill with cold water until the bird is completely submerged.
  9. Remove the turkey, emptying any water from the cavity.
  10. Note the waterline by scoring a small mark on the inside of the pot; you can use a thermometer, tongs, etc.
  11. Dry your pot.
  12. Fill the pot with peanut oil (or any oil with a high smoke point) up to the scored line; do not add oil above the line.
  13. Ignite the fire, and heat the oil to a toasty 325° F.
  14. Turn off the gas, and use fireproof gloves and a safety hook to slowly lower the turkey into the oil. The slower, the better! This reduces burn risks and oil spills. 
  15. Reignite the flame.
  16. Cook the turkey for 3.5 minutes per pound; see the cheat sheet below for Market House Turkeys.
  17. Cut off the gas to put out the flame, and slowly remove the turkey, emptying its cavity of excess oil.
  18. Allow the turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes to redistribute juices; carve and serve.

How Long to Deep Fry a Turkey Per Pound? 

The time-tested rule of thumb is to deep fry a turkey for 3.5 minutes per pound. Reference a cheat sheet for Market House Turkey sizes below: 

8-10lbs: 28-35 min
10-12lbs: 35-42 min
12-14lbs: 42-49 min
14-16lbs: 49-56 min
16-18lbs: 56-63 min


Note: These times are a suggestion. Regardless of the duration of your cook, your turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165° F for safe enjoyment. 


Turkey Frying Safety Tips

  1. Never fry a frozen bird; this leads to an undesirable product as well as posing some flame risks.
  2. Fry on a level surface, distanced from your home, and on an inflammable area if possible.
  3. Never leave the fryer unattended.
  4. Never use a lid; this will increase the likelihood of a boil-over.
  5. Monitor the surface to make sure no rain, debris, etc. falls into the pot.
  6. Never add more oil than you need; too much oil can cause serious harm to you and/or your property.

Use common sense, and trust the process. This thing is going to be delicious.  

Don’t have a big bird yet? Look no further than right here!

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