It’s Fast and You Can Do It!
Deep frying a turkey for the holidays is a quick way to cook that turkey for your family. Depending on the size of the bird, it only takes approximately 30 minutes of cooking time to have a delicious, moist turkey.
For a whole turkey, estimate 3 minutes per pound as the cooking time. Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. More tips are below.
You can find turkey deep fryers at most hardware stores and now there are electric ones that work beautifully.
Canola Oil Temperature is Key to Success
Deep frying is a dry heat method. Having your canola oil at the right temperature is the key to success in producing a crisp and not greasy end result. Canola oil is recommended because of its high smoke point and low allergy concerns.
The ideal frying temperature is 375°F. Once you submerge the turkey, the oil temperature will drop.
How Does it Work?
The hot canola oil heats the water within the turkey and the water vapor pushes the bubbles towards the surface. This is why it is critical to have your turkey completely dry, inside and out.
How Much Canola Oil Do I Need?
Look for a 16 litre jib of canola oil at your supermarket or box supermarket like Costco. The large container (jib) of canola oil is a high stability canola oil that is used in the food service industry for fryers.
High stability canola oil has a higher smoke point and it comes in one large container size, perfect for the deep fryer.
How Much Canola Oil Do I Need in my Fryer?
- To measure correct oil level, place turkey in an empty deep-fry vessel.
- Fill the vessel with water until it reaches about 2” above the turkey.
- Remove the turkey.
- Submerge a measuring stick into the water to measure height of water in the vessel and mark the measuring stick at the watermark.
- Dispose of water and thoroughly dry the vessel inside and out.
- Stand measuring stick upright in empty vessel and fill with oil to marked point.
Can I Keep The Used Oil?
After the bird has been cooked, cool the oil, strain through coffee filters, or cheese cloth and pour back into your container to be used again. Always season your food, after it comes out of the fryer.
More Turkey Information:
The Manitoba Turkey Producers have a great website with a wonderful how to information:
Turkey Prep Tips:
- For best results, choose a whole turkey weighing less than 10 lbs, or select turkey parts such as wings, thighs, and breasts.
- To begin, remove thawed or fresh turkey from outside wrapper, remove giblets and neck from the cavities, and rinse with cool water.
- If marinating or injecting, do so and place bird into a large clean bag or large non-corrosive pot and return to refrigerator for 4-24 hours.
- Important: Before cooking, ensure that the turkey is dry by patting with paper towel inside and out. Excess moisture on or in the turkey will cause the oil to splatter.
Deep Frying Tips:
- Preheat oil to 375°F (190°C). This may take 45 minutes – 1 hour. Use a candy or deep-frying thermometer to ensure accuracy. If the temperature is not high enough, the turkey will absorb more oil and may taste greasy. If the temperature is too high, the turkey may burn. Continue to monitor the temperature throughout the cooking process
- Using oven mitts and a turkey basket or holder, CAREFULLY lower the turkey into the oil. The turkey should be totally immersed in the oil to ensure even cooking
- Estimate 3 minutes per pound – a 10 lb turkey takes approximately 30 minutes to deep-fry.
- Remove turkey from the oil, and check the temperature using a food thermometer: 180°F (82°C) in the breast, and 170°F (77°C) in the thigh. The meat will be juicy and tender.
- When cooked, remove your golden brown turkey from the oil, ensuring that the oil is drained from the cavity. Place on a rack and cover with foil. Let turkey stand for at least 20 minutes to allow it to finish cooking. This is a very important procedure, do not rush or skip. Your completed turkey will be tender and juicy
10 Do’s and Don’ts of Deep Frying:
- Do keep children and pets away from the deep fryer at all times.
- Do always follow the instructions that came with your deep fryer.
- Don’t stuff your turkey or use a pre-stuffed or pre-basted turkey.
- Do thaw a frozen turkey completely before immersing in the oil. If still frozen, the oil can spill over the top and be dangerous.
- Do be aware that the sides and handles of the fryer can become dangerously hot.
- Don’t over-fill the pot with oil in case it spills over and catches fire.
- Do deep-frying outside on a level dirt or grassy area and never on wooden decks or inside a garage.
- Don’t ever use water to extinguish a grease fire – have a fire extinguisher available.
- Do allow oil to cool completely before disposing or storing.
- Don’t store oil in the cooking pot.