About 15 years ago I decided to try deep frying a turkey for Thanksgiving. The results were great and since then I have made it an annual tradition. The time required to cook the turkey is less than 1 hour and the meat is always very moist, even the white meat. Recently I tried deep frying a duck and achieved the same great results.
You can fry the turkey inside or outside. Inside you must use an electric fryer and outside you can use a propane fryer or electric fryer. I have used both and both work equally well, but I always cook outside in the open air for safety purposes. The procedure is the same for a turkey or a duck except where noted in parenthesis.
What You Will Need
• Turkey Fryer – Electric or Propane (propane outside only on dirt or grassy area).
• Thermometer to measure the oil temperature.
• Food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the bird.
• Injector for marinades and seasonings.
• Fire extinguisher, oven mitts and pot holders.
• Peanut oil – 3 gallons (other oils can be used but peanut oil is best)
• Up to a 14 pound whole turkey (up to a 6.5 pound whole duck).
Determine the Amount of Oil Needed
Most turkey fryers have a fill line indicating the right level of oil to add to the pot, but if that line is absent from your fryer, do the following before marinating the turkey:
Place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place both in the empty pot. The minimum oil level should be 3 inches to 5 inches from the top of the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is covered. Remove the turkey allowing the water to drain from the turkey. Note the water level. Drain or pour out the water and dry the pot thoroughly. If the fryer has a drain valve, be sure all the excess water is removed from the spigot.
Remove the turkey from the wrapper. Be sure to save the label that indicates the weight of the turkey. You will use the turkey’s weight to compute the total frying time.
• Thaw the turkey completely and remove the neck and giblets from the body cavity.
• Add oil to the fill line using up to 3 gallons to 5 gallons.
• Preheat the oil to 375 degrees (325 degrees for whole duck).
• While the oil is heating, prepare the turkey as desired.
• Remove the wire or plastic truss that holds the legs in place,
• Remove the pop-up timer from the breast if there is one.
• Do not stuff turkeys for deep frying.
• To reduce spattering, thoroughly dry the interior and exterior of the turkey.
Inject the turkey with marinades and seasonings of your choice and place the turkey in a clean roasting pan for no more than 30 minutes to 45 minutes. This allows the marinades and seasonings to soak into the turkey and raises the turkey’s internal temperature so there will be less splatter during the frying.
Cooking the Turkey
Just prior to lowering the turkey into the oil, turn off the burner. As soon as the turkey is safely in the pot, immediately turn on the burner. To prevent excess splattering, slowly lower the turkey into the oil.
For whole turkeys, allow 3 minutes to 4 minutes per pound and for turkey parts, allow 4 minutes to 5 minutes per pound (For whole duck allow 9 minutes per pound). Oil temperature may fluctuate based on outdoor temperature and wind conditions. Maintain the oils temperature at 350 degrees (325 degrees for duck).
Remove turkey from the hot oil and drain on paper towels. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer. The internal temperature should be 165°F to 170°F in the breast and 175°F to 180°F in the thigh (for duck, place the tip of the thermometer into the leg joint where the thigh connects to the backbone and the internal temperature should be 175 degrees).Then skin of the turkey may be dark brown or blackened but it is not over cooked as long as the internal temperature is as stated above.
Carve and Serve!!!