How to Deep Fry a Turkey Outdoors

What You'll Need
Outdoor heat source
Turkey fryer
Silicone gloves
Protective eye wear
Peanut oil (or other oil with a high smoke point)

Deep frying a turkey gives you a juicy bird with dark and crisp skin that is delicate and tasty. This method of cooking can lead to a holiday disaster if not done right, however. The following article will show you to properly and safely deep fry a turkey outdoors.

Step 1 — Prepare the Cooking Area

When you deep fry a turkey, you have to use a lot of oil. Therefore, you need to take great care in choosing where you want to set up the fryer. For obvious reasons, you do not want to be too close to the house. You also don't want to cook on your wood deck — the slightest spark, spill, or meat explosion could cause your deck to catch on fire or cause injury.

The area also needs to be level because the last thing you want to do is spill a pot of hot oil. The best places to deep fry a turkey include your driveway, your BBQ or fire pit, and your backyard (a safe distance from the home).

Step 2 — Check Safety Equipment

Choosing the right location to do the deep frying is only a small fraction of a safe and successful turkey-frying experience. When you deep fry a turkey, safety should always be paramount. Therefore, assemble the needed safety equipment before you begin.

  • Silicone gloves — These are great because they stand up to very high temperatures, are not terribly expensive, and will protect your hands and forearms.
  • Protective glasses — If you fry anything in your kitchen, you stand a chance of getting splattered with a little oil. When you deep fry a turkey, that chance is even higher because you are using in excess of two gallons of oil.
  • Turkey fry kit — There is no sense in building your own turkey fryer when you can buy full kits (they include the lifting basket, spikes, pot, and burner) for under $100 from most hardware stores.
  • Bucket of sand — Using water to extinguish a grease fire can lead to an explosion and severe injury. Use sand if a fire starts in your deep fryer.

Step 3 — Fry the Turkey

Now that you have your safety equipment ready and your location spotted, you can get down to deep frying your turkey. Test how much oil you'll need by placing your turkey in a 40- to 60-quart pot and filling it with water to about 2 inches above the bird. Remove the turkey and then measure the water. This is the amount of oil you'll need.

Marinade and season the turkey. Place the pot of oil on the heating element and bring it to 325 degrees.
Slowly lower the turkey into the oil and cook for 3 minutes per pound.