Best Deep Fried Turkey Recipe That Won’t Have You Working Around The “Cluck”

When it comes to indulgent and flavourful dishes, deep fried turkey undoubtedly takes centre stage. The crispy skin, tender meat, and succulent flavours make it a favourite for special occasions and gatherings. In this article, we’ll guide you through the perfect deep fried turkey recipe, complete with step-by-step instructions on how to deep fry a turkey, cooking and safety tips, as well as insights into the origin of this culinary delight and the best occasions to savour it. Furthermore, we’ll explore why sustainable palm oil stands as the ideal choice for frying this delectable dish.

Origin of Deep Fried Turkey 

The origin of deep fried turkey can be traced back to the Southern United States, particularly Louisiana. The technique gained popularity in the 20th century and has since become a cherished tradition, especially during Thanksgiving and other festive gatherings. The method’s roots are tied to Southern culinary culture, where frying foods is a cherished culinary tradition. The technique offers a quicker cooking time and produces a unique flavour and texture that keeps people coming back for more.

The Best Deep Fried Turkey Recipe


  • 1 whole turkey (12-14 pounds)
  • 18 litres of sustainable palm oil
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup paprika

Method: How to deep fry a turkey

  • Prepare: Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey’s cavity. Rinse the turkey thoroughly inside and out, and then pat it dry with paper towels or absorbent cloths. Make sure it is at room temperature prior to frying.
  • Season: In a bowl, mix salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Rub this seasoning mixture all over the turkey, ensuring even coverage on both the skin and the cavity.
  • Set up your cooking station: Frying a big turkey means that you need a very large pot (30 litres) and a fryer burner that you can set up outside. Position your setup on level ground in the open air far away from cars, trees, or houses.
  • Preheat the oil: In a deep fryer or a large pot, heat the sustainable palm oil to 175°C. Make sure the oil level is appropriate for the size of your turkey, so it doesn’t overflow when you add it to the oil. Here’s how to tell if your oil is ready for deep frying.
  • Fry the turkey: Carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil, using a turkey hook or basket. The turkey should be fully submerged. Fry for about 3-4 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 74°C. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  • Remove and rest: Once the turkey is cooked, carefully lift it out of the oil and let it drain on a rack or paper towels. Allow the turkey to rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving.
  • Serve: Make this the centrepiece of your meal. Pair it with traditional sides like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green beans for a classic winter feast or any special occasion.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: Approx. 40-50 minutes

Serves: 8-10 (600g per person)

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 450
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 35g
  • Fibre: 0g

What are the Best Side Dishes to Serve with Deep Fried Turkey?

When serving deep fried turkey, consider complementing its rich and succulent flavours with a range of delicious side dishes. Here are some popular options that pair well with deep fried turkey:

  • Mashed potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes provide a comforting and hearty contrast to the crispy turkey skin.
  • Gravy: A full flavoured gravy drizzled over the turkey and mashed potatoes add depth and richness to the meal.
  • Cranberry sauce: The tartness of cranberry sauce balances the richness of the turkey and enhances its flavours.
  • Stuffing: Traditional stuffing or dressing made with herbs, vegetables, and bread complements the turkey with a variety of textures and flavours.
  • Green beans almondine: Lightly sautéed green beans with toasted almonds offer a refreshing and crunchy element to the meal.
  • Cornbread: A warm slice of classic American cornbread provides a rustic accompaniment that enhances the overall meal experience.
  • Roasted vegetables: An array of roasted vegetables like carrots, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus add colour and nutrition to the plate.
  • Salad: A fresh salad with mixed greens, fruits, nuts, and a tangy vinaigrette offers a refreshing balance to the richness of the turkey.
  • Roasted potatoes: Crispy roasted potatoes seasoned with herbs and spices provide a satisfying textural contrast.

Cooking Tips and Safety Precautions

Cooking a deep fried turkey requires careful attention to safety to prevent accidents and ensure the best results. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Always thaw the turkey completely before frying. Frozen or partially frozen turkeys can cause oil splatters, and uneven cooking.
  • Never do this outdoors if there is rain or snow forecast!
  • When frying outdoors, choose a safe and level outdoor area to avoid any fire hazards.
  • Slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil to prevent oil splatters and potential burns.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the turkey’s internal temperature. Ensure it reaches 74°C for safe consumption.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of oil-related fires. Water should never be used to extinguish an oil fire.

Sustainable Palm Oil: The Best Oil for Deep Frying a Turkey

Sustainable palm oil, derived from the fruit of oil palm trees, has emerged as an excellent option for deep frying, including the beloved deep fried turkey. Its high smoke point and neutral flavour make it ideal for achieving that crispy, golden-brown exterior while locking in the turkey’s natural juices. Moreover, sustainable palm oil is produced through environmentally responsible practices that prioritise conservation and community welfare.

By choosing sustainable palm oil for your deep fried turkey, you’re not only enhancing your culinary experience but also contributing to ethical and sustainable palm oil production. Unlike conventional palm oil production, which has been associated with deforestation and negative environmental impacts, sustainable palm oil cultivation promotes responsible land use, biodiversity preservation, and fair labour practices.

The art of deep frying a turkey is a culinary adventure that delivers incredible flavour and a memorable dining experience. With the right recipe, precautions, and cooking techniques, you can create a masterpiece that’s sure to be a hit on any occasion! As you embark on this flavourful journey, consider the benefits of sustainable palm oil as a responsible and conscious choice for deep frying, ensuring that your culinary delight aligns with your commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.

The Best Cooking and Frying Oil for the UK Food Industry

Frymax supplies trans-fat-free, certified sustainable palm oil to chippies, restaurants, and the hospitality industry that is fully compliant with the Food Safety Act of 1990. With superior quality single sourced RSPO palm oil, we’re committed to helping you create a more sustainable, ethical, and healthier world. For more information don’t hesitate to get in contact with the helpful Frymax team.

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6 November 2023