How Long Does It Take To Fry A Turkey?

Ah, the deep-fried turkey — an American Thanksgiving delicacy if there ever was one. While the traditional roasted turkey will always have a place at the Thanksgiving dinner table, the deep-fried turkey is on another level both in terms of taste and danger involved when preparing it. 

Overcooking a turkey in the oven will probably just result in a smokey kitchen and disappointed relatives, but improperly deep-frying a turkey could result in your entire house burning down. Seriously, third-degree burns don't make for a good Thanksgiving look and you don't want to end up on some YouTube compilation of "Ultimate turkey frying disaster fails."

The cooking time will depend on the size of the turkey

Besides producing a bird that's incredibly juicy, the big reason that so many people opt to deep-fry their turkey is because the cooking process is so fast, but how long it actually takes to fry your turkey will depend on its overall weight. Once your turkey is fully thawed — this is essential unless you want a ball of flame — food geek Alton Brown recommends you bring the oil up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit before lowering the bird in. Once it's in place, raise the oil temp to 350. 

As far as how long to cook your turkey, get ready to do a little math when it comes to the deep-frying process. If your turkey weighs between 10 and 13 pounds, then it will need to be cooked for three minutes per pound, so between 30 and 39 minutes total (via Culinary Depot). Bigger birds require a little more time in the oil bath, though, and if your turkey is between 14 and 20 pounds, then cook it for three and a half minutes per pound. If you're cooking a 20-pound Butterball bird, you'll be hanging around for at least 70 minutes, so maybe bring a radio with you so you can listen to the football game. Don't even think of leaving that turkey alone for a single minute!

After the proper cooking time, you should use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The breast meat of the turkey should be around 151 degrees. 

Keep these guidelines in mind and you may never go back to roasting your turkey ever again.