Farm Store | articles | Deep Fried Turkey Instructions

Deep Fried Turkey Instructions

A Step-By-Step Recipe

A turkey being fried

A popular method for cooking turkeys is to fry them outdoors in specially made cooking systems, or turkey cookers. You can prepare a succulent turkey using various models of cookers, simply with oil & seasonings. These cookers can do more than turkeys, though. Included below are recipes for boiled seafood, colossal onion rings and much more. Stop by a Southern States near you to pick up small and large deep fryers for your home.

If you have more questions, stop by or call your local Southern States and we'll be glad to help.

Outdoor cookers are designed to save oil while providing a convenient and safe way to lower your turkey or food into the pot, and to remove it once cooking is complete. However, it is important to read all warnings and directions for your cooker before getting started.

Information Regarding Cooking Oil

Deep Fried Turkey Fryer

26 Qt Deep Fried Turkey Fryer Kit

We suggest peanut oil for deep frying turkey recipes. While this is an excellent choice, any good liquid vegetable oil may be substituted. We recommend not reusing the cooking oil. Plan with a few of your friends to cook several deep fried turkeys in one day. After cooking a few turkeys, allow the oil to cool, return it to its original container, and dispose of it. Always refer to the oil manufacturer's recommendations for the use and reuse of the specific oil which you are using. The following are general directions for the reuse of oil which have been supplied to us by an oil manufacturer. Do not store used oil inside your aluminum pot. The salt used in cooking can corrode the pot causing the pot to leak. Wash the pot after each use with hot, soapy water and rinse.

Suggestions for Keeping Used Cooking Oil

After deep frying your turkey, let the oil cool. While slightly warm, filter out particles before storing in original container or similar sturdy plastic or glass container. Never pour hot oil into a container. This can be accomplished by using filter paper (coffee filters) or a clean cloth (dishtowel). For best results store oil in a cool place. Can be reused within 30 days. Discard after second use or when the flavor of reheated oil becomes objectionable to taste.

Helpful Hint: Try frying a batch of French fried potatoes after frying your turkey, chicken or fish. This aids in improving the flavor of the oil for the next use.


  1. Thaw the turkey. Placing a frozen turkey into hot oil will cause the oil to splatter. Hot oil splattering onto the lit burner greatly increases the risk of fire, explosion, injury and death.

  2. Use the products to deep fry food only outdoors, and only on a non-combustible surface such as brick, concrete, or dirt. NOT SUITABLE are surfaces such as wood, asphalt, or plastic which may burn, blister or melt.

  3. DO NOT use under any overhangs or roofs, and keep a minimum clearance of 10 ft. on all sides of the cooker.

  4. DO NOT leave unattended while cooker is in use or is still hot (above 100° F).

  5. COOKING WITH OIL IS NOT SIMILAR TO ANY OTHER COOKER METHOD. Cooking oil is very combustible at high temperatures, and special precautions must be taken to avoid a dangerous grease fire.

  6. If a fire occurs, use a Type B.C. dry chemical fire extinguisher to extinguish the flames. Turn off the gas at the supply cylinder. DO NOT USE WATER TO ATTEMPT TO EXTINGUISH A GREASE FIRE. IT WILL CAUSE THE FIRE TO SPREAD RAPIDLY. IF A FIRE CAN NOT BE EXTINGUISHED, CALL YOUR FIRE DEPARTMENT.

  7. When lowering and raising the turkey in and out of the deep fryer, always wear protective mitts and use extreme caution not to splash hot oil. Make sure the burner is off before lifting the turkey rack out of the pot.

  8. Follow all instructions for using your outdoor cooker. Check all cooker fittings for leaks before using.

  9. Never allow grease temperature to exceed 350° F.


Directions for Frying A Turkey

A golden brown fried turkey
  1. Pour the necessary amount of peanut oil into the pot. Enough oil should be used so that the turkey is completely covered when it is lowered into the pot. (Cooking Tip: To determine the amount of oil needed, lower the turkey into the pot and cover with water. Use same amount of oil in the place of water when frying the turkey.) A 24 quart pot will hold up to a 14 lb. turkey, a 26 quart pot will hold up to a 16 lb. turkey, and a 30 quart pot will hold up to a 20 lb. turkey.

  2. Light the cooker as per the cooker’s instruction manual. Never allow temperature of oil to exceed 350° F. Always use a deep fry thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. Never leave the cooker unattended!

  3. Thaw, then towel dry the turkey completely. Remove the giblet package, neck, any wires or packaging materials, and pop up timer. Coat the turkey inside and out with seasoning, or inject with marinade if desired.

  4. Place the turkey on the frying rack with the legs up. 

  5. Using mitts for protection and the lifting hook, lower the turkey into the 350° F oil very slowly. Be careful not to splash hot oil.

  6. Cook turkey at 350° F for 3 1/2 minutes per pound. When the planned cooking time has passed and it is time to check for doneness, turn the gas to the burner completely off.

  7. Make sure the burner is off before lifting the turkey to drain. Using mitts and lifting hook again, slowly lift turkey from the pot. Allow the turkey to drain. Slice at the thigh joint. If the thigh appears to be well cooked, the turkey is ready. Allow the turkey to cool before slicing.

Deep Fried Cajun Bourbon Turkey
Boiled Seafood
Barbecue Shrimp
Fried Onion Rings
Fried Mushrooms

Back To Deep Fried Turkey

Deep Fried Cajun Bourbon Turkey

Cajun Seasoning:
¾ cup salt
¼ cup ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons ground white pepper
2 tablespoons ground black peppers
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 cup bourbon
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon molasses
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons each onion and garlic powder

To Make:

  1. Remove giblets and rinse turkey with warm water. Drain cavity completely and pat dry.
  2. Fill injector with desired amount of marinade.
  3. Inject FULL amounts of marinade (approximately 1 oz.) at the breast, thigh and leg. Inject marinade slowly while pulling needle out of meat. This gives even distribution of seasoning. (For best results, insert needle at different angles through the same hole when injecting marinade.)
  4. Sprinkle outside of the chicken with Cajun seasoning, rubbing in well.
  5. Deep fry whole chicken 7 minutes per pound at 350° F.

Boiled Seafood

For a 60 to 100 quart pot, fill 1/2 full of water. Add boil seasoning of your choice. Bring water to a rolling boil. Add seafood. Gently stir. Cover the pot and return to boil. Boiling times: Shrimp - 2 minutes; Crawfish - 5 minutes; Crabs - 5 minutes. Turn off the fire. Gently stir the seafood again and let it soak.

Soaking time: Shrimp - 5 to 10 minutes; Crawfish and Crabs - 15 to 30 minutes.

Seafoods tend to float on the surface while soaking. On the surface they do not thoroughly absorb the seasoning. Add the equivalent of four trays of ice to the pot, allowing it to float on the surface of the liquid. This sudden change of temperature causes the seafood to sink and to draw in the flavor of seasonings.

To complement your seafood, try including a few pounds of creamer potatoes, a dozen ears of corn, a pound of fresh mushrooms, five or six cloves of garlic, fresh peeled onions, hot dogs, smoked sausage or andouille sausage.

Hint: Allow potatoes extra cooking time by adding them to the boiling seasoned water 5 to 10 minutes before adding the seafood.

Barbecue Shrimp

1 tbsp. sweet paprika
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
3/4 tsp. white pepper
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves

2 lbs. large shrimp
1 stick butter or margarine
4 tablespoons seasoning

Melt butter over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold all ingredients. Add seasonings and shrimp. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Shrimp are ready when they are a pretty pink color.

Colossal Onion Rings

onions (if available),
2 beaten eggs,
1/2 cup milk,
1-2 tablespoons seasoning blend, such as Cajun, jerk or Old Bay

Cut onions into rings, wash and drain. Blend eggs and milk in a bowl for dipping. Dip each onion ring into egg and milk mixture, then into flour. Dip onion ring again in the egg and milk mixture, then coat with seasoning blend. Heat oil to 350° F. Drop onion rings one at a time into the heated oil. When the rings float to the top, remove from oil. Serve warm.

Fried Mushrooms

1 lb. whole fresh mushrooms
1 egg
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. milk
1 tbsp. water
Garlic salt

Mix together egg, flour, milk and water. Wash and clean mushrooms. Heat oil to 350° F. Dip mushrooms in batter and place into heated oil. When the mushroom slices float to the top, remove from oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Serve warm.

Find Your Nearest Southern States Location

Sales & Offers