Like Your Bird Fried?

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Craig Harris, President of Turkeyman, says that frying your Thanksgiving turkey is part of a new trend to hit mid-Michigan.

Harris, who began his business about eight years ago, claims that the Southern influenced fried turkey has taken time to hit mid-Michigan but people are catching on.

Though he offers tips to some considering frying:

  • 1. Dry your turkey before frying it. The excess moisture can cause oil splattering.

  • 2. Buy the proper equipment

  • 3. Make sure you're in a safe area. Don't cook in your house, porch or near any flammable substances. He says the hot oil and propane can be a serious fire hazard.

Harris says a fried turkey takes about 45 minutes, and a traditional roasted one takes about 3 1/2 hours. Extended Web Coverage

Deep Frying Turkey


  • A 40 or 60 quart pot with basket, burner and propane gas tank.

  • Candy thermometer to measure oil temperature.

  • Meat thermometer to determine doneness of turkey.

  • For added safety, have a fire extinguisher and pot holders nearby.


  • Place fryer on level dirt or grassy area.

  • Never fry a turkey indoors, in a garage or in any other structure attached to a building.

  • Avoid frying on wood decks, which could catch fire, and concrete, which can be stained by the oil.


  • Smaller turkeys, eight to 10 pounds and turkey parts such as breast, wings and thighs are best for frying.

  • Approximately five gallons of oil; more for larger turkeys.

  • Turkey can be injected with a marinade, coated with breading or seasoned with a rub.

Cooking Preparation

  • To determine the correct amount of oil:
    • Place the turkey in the basket and place in the pot.
    • Add water until it reaches 1 to 2 inches above the turkey.
    • Remove the turkey and note the water level, using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water.
    • Pour out the water and dry the pot thoroughly.
    • Be sure to measure for oil before breading or marinating the turkey.

  • Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Depending on the amount of oil used, this usually takes between 45 minutes and one hour.

  • While the oil is heating, prepare the turkey as desired. If injecting a marinade into the turkey, puree ingredients so that they will pass through the needle. Even so, you may have to strain the mixture to remove larger portions. Remove skin if desired. If breading the turkey, place the turkey in a gallon-sized storage bag with breading and shake to coat.

  • Do not stuff turkeys for deep frying.

Frying the Turkey

  • Once the oil has come to temperature, place the turkey in the basket and slowly lower into the pot.

  • Whole turkeys require approximately three minutes per pound to cook. Remove turkey and check internal temperature with meat thermometer. The temperature should reach 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh.

  • Turkey parts such as breast, wings and thighs require approximately four to five minutes per pound to come to temperature.

Additional Safety Tips

  • Never leave the hot oil unattended and don't allow children or pets near the cooking area.

  • Allow the oil to cool completely before disposing or storing.

  • Immediately wash hands, utensils, equipment and surfaces that have come in contact with raw turkey.

  • Turkey should be consumed immediately and leftovers stored in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking.

Source: (The National Turkey Federation)