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How to Deep-Fry a Turkey Without Killing Yourself, Indoors and Out

If you’ve been looking for an Turkey Fryer as a healthy alternative to fried foods, but aren’t sure which model is best for you and your family, our review of the Top 24 Turkey Fryers of 2017 is just what you need.

1) Waring Pro TF200B Rotisserie Turkey Fryer | 2) VonShef Deep Fryer with Basket | 3) Bayou Classic 1032 Stainless 8-Gallon Stockpot | 4) ARKSEN 1500W Stainless Steel Electric Deep Fryer | 5) Bayou Classic 4225 42 quart Grand Gobbler Turkey Fryer | 6) R&V Works Cajun Fryer FF2-R Fish Chicken Shrimp Turkey | 7) Bayou Classic 800-144 44 quart Boil and Brew Kit | 8) King Kooker 2866 Fry Bucket Cooker Package | 9) Turkey Deep Fryer Oversized 44 Quart | 10) 30 Qt. Deluxe Aluminum Turkey Fryer Kit | 11) Turkey Fryer | 12) Masterbuilt MB10 Outdoor LP Gas 10-quart Fryer | 13) Philips XL Airfryer, The Original Airfryer | 14) Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-less Turkey Fryer | 15) Waring Pro TF200 Professional Rotisserie Turkey Fryer | 16) Hamilton Beach Electric Deep Fryer | 17) CHAR-BROIL 14101480 Oiless Infrared Turkey Fryer | 18) 23011615 Butterball XL Electric Fryer | 19) Butterball XXL Digital Electric Turkey Fryer | 20) Philips Airfryer, Avance Digital TurboStar | 21) Masterbuilt 20010610 Indoor Electric Fish Fryer | 22) Metal Fusion 5012 Outdoor Cooker | 23) Hamilton Beach Professional Deep Fryer | 24) Bayou Classic B159, Outdoor Fish Cooker |

I’m going to start this with a really important disclaimer: Deep-frying a turkey is an inherently dangerous undertaking. While there are plenty of precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk, there’s no way to heat up gallons of oil to 350°F using a big propane burner, lower a turkey into it, and be guaranteed not to hurt yourself or others. Let’s start with a few critical points:

  • Children and pets should be nowhere near a deep-frying setup. There shouldn’t be even the remotest chance that they’ll get anywhere close to it.
  • You should read and follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings included with your deep fryer, and follow those instructions in all instances in which they deviate from what I’ve written here.
  • Never use an outdoor frying setup indoors, or in any enclosed or covered space, and never use an indoor fryer outdoors.
  • If you live in a colder climate, plan on being outside in the cold for a couple of hours: Responsible turkey fryers do not leave things unattended. (Alternatively, find people to relieve you if you want to go back inside.)
  • Don’t drink and fry.

Okay, now that I’ve put those warnings out there, let’s talk about deep-frying turkey.

Why Deep-Fry?

Bragging rights, obviously.

Seriously, though, the main reason is that it’s a method that can deliver an incredibly juicy bird with the crispiest skin imaginable. I’m talking potato-chip crisp.

Some people will tell you that it’s also faster than any other method. That’s true if you count only the cooking time (under an hour, even for a large bird), but if you factor in oil-heating time and cleanup, it’s really not any quicker than putting the turkey in an oven. And in some respects, it’s a much bigger pain in the ass, unless you love dealing with a ton of used fry oil—no, you can’t pour it down the drain.

It’s also, in my experience, a somewhat forgiving method: Even if you overcook your bird—which I don’t recommend—I’ve found that it comes out juicier than an equally overcooked roast turkey. I’ve accidentally taken a deep-fried turkey to the shockingly high internal temperature of 210°F (99°C), and, while I certainly wouldn’t say the result was desirable, it wasn’t as dry as I’d expected.

The key, though, is to follow Kenji’s advice from his earlier piece on deep-frying turkey, and pull it when the internal temp hits 145°F (63°C); any higher and you’ll have an overcooked bird.

However, if you like making gravy from drippings, and the smell of a roasting bird wafting through the house, you’re better off not deep-frying, since the method produces zero drippings and smells distinctly of a fry shack.

Photo Gallery of the How to Deep-Fry a Turkey Without Killing Yourself, Indoors and Out