How to Deep-Fry a Delicious Christmas Turkey and Other Fun Foods

Updated on November 30, 2019
Margie Lynn profile image

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.

Deep-Fried Turkey Recipe

Have you ever eaten a deep-fried turkey? If not, you must try it! Many people make a Christmas turkey, so this Christmas why not try a deep-fried turkey?

The first time I tasted one I thought it was so moist and flavorful, I kept wanting just one more bite. Because the meat cooks so quickly, the oil does not absorb into the meat. The result is tender, succulent meat with a crispy skin.

There are many flavorings and seasonings you can use on your turkey. I know you will love it, so give a try for your next party, family gathering, or for the holidays. While you have a pot of hot oil, do not let it go to waste! Have a little fun by checking out other suggested foods to deep-fry!

Safety Suggestions

The following precautions can be applied to all deep-frying fun:

  • Do not allow children in the area where you have the turkey cooking.
  • Use caution when removing the turkey from hot oil.
  • Only cook the turkey outdoors.

Deep-Fried Turkey
Deep-Fried Turkey | Source

The Best Turkey Fryer Set

This complete turkey frying set will produce an excellent fried turkey!
This complete turkey frying set will produce an excellent fried turkey!

Best System to Buy for Deep-Frying a Turkey

This turkey fryer set was given to us as a Christmas gift. We have used it many times to fry a delicious, moist and scrumptious turkey. I never like white meat until I had it deep-fried, moist and delicious!


Deep-frying anything involves lots of hot oil. Be sure you read any and all warnings and precautions that come with the fryer. Keep people away from the fryer and always use extreme care!


  • whole turkey, less than 14 pounds, completely thawed
  • turkey fryer
  • peanut oil, enough to cover turkey, see tips
  • turkey seasonings
  • injector

Sliced Deep-Fried Turkey
Sliced Deep-Fried Turkey

Preparing the Christmas Turkey for Frying

  1. Wash and dry the turkey well (water will cause it to splatter).
  2. Do not stuff the turkey.
  3. Inject the turkey with seasonings.
  4. You may marinate the turkey; make sure it's completely dried before putting into the hot oil.

Instructions for Deep-Frying a Turkey

  1. Follow instructions that came with your deep-fryer for safety precautions.
  2. Fill the fryer with peanut oil, enough to cover turkey.
  3. Place the deep-fry thermometer into the oil and allow it to heat to the recommended temperature, usually 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave in the fryer to check the temperature.
  4. Carefully lower the turkey into hot oil.
  5. Do not leave deep-fryer unattended while deep frying turkey.
  6. Cook for 3–4 minutes a pound, until the breast reaches a temperature of 170 degrees or thigh 180 degrees.
  7. After turkey floats to the top of the fryer, cook an extra 15 minutes. Check the temperature to make sure it is done.
  8. If the oil starts to smoke, lower the heat by adjusting the burner.
  9. Very carefully remove the turkey from hot oil.
  10. Turn off the deep-fryer.
  11. Wrap the cooked turkey in foil and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before carving.

Removing Turkey From the Hot Oil
Removing Turkey From the Hot Oil | Source

Tips for the Perfect Fry

Here are some tips from Margie Lynn:

  • To check the amount of oil needed, put the turkey in the fryer pot and add water to cover it completely. Take the turkey from the fryer and measure the water. That is how much oil you will need.
  • Make sure the stem of your deep-fry thermometer is at least 1-inch in the oil.
  • You can buy prepared seasoned marinades in a jar at the supermarket—some come with an injector.

Award-Winning Recipe

Foods to Fry in Leftover Hot Oil

  • pickles
  • cheese sticks
  • okra
  • zucchini
  • onion rings
  • hush puppies
  • corn on the cob
  • candy bars
  • funnel cakes
  • fries, regular or sweet potato
  • sopapillas

State-Fair Street Foods

The State Fair has vendors that serve deep-fried butter. My husband is a butter lover, and he heard on the news about deep-fried butter at the State Fair. I did a little research to check it out.

Reading this recipe may clog your arteries, but I had to share these unique and interesting recipes. The State Fairs are always coming up with new street food to serve to the crowd of people. As many foodies know Paula Deen loves butter, she also has her own recipe for deep-fried butter.

Deep-Fried Butter Recipe

Butter-Center Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons jam, flavor of choice

Butter-Center Instructions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, cream cheese and jam together with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Using a melon baller or a small scoop to form 1-inch balls of butter mixture, then arrange them on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  3. Freeze until solid, at least two hours.

Batter Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chilled club soda, add up to 1/4 cup extra if the batter is too thick.

Deep-Fried Butter Instructions

  • Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Fold chilled club soda into dry mixture. Do not over mix; batter will be slightly lumpy and thick.
  • Heat 3 1/2 cups peanut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Skewer froze balls one at a time and dip in batter.
  • Place butter ball in hot oil and carefully remove skewer, using another skewer.
  • Fry for 30 to 45 seconds and turn.
  • Fry for an extra 30 to 45 seconds or until lightly browned.
  • Remove from oil with slotted spoon, place on a rack to cool.
  • Contents of fried butter will stay hot, so use caution when eating.

Fun Variations

Here are some tips from Margie Lynn:

  • Garlic-Fried Butter: Omit jam and sugar out of the butter center and omit sugar from the batter. Add 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
  • Plain-Fried Butter: Omit the jam from the butter center.

Deep-Fried Candy Bars
Deep-Fried Candy Bars | Source

Deep-Fried Candy Bar Recipes for Dessert

You can deep-fry just about anything you can wrap your mind around. Just use this basic technique and you can have a deep-fried whatever! Some of the best candy bars to deep fry are Snickers, Mars Bars, Three Musketeer, and Milky Way. Other candies that work are Almond Joy, Twix and Kit Kat. Some other good items to deep-fry are Twinkies and Oreo cookies don't limit your imagination.

I am not saying these are good for you since they are loaded with fat, sugar, and calories, but they are simply delicious. You now can have State Fair food from your own kitchen in a short time. Let the kids help, they will love them.


  • 4 large candy bars
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 4 wooden skewers
  • Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  1. Use a skewer or wooden craft stick and push into the candy bar.
  2. Freeze bar for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, egg, and milk, making a batter like pancakes.
  4. Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a deep pot about 4 to 6 inches of vegetable oil.
  5. Dip the candy bar into the batter by holding by the skewer, turning to coat it all over.
  6. Using caution placing the candy bar with a skewer in the hot oil, turn until browned and crisp, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  7. Remove each bar by the skewer using tongs.
  8. Drain on paper towels or a rack and serve warm.
  9. Good sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served with ice cream or French fries!

Serves 4.

How do like to cook your turkey?

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© 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen


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    • profile image


      5 months ago

      not all foods that are deep fried are inherently unhealthy...

      "Peanut oil is a healthy plant-based fat. Also called groundnut oil, peanut oil is unique — it has a high smoke point, making it ideal for deep frying. Deep frying food in peanut oil and other vegetable oils can be healthy in moderation, as long as your chosen oil is low in saturated fat."

    • lizmalay profile image


      8 months ago from USA

      I wonder how the taste deep-fry turkey like. Thank you for the recipe and tips, Margie. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Hi Kendra, I love that is crispy on outside and moist on inside! That is the only time I will eat turkey breast!

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 

      2 years ago from Northern California

      Every Thanksgiving, my brother deep fries the turkey. It cooks so fast. That is the only time I have fried meat. It is delicious.

    • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      3 years ago from the USA

      Thanks. I know you are right Kyriaki Chazi not very healthy! But very yummy! Please share with me how you grill a turkey. Do you cut it in half?

    • Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

      Kyriaki Chatzi 

      3 years ago

      Although deep-fried foods have this delicious aftertaste, I prefer them grilled for obvious reasons. Either way, this was a great piece, Margie!! Well done!


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