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Turkey Fryer Oil FAQs

While cooking a turkey for hours in the oven is the most commonly practiced way of preparing a bird, deep frying is another great way to enjoy the juicy texture and signature flavor of turkey. The process of deep frying a turkey is relatively simple, but choosing the right oil for turkey deep fryers and figuring out how much to use is very important. If you're considering using a fryer for your next turkey, the useful information and tips below are a great place to start.

Which Oil Should You Use to Fry Turkey?

Turkey Deep Fryer

Peanut oil is the best oil for deep fried turkey, as its high flash point makes it less likely to catch on fire. Additionally, its higher smoke point ensures good flavor and allows it to be reused multiple times before disposal. Best of all, it's cholesterol free.

Which Peanut Oil Should You Purchase?

Because peanut oil is expensive, you should be sure to shop around for a good price. Purchasing peanut oil for frying turkeys in bulk is also a good option, as any extra can be stored for up to six months in a cool, dark place.

Can I Use Corn and Canola Oil to Deep Fry a Turkey?

When deep frying a turkey, you can use any cooking oil that doesn't smoke or burn at temperatures higher than 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Corn oil works well, as it doesn't smoke until 440 degrees Fahrenheit. However, canola oil (also known as vegetable oil) isn't a good choice because it smokes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a general rule of thumb, you should use cooking oils that are low in saturated fat, as the turkey will absorb a small amount of oil as it cooks. Consider using avocado oil, coconut oil, extra light olive oil, soybean oil, and, of course, peanut oil when deep frying a turkey, as they'll have no trouble taking the heat.

How Much Oil Does a Turkey Fryer Take?

Peanut Oil

The amount of oil you'll need depends on the size of your pot and the turkey. The turkey fryer pot included in most turkey fryer kits will have a max fill line, so you can sometimes use these marks to determine how much oil to add. Keep in mind that you'll need enough to cover your turkey, but not so much that it spills over. For example, you should use 3 gallons of oil for a 30 qt. pot and 3 1/3 gallons of oil for a 32 qt. pot.

How Much Peanut Oil For Frying a Turkey?

Another way to gauge the amount of peanut oil you'll need to fry your turkey is to place the uncooked turkey in the turkey fryer pot, add water until it covers the bird, pull the turkey out, and take note of where the water line is. This level indicates how much oil you'll need. Keep in mind that turkey fryers are very different than a traditional deep fryer and that you should always follow the instructions provided with your fryer pot or kit.

Here are a few more specific turkey weights and oil quantities:

How Much Turkey Fryer Oil for a 9 Pound Turkey?

When deep frying a 9 pound turkey, you'll need to add three to four gallons of cooking oil.

How Much Turkey Fryer Oil for a 14 Pound Turkey?

Experts recommend using around five gallons of cooking oil for a 14 pound turkey.

How Much Turkey Fryer Oil for a 15 Pound Turkey?

If you're deep frying a turkey that weighs 15+ pounds, you'll need to break it down into smaller portions. First, you should detach the dark meat (legs and thighs) and fry them separately, Then, fry the white meat (breast) on its own.

How Much Turkey Fryer Oil for a 22 Pound Turkey?

Follow the same steps for frying a 15 pound turkey to fry a 22 pound turkey. Keep in mind that larger turkeys take longer to cook, which can result in an exterior that's burned and an interior that's still undercooked.

Deep Frying Turkey

How Long Does it Take to Deep Fry a Turkey?

In general, cooking times for deep frying a turkey are calculated at a rate of three minutes per pound plus five minutes.

Can You Reuse Peanut Oil?

While individual opinions vary, the general consensus is that you can reuse peanut oil. Be sure to allow the oil to cool completely before removing it from the pot, and put it back into its original container(s) for storage. You should cover the oil during storage, and keep it in a cool, dark area. If you won't be using it within a month or so, experts recommend storing it in your refrigerator or freezer.

How Many Times Can You Reuse Peanut Oil?

When cared for and stored properly, you can reuse peanut oil three to five times. Keep in mind that you'll probably need to add fresh oil each time you deep fry a turkey to bring the oil level up to the amount needed for frying. Reusing the same peanut oil several times can also help you impart a deeper, richer flavor to your delicious turkeys because the flavors can build over time.


Choosing the right oil and determining the proper amount to use are two very important aspects of deep frying a turkey. So, grab some peanut oil, a turkey fryer kit, and a bird and get frying!


Also be sure to take a look at our best-selling turkey fryers this year.

Posted in: Seasonal | Kitchen & Cooking Tips | By Nora Fulmer
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