The Size Limit You Should Never Cross For Deep Fried Turkey

Few foods have gone through as many cooking fads as the mighty Thanksgiving turkey. It seems that every couple of years, someone dreams up the "only way you'll ever cook your turkey again!" This is how we ended up with roasting bags, pop-up timers, cheesecloth drapes, flavor injectors, and spatchcocking. There is a turkey trend, though, that has become almost as popular as good-old roasting, and that's deep frying your bird.

Of course, we've all heard about deep-frying turkey disasters, so there are a lot of suggestions for avoiding painful burns and reducing your garden shed to cinders, and one of them is paying attention to how large your turkey is. Here's ours: If your turkey is more than 14 pounds, cook your turkey another way. The standard-sized, 30-quart pot that most people purchase for deep frying turkey can truly only handle a bird up to this weight, so this is a tip you don't want to ignore.

Size your turkey up

A turkey frying kit usually comes with a frying pot, a gas burner, hooks to get your turkey into/out of the oil safely, and perhaps some other helpful accessories. It should also come with directions with information, including how much oil you'll need to fill the pot because, well, buoyancy. When you place a large turkey into a bath of oil, that oil is going to rise substantially, and if the turkey is too big, the oil is going to overflow onto the burner, potentially causing a dangerous and panic-inducing grease fire.

Ideally, you want the turkey to be submerged with enough room for the oil to bubble and spit without flowing over the pot. If the turkey is over 14 pounds, the chances of this happening increase. If your bird is bigger than this, you should remove the legs and thighs and fry them in the oil separately, either before or after you fry up the rest of it. 

Fans of this cooking method swear it results in the juiciest, most tender meat and that one of the best perks is that the turkey is done in a fraction of the time compared to traditional roasting. So fry away to enjoy delicious turkey meat and extra crispy skin, just mind the size of your bird.