There are about a million ways to cook a turkey—roasted, brined, slow cooked, the list goes on. They're all delicious, but none of those methods serves up a turkey as crispy yet juicy as deep frying your bird does. The concept of plunging your Thanksgiving turkey into a massive deep fryer seems unnerving, but when you follow proper safety protocols and have the right tools, it's actually totally doable. We've rounded up the most important tips, plus six turkey fryers that you'll love.
Turkey Fryer Safety Tips
- Set up your area. Only use propane turkey fryers outside (electric turkey fryers can be used indoors). Place your fryer on a level surface, away from areas that kids and pets traffic. Temperatures can rise to 400 degrees, so never leave your machine unattended.
- Monitor the temperature. You are cooking meat, after all. Invest in a oil thermometer, because most turkey fryers don't come with one. Hit the off button if the oil starts smoking. Also, never deep fry a frozen turkey—give your bird some time to thaw.
- Use protective gear. Remember that 400 degree oil we were telling you about? That can leave a serious burn. Don't get near a turkey fryer without protective goggles and grilling mitts. And if you can, wear an outfit that doesn't leave much skin exposed—at least until you're done cooking.
- Turn the burner off when dropping the turkey in the fryer. Once they turkey is entirely submerged in the oil, you can turn it on again.
- Leave at least two feet of space between the tank and the burner of a propane fryer. Once your turkey is finished cooking, let the oil cool over night before disposing of it.
Got all of that? Good. Now you can shop the best turkey fryers to make your Thanksgiving super special this year.
Propane outdoor cookers function similarly to your outdoor grill—and like your outdoor grill, you should only use them outside. Attach a propane tank to your turkey fryer with the attached hose, then the propane burner will heat the oil you add to the pot hot enough for your turkey to sizzle and fry.
This option will save you a decent chunk of change if you already own a 30-quart pot. With that pot that's large enough to hold a turkey, you can use this standard-sized propane burner.
Oil-less turkey fryers are also connected to propane tanks (and must be used outside!), but they don't need oil to cook your turkey. It works the same way as your air fryer, circulation of hot air is what gives the turkeys crispy skin and juicy meat. Though it will take a little longer for your turkey to cook, it's the healthiest method on this list.
You don't need to spend hours outside for a homemade fried turkey. This electric turkey fryer is definitely the safest and easiest to use, plus it has a oil drain valve for easy clean-up.
If there are a whole lot of turkey-lovers at your table, this large capacity fryer will hold a 25-pound turkey, making it perfect for Thanksgiving Day.
The people have spoken, and this is the best turkey fryer you can get on Amazon. Reviewers rave that, "this stainless steel cookpot is sturdy, well constructed, and easy to clean," and that it works just as well for frying prime rib and lobster.
This option is great for a few reason: For one, it's an oil-less so you can use a seasoned rub on the outside of your turkey, unlike with a typical fryer. For another, it uses infrared cooking so you can count on a crispy, delicious, and evenly cooked turkey every time.
This option has everything you need to fry up a delicious turkey, with none of the frills. It features a strong steel base, auto shut-off timer, and a spigot so you can easily drain grease. Plus you can typically get it for under $50!