How Long Do You Deep Fry A 20lb Turkey?

Thanksgiving day is around the corner, and you’ll probably want to prepare some, but how long do you deep fry a 20lb turkey? Thanksgiving is special; you just don’t want to mess it up. 

That is why you need to ensure you’re prepared and know how to fry the best turkey deep. This blog post will help determine how long you need to deep fry a 20lb turkey, so keep reading. 

How Long Do You Deep Fry A 20lb Turkey?

To deep fry your 20lb turkey, you will need to heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then cook the turkey for three minutes for each pound. In other words, your 20lb turkey should deep fry for 60 minutes

Make sure to keep an eye on the turkey while it is cooking and to turn it over so that it cooks evenly. When the turkey is done, it will be golden brown, but you should let it rest for 20 minutes before carving it. 

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

How to Prepare Your Turkey 

Before deep frying your turkey, you’ll need to do some prep work. First, you’ll need to thaw your turkey if it’s defrosted (please note that this is a must). A 20lb turkey will take approximately four days to thaw in the fridge. 

Once your turkey is thawed, you’ll need to remove the giblets located in the turkey’s cavity. You’ll also want to rinse your turkey inside and out with cold, clean water. 

Start Preparing Your Fryer 

Now you’ll need to prepare your deep fryer. Make sure you have enough oil to cover your turkey — 20lb turkey will need at least five gallons of oil. You’ll also need a thermometer to ensure your oil is at the right temperature because you need to heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Recommended Product: ThermoPro TP19H Digital Thermometer

How Long Do You Deep Fry A 20lb Turkey

Now Deep Fry Your Turkey 

After your oil has boiled to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, slowly lower the turkey into the fryer, so it doesn’t splash hot oil. Make sure the turkey is fully submerged in the oil, then set a three-minute timer for each pound. So, if your turkey weighs 20 pounds, cook it for one hour. 

What is Next After Your Turkey Cooked? 

After frying your turkey, you need to let it cool. Place the fried turkey on a wire rack over a baking sheet, allowing it to drain. As for the turkey fryer oil, feel free to save it for future use. 

In addition, you can wrap your turkey in foil and keep it in a warm oven until you’re ready to serve to keep your turkey moist and juicy. When carving your turkey, remove all the bones, including the wishbone located in the chest area. Once you’ve removed all the bones, you can start slicing the meat and preparing it for serving. 

Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

The Dos

Below is what you should do when frying your turkey: 

  • Read the whole recipe before you start 
  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed 
  • Dry your turkey off with paper towels 
  • Deep fry your turkey outside 
  • Have a fire extinguisher ready in case of an emergency 
  • Make sure your oil is at the right temperature 
  • Put the turkey on the breast side down 
  • Fry your turkey until it’s golden brown 
  • Drain your turkey on a wire rack 
  • Let your turkey cool off before you start carving it 

The Don’ts 

Below are the things you should avoid when frying your turkey: 

  • Don’t let the oil get too hot — the oil should be between 325 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Don’t put your turkey in the oil while it’s frozen — thaw it first. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot. If you have a small fryer, cook smaller turkeys or cut the turkey into pieces. 
  • Don’t leave the fryer unattended — stay close in case of a fire. 
  • Don’t use water to put out a grease fire — use flour or baking soda instead. 
  • Don’t try to move the turkey while it’s cooking — wait until it’s done before removing it from the oil. 
  • Don’t forget to remove the innards before cooking — you can cook the giblets separately. 
  • Don’t forget to dry the turkey off before putting it in the hot oil — moisture will cause the oil to splatter. 
  • Don’t use a metal container to catch the turkey drippings — the hot oil can cause the metal to melt. 

Now that you know the don’ts, deep frying your turkey should be a breeze! Just remember to stay safe and have fun.  

Recommended Product: Presto 05466 Deep Fryer

How Long Do You Deep Fry A 20lb Turkey

What Is The Best Temperature To Deep Fry A Turkey?

While deep frying your turkey, the required temperature is between 325 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a cooking or meat thermometer, you can test the temperature of the oil by using a small piece of bread

If the bread browns too quickly, your oil is too hot. If it takes longer than a minute for the bread to brown, your oil is not hot enough. Also, remember that the oil temperature will drop once you add the turkey, so make sure to adjust accordingly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does A 20lb Turkey Take To Deep Fry?

A 20lb turkey will take approximately 60 minutes to deep fry. Observe your turkey fryer, as oil can quickly overheat and cause a fire. In addition, you will need to allow the turkey to sit for 30 minutes before carving.

Do You Fry A Turkey At 325 Or 350?

For each pound, you’ll fry your turkey at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for three minutes. So, a 20-pound turkey will spend an hour in the oil. That’s about as long as you want to keep any food in hot oil. The turkey will start to break down and fall apart.

How Long Do You Deep Fry A 20lb Turkey At 325 Degrees?

It only takes about three minutes for each pound. That means a 20-pound turkey will only take about an hour to cook. Of course, you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to heat the oil and get the turkey into the fryer, but once it’s cooking, you’ll do it before you know it. 

In addition to the time savings, deep frying your turkey will produce a juicier, more flavorful bird. So if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to cook a delicious turkey, deep frying is the way to go.

How Much Oil Do I Need To Fry A 20-Pound Turkey?

The amount of oil needed to fry a 20-pound turkey will depend on the size of your fryer. A 20-pound turkey will require approximately five to six gallons of oil. The best way to determine how much oil you need is to fill your fryer with water and then measure the water required to cover the turkey completely. 

Once you have determined the amount of oil required, allow for expansion when the turkey is added to the hot oil. Quick note: be sure to have a fire extinguisher and a way to dispose of the used oil.

Do You Put The Lid On When Deep Frying A Turkey?

No, you don’t put the lid on when deep frying a turkey. The lid would prevent the hot oil from circulating and evenly cooking the turkey. Plus, having a lid on it is unsafe. 

In addition, the lid would also cause the oil to splatter and make a mess. So, just don’t do it — deep fry your turkey uncovered.  

Why Did My Deep Fried Turkey Turn Black?

Your deep-fried turkey turned black because the sugar caused the blackness in the rub. When you deep fry a turkey, the sugar in the rub reacts with the heat and causes the outside of the bird to turn black. 

This is perfectly normal and does not mean that your turkey is burnt. The blackness will not affect the flavor of your turkey, so don’t worry! To avoid this in the future, simply use a sugar-free rub or baste your turkey with a sugar-free solution before frying. 

Should Turkey Be Room Temp Before Frying?

Yes, you should place the turkey at ambient temperature before frying. This helps the skin crisp up and prevents the meat from drying out. Also, remember to pat the turkey dry before frying.

Finally, it is food safety best practice to cook the turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Do You Inject A Deep Fried Turkey?

Injecting a deep-fried turkey is not difficult, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

First, ensure the needle is small enough to fit into the meat without causing too much damage. This is because you will be injecting the marinade directly into the meat.

Second, ensure the syringe is large enough to hold the amount of liquid you want to inject. This is because you will inject a lot of fluid into the turkey.

Third, be careful not to inject too much liquid into the turkey. If you do, the meat will be tough and dry.


At Cooking be Fun, we believe that cooking can and should be an enjoyable experience for everyone. We provide a comprehensive resource of recipes, cooking tips and advice to make the process easier whether you’re just starting out or have been cooking for years.

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