How to Deep-Fry a Turkey Safely

Deep-Frying a Turkey,
WATCH How to Deep Fry a Turkey

Give your oven a break this Thanksgiving and try frying your turkey instead. "Nightline" anchor Bill Weir's deep-fried turkey tutorial -- watch the video HERE or in the video player above -- shows you how to give your bird perfect crispy skin and juicy meat, while keeping you and your family safe from burns and massive deck fires.

Recipe from the kitchen of Bill Weir:

Servings: 8

Cook time: 30-60 min (depending on the size of the bird)


1/2 pound butter

1/2 bottle of beer (chicken stock is a good non-alcoholic substitute)

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons Tabasco

Peanut oil for frying

One 15-pound turkey


The night before you want to fry your turkey, make your marinade. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then mix in beer, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.

Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and inject the marinade liberally throughout every part of the bird. Cover with an oven bag and refrigerate overnight.

Thanksgiving day, it's time to fry. The first mistake some people make is filling the deep fryer's kettle with too much oil so when they drop the bird in, oil spills over the top and causes a fire. On the side of the kettle, there is usually a fill line to give you some indication of how much oil to use -- never trust the fill line.

To find out how much oil to use, do a water test first. Put the bird in the fryer basket inside the kettle and fill it up with enough water to just cover the turkey. The amount of water you use is the same amount of oil you should put in. Make sure your kettle is completely dry before filling it with oil.

Heat the oil in the fryer to 350 degrees and drop the bird in very SLOWLY (when the moisture in the marinade hits the hot oil, it will pop and splatter so gloves and long sleeves are highly recommended). Make sure the cavity of the bird is facing DOWN so the oil drains when it's time to take it out.

Cover and fry the turkey at 350 degrees for three minutes per pound -- so a 15-pound bird will take 45 minutes to cook.

When the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees, remove, drain, cool and carve.