Discover How To Deep Fry The Perfect Turkey

What Kind Of Oil Do I Need To Deep Fry A Turkey?


This is the 10th post in our series titled “Twenty Two Thanksgiving Turkey Tips”.  Each day between now and Thanksgiving we’ll have a new tip for you.  Today’s tip is about what kind of oil is needed to deep fry a turkey:

If you’re deep frying a turkey, then you’re going to need to make sure that you have the right kind of oil.  If a deep fried delicious turkey is your destination, and the equipment that we reviewed in the previous chapter is your car, then the oil that you choose is definitely your fuel.

The great thing is that just like when you buy gas for your car, you have some choices when you buy your cooking oil to deep fry your turkey.

Not only is choosing the right kind of oil important, but so is making sure that you have the correct amount of oil.  There’s nothing worse than planning a huge feast of deep fried turkey on a major holiday, only to realize that you’ve run out of oil, and all of the shops are closed.

Obviously the importance of the oil you choose is key; you’ll also need the correct amount of the right type of oil.  Basically any oil with a high smoking point (over 450º F) will do (because you don’t want your oil to burn or catch fire).  Now let’s review your options when it comes to selecting the type of oil you can use to deep fry your bird:

Peanut Oil

This is typically the best choice.  When it comes to deep-frying turkey peanut oil has the highest smoking point and the greatest amount of flavor.  The higher smoke point allows you to reuse it while also preventing fires.  Since this is the most popular choice among people who deep-fry, you can easily find this type of oil in bulk at many large retail stores.

Corn Oil

This is what is used typically at your local McDonald’s or Burger King.  The oil of the fast food industry, corn oil is a good alternative but probably not the healthiest option.  It is cheaper than peanut oil so if you’re on a tight budget this could potentially be a good option.

Canola Oil

Trans fat free, healthier than any of the other options; canola oil is also a good option.  Just like peanut oil, this type of oil has a high smoke point and is perfect for deep-frying turkeys.

Cottonseed Oil

Another healthy alternative is cottonseed oil.  Again, this oil is trans fat free with a high smoking point.  Highly regarded for its “nutty and buttery” taste this oil is the go to for most people in food production and high end chefs.  This oil is known not to add a flavor of its own, but rather enhance the natural flavor of the bird.

Rice Bran Oil

Expensive but worth it, rice bran oil is a very balanced and diverse oil to use.  Rice bran oil is used for many different uses such as frying, cooking and often used in salad.  Healthy too, rice bran oil has a light viscosity and allows less oil to be absorbed in cooking which lowers the overall calorie content of your meat.


Now that you have the right choices for oil under wrap, let’s go over some types of oil to avoid for turkey frying.  Please do not attempt to use the oil categories listed below:

  • Olive Oil (this oil will most likely burn, with a low smoke point of only 360 degrees)
  • Soybean Oil (Very high amount of saturated fat)
  • Grape seed Oil  (Again, high amount of saturated fat as well as hard to find in large quantities)

So there you have it, the types of oil to choose from for deep-frying your turkey.  When you choose the one that’s just right for you and your budget you can have the perfect deep-fried turkey!  If you need some more advice on oil make sure to check out our 11th post tomorrow on “How much oil to use.”

–For more tips and ideas on how to prepare your tastiest turkey ever, make sure you download (from a copy of our book, titled: Turkey Fryers & Deep Fried Turkey: How To Deep Fry A Turkey- Complete Step By Step Instructions To Cooking Your Tastiest Turkey Ever!  As a special bonus for all book buyers, we’re including a complete step-by-step series of videos showing anyone exactly how to deep fry a turkey.  Get this book today!


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