10 Best Cooking Oil For Frying Turkey

frying turkey

Choosing the best cooking oil for frying turkey can be a challenge, especially if you are not sure what to look for.

You want to pay attention to two aspects when you choose the frying oil: the nutrition aspect and the smoke point.

High smoke point oils will taste better and combined with the right nutrition content, your recipe will be a success. 

Peanut oil is the best option for frying turkey, followed close by corn oil, vegetable oil, and olive oil. But there are other options to explore so, keep reading to find out everything you need to know! 

Top 10 Oil for frying turkey 

Choose the oil that you find available at your grocery store and consider your personal preference as well since these oils will bring a different flavor to your food. 

1. Peanut oil 

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is the best option for frying turkey. This oil is not just ideal for frying turkey but also any type of deep frying recipe. The main benefit of peanut oil is its high smoke point at 450 degrees F.

This oil also has a mild flavor that will not affect the overall taste of your dish. Peanut oil is fairly easy to find, comes at an affordable price, and brings healthy fats to your food. 

Another great aspect of peanut oil is that it can be reused thanks to its high smoke point. This oil will not degrade as others and all you have to do is strain it before using it again. 

Also check: 12 Best Peanut Oil Substitutes

2. Corn oil

Corn Oil

Corn oil is a very good option for frying turkey, despite the controversy around it. The smoke point of 450 degrees F is just what you need for a good fried turkey.

It is a great choice also thanks to its neutral taste that will not alter the flavor of your dish.

However, you can’t use the corn oil again after you fried your turkey because it retains a lot of the flavor of your dish. 

Also check: 14 Best Substitutes For Olive Oil

3. Vegetable oil


Vegetable oil can save your recipe if you don’t find other types of oil. This oil has low-fat content and it is common in most stores.

In terms of flavor, vegetable oil is neutral and it will highlight the taste of your turkey.

The smoke point is lower though, at only 400 degrees F but it will still do good in a fried turkey recipe. Most vegetable oil is a mix of corn oil, palm oil, and canola oil. 

More: Do You Cook Bacon With Oil

4. Olive oil 

Olive oil

Olive oil can be used in almost all types of recipes that require oil, and it comes in different varieties. Most olive oils have a smoke point of 450 degrees F or higher.

Extra light oil comes at a smoke point of 468 degrees F. Olive oil is a healthy choice thanks to its monosaturated fats. It brings a discrete flavor to your food and it is available in most grocery stores. 

5. Canola oil 

Canola oil

Canola oil has a smoke point of 400 degrees F, which is enough for frying your turkey, even if it is not as high as other options on this list.

You can use this oil for baking, deep frying, stir-frying and other types of recipes and your food will taste delicious. It has a discrete flavor and it will enhance the taste of your food. 

6. Coconut oil 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest options in many situations but it comes at a much lower point than other oils, of 350 degrees F.

There are, however, types of refined coconut oil that reach a smoke point of 400 degrees F.

Regardless of the type you choose, it can be used for frying but not for deep frying. This type of oil contains around 90% saturated fats. 

7. Sunflower oil 

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower is another good option for frying turkey but also for making fries or other fried dishes.

The smoke point of sunflower is also as high as peanut oil, at 450 degrees F. it brings a neutral flavor to your food and it is easy to find in most grocery stores. 

However, the best sunflower oil is the organic type. It brings healthy fats and highlights the taste of your food. 

8. Safflower oil 

Safflower oil is as good as the rest of the oils you can use for frying turkey. It has a smoke point of just more than 500 degrees F and its flavor is mild.

Plus, this type of oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and you can use it for frying other types of meat as well. It might not be so easy to get safflower oil but if you find it, it is worth it to give it a chance. 

9. Avocado oil 

If you want to fly your turkey in avocado oil, you have to get ready for a mild avocado taste in your final dish.

This type of oil is not neutral in flavor as others so it will be a good choice for those who don’t mind its avocado taste. Avocado oil has a significantly high smoke point of 519 degrees F. 

This oil is not the best option for frying turkey though because it comes at a higher cost and it can be difficult to find.

But if you can get it, you might like the avocado and the buttery flavor it adds to your turkey dish. You can use this oil for other types of fried recipes as well. 

10. Soybean oil 

Soybean Oil

Soybean oil might also be a bit difficult to find but it can be successfully used for frying turkey.

It has a 450 degrees F smoke point, which is not as high as other options but it is enough for this type of frying.

It comes at a budget-friendly price and it contains a reduced amount of saturated fats. Also, soybean oil is neutral in taste and you will not have to worry about changing the taste of your final dish. 

More: Do You Cook A Turkey At 325 Or 350?

What is the best type of oil to use for deep frying?

Even if you have several options of oil for frying your turkey, peanut oil remains the best one. It has the perfect smoke point for such a recipe and its flavor is perfect for fried turkey. 

But if you can’t get the peanut oil, you can successfully use the alternatives in this guide. 

Do you have to use peanut oil to deep-fry a turkey?

Using peanut oil is not mandatory when you fry a turkey. While this type of oil remains the best choice, you can still end up with a tasty dish by using other options in this list. 

Sunflower oil, for instance, is one of the best choices when you don’t have peanut oil. As a general rule, when you replace peanut oil in your frying turkey recipe, you want to look at oil with a similar smoke point and a flavor that will not alter your final dish. 

Can you mix vegetable oil and peanut oil to fry a turkey?

Generally, it is considered safe to mix vegetable oil with peanut oil. To make the most out of this combination, consider the smoke point of the mix to be the one of the oil with the lowest smoke point. 

Another aspect you need to consider is that you want to try and mix these two types of oils in equal parts. By doing so, you will maintain a balance in flavor and your fried turkey will taste better as well. 

More: How To Thaw a Turkey Overnight: 3 Easy Methods

What should you not deep-fry a turkey in?

While we saw the types of oils that are suitable for frying turkey, some oils will not work for such a recipe.

Oils with a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids are generally considered unsuitable for frying. 

Palm oil, margarine, or butter are only a few of the options that you should not consider when you want to fry a turkey.

Also, walnut oil, with a smoke point of 320 degrees F, will not be a good choice for frying turkey as it is not intended for high temperatures. 

Can you reuse turkey frying oil?

Most frying oils can be reused as long as they were used correctly the first time. Frying oil can be reused if it has a smoke point of 450 degrees F or higher. 

To be able to reuse your oil, you will have to give it time to cool down completely. Straining your oil is also important before you reuse it. 

You will also have to store your oil in a sealed container and a cold environment. You can put it in the fridge until you are ready to reuse it.

Note that it is crucial to get your oil back to room temperature before you expose it to heat. If you don’t do that, the temperature difference will be too high and it could cause an explosion. 

Following such rules will help you make the most of your frying oil, even if you reuse it. 

How much oil to deep fry a 20 lb turkey

If you want to deep fry an entire turkey of about 20 pounds, you will need between five and six gallons of cooking oil. 

Note that you will also have to let your turkey cook for three minutes per pound. So, your 20 pounds of turkey will be ready in about one hour. 

Deep-fried turkey recipe 

Deep-fried turkey might seem like a complicated recipe. But once we break it down into steps, you might not think that.

You will need 1.5 gallons of hot water, 16 oz salt, 16 oz dark brown sugar, and 4.4 oz ice. 1 20 lbs) turkey, with giblets removed and approximately 5 to 6 gallons peanut oil. 

Marinate the turkey in the water, salt, and sugar mix

Mix the hot water, sugar, and salt. When the salt and sugar dissolve, add the ice. Place the turkey in the container and let it sit for a minimum of eight hours. Don’t let the turkey in the mix for more than 16 hours. 

Get the turkey out of the brine 

Gently take your turkey out of the mixing container. Rinse it carefully and give it half an hour at room temperature. It is important to let your turkey sit for 30 minutes before you start cooking it. 

Prepare the oil and cook your turkey

This is the most important step of your recipe. Put your oil in the cooking container and cook it up to a temperature of 250 degrees F. Slowly put the turkey into the hot oil and increase the temperature up to 350 degrees F. 

Use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey. When this temperature reached 150 degrees F. Give your turkey up to 30 minutes before you start carving it. 

While this is the general recipe for deep frying a turkey, feel free to get creative with the seasonings you add to it.

Each family has its favorite style when it comes to how they like their turkey. But overall by following the steps above, you can’t fail. 

Final thoughts 

Choosing the oil you want to fry your turkey in might seem difficult if you are a beginner. But if you follow the information in this guide you will not have to worry about the final result.

Your turkey will be tender on the inside and have a crusty, gold outside that will be very inviting to your guests. 

Cooking the best-fried turkey is a matter of experience, as much as it is a matter of knowledge.

So, you will learn a lot as you keep trying to get the best turkey dish for you and your loved ones.

But choosing the right cooking oil is crucial for the final taste of your turkey dish.

Also, your health should come first so choose a type of oil that is optimum not only for your taste but also for your health! 

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