I got this somewhere, and I'm not sure where. I noticed on the thread about Thanksgiving that a couple folks mentioned frying turkeys. I figured I'd better post this, as there are several good points here. I don't have a turkey fryer, so whenever it says "I", than AllenMI has NOT done it.
The only times I've fried a turkey, is at the country club I used to work at back in OK. They will drop hens (15 - 18# birds) straight into a regular commercial Frialator (sp?), the kind that takes two baskets for french fries. They would fill the Tilt Skillet (Trunion skillet) with about 15 gallons of oil and drop three Toms (25# birds) into that. Commercial kitchens are the best place to cook these things, but it's a rare day that you'll find a commercial kitchen willing to deep-fry your turkey for you.
Here's a good link, with descriptions, pictures, and a few recipes, on how to fry turkeys.
The Ten Commandments of Frying Turkeys
1) Don't get too big a turkey. The average pot that comes with these frying kits will hold about a 14 to 18 pound turkey. If that isn't enough do two turkeys instead of trying to pack a huge one in a little pot.
2) Always fry your turkey outside on a flat even surface. Don't let kids or pets around while you are cooking. It might be a good idea to find a chair for drunk uncle Bubba to sit in also.
3) Be prepared in case of an accident. Fire extinguisher...good idea. Water hose, probably bad idea. If the pot dumps over and catches fire, where is the burning oil going to go??? Under your car? Down through the gaps between the boards of your wooden deck? It is best to do this out in the yard or on a driveway. Get a piece of plywood to set it on and that will help keep splattering oil of off your grass or driveway.
4) Know how much oil you will need. Don't fill the pot up and get it to 365°F and then try to put a turkey in it. If you do then you need to re-read #3 because about half of that oil will leave the pot. A good tried and true way of figuring the amount of oil is the water method. Put the raw turkey in the pot and fill it with water just until the turkey is almost underwater. Now take the turkey out and mark where the water level is. That is the amount of oil you will need.
5) Get rid of all the water. Before you fill the pot with oil dry it as good as you can. That goes the same for the turkey. Pat it dry with paper towels. Shake it around to get the water out of the cavity. Hot oil and water do not mix very well.
6) Use good clean oil. Peanut oil is usually the preferred oil in that it can withstand the higher temp's better then other oils. Regular oil can be used but I spend the couple extra bucks and get peanut oil. You can use it for quite a while if you take care of it. Get a filter of some kind and use it. They can be bought all over the place and are made just for this. I found that coffee filters do not work unless you have about 6 days to kill filtering oil.
7) Wear thick leather gloves. When you are lowering that turkey into the oil you will get some splattering so expect it. Our natural instinct when something very hot hits our hand is to pull it away. Ok, you get splattered, you let go of turkey to pull hand away, turkey now PLUNGES into boiling oil, you are on your way to the hospital to get new skin on both of your legs. Just get some good thick gloves. Also watch out for that hole where the neck was. Oil will gush out of that like a volcano.
TURN THE FIRE OFF. This has to be the one thing I really try to do. After you get the oil up to temp. and are ready to lower the turkey in turn the burner of first. 99% of the time you will have some oil splash over the side. With the fire off all you have now is a little mess (but you have a piece of plywood down just for the messes, right?) instead of the possibility of a flare up. Once the turkey is in and the oil has settled down re-light the burner. Remember, you do not have to have the flame at it highest. Once the oil heats up it doesn't take too much to keep it hot with the exception of outside temp. and wind. That is just something you will have to figure out.
9) Go slow. Don't just try to lower the turkey in the oil in a few seconds. Take your time. Lower it in a couple of inches and then raise it up just a little. Lower it in a little farther and then back up a little. When the turkey is a little over half way in kind tilt it a little to each side. This will let any air pockets out and you won't have a big splash of oil when an air bubble comes out. Never leave the turkey by itself. Always have someone there watching (except drunk uncle Bubba) just in case something happens. Going slow also applies to taking the turkey out. Don't just yank it out and splash oil on everyone who will now be out there wondering when it will be ready. Take it out slow and let the oil drain out of the cavity back into the pot. Make sure that you have the turkey high enough so that it won't hit the lip of the pot when you swing it around to sit it on something.
10) Know when the turkey is done. The general rule is 3.5 minutes per pound. That usually works real well but I take the internal temp. also. I will raise it up ( or have someone else raise it) about half way out of the oil and take the temperature in the breast. It should read 165 to 170°F and I will consider that bird done. Take it out and let it sit for about 15 minutes and carve it up.