Slideshow: The Food Lab: How to Fry a Turkey (and Is the Whole Thing a Sham?)

Deep Fried Turkey
Deep Fried Turkey
Golden brown, crisp, and... dry.
The Setup
The Setup
Safety first. Make sure your fryer is set up on a stable, fire-proof dirt or stone surface, away from houses and trees. I use a metal dog fence to make sure that children and pets can't come anywhere near it. Also make sure to have a couple fire extinguishers on hand, and that they are meant for grease fires (do not use water on a grease fire).
The Turkey
The Turkey
The instructions recommend threading your turkey on the support upside down, presumably to help it get a better shape? Either way, make sure that it's completely thawed, and preferably at room temperature before attempting to fry it.
Insertion
Insertion
The key to safely frying a turkey is to lower it in slowly. The whole process should take at least a couple minutes, lest disaster strike.

It helps to wear a heat-proof glove, as the steam rising off the bird from the oil will be hot, and the last thing you want to do is drop the turkey.

Maintenance
Maintenance
The oil temperature will drop significantly once the turkey goes in. Increase the heat and try to get it back up so that it hovers in the 250 to 300°F temperature range, a slightly gentler heat than the 350 °F recommended by some recipes.

It doesn't really matter though, because your breast meat is still gonna come out dry...

Extraction
Extraction
Slowly lift the turkey once the center of the breast hits 150°F. Allow all the oil to drip back down, then let the whole thing rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
Roasted Vs. Deep Fried
Roasted Vs. Deep Fried
No denying the deeper color and crisper texture of a fried bird, but when it came to moistness and flavor? No contest: the roasted bird wins hands down.
Close-up
Close-up
Moist, roasted meat on the left, dry, fried meat on the right.
Good Pickin's
Good Pickin's
If your friends and family have got any taste, the wings and legs will disappear first. Save the white meat for the pets.