Deep fried turkey is a recipe that brings all the senses into play. The crackling of the oil as you lower your turkey into the frying oil. The aroma of the turkey cooking away. The flavor of the juicy deep fried turkey, and, of course, the crunch of the crispy turkey skin that you can best enjoy from a deep fried turkey. When done correctly, deep frying a turkey can make some of the most delicious turkey possible, and in a short amount of time. With that said, why not deep fry every turkey?
Well, as you may have heard, deep fried turkey does have the drawback of being a slightly dangerous way of cooking. You can burn yourself, or even start your house on fire. You also need to invest in a deep fryer and deep frying oil, which aren’t necessarily items that most people have laying around. With that said, here are some important safety tips if you choose to enjoy a deep fried turkey:
- Follow all the instructions from the manufacturer of your deep fryer, even if the don’t match what’s in this recipe.
- Do not set your deep fryer up indoors, in any type of enclosed or covered space, and keep away from exterior walls of your house / garage.
- Do not let children or pets anywhere near your deep fryer.
- Wear appropriate attire such as an apron, safety goggles, and heat gloves while cooking with a deep fryer.
If you’re not intimidated by the safety instructions and need to buy some specialized equipment, keep reading, because our instructions for how to deep fry a turkey will help you make an incredibly flavorful turkey!
We also have a complete recipe video showing you step by step instructions on how to make this recipe included for your convenience!
Before you can even think about enjoying a deep fried turkey, you need to first procure a turkey! Here’s what we recommend:
- A fresh, never frozen turkey such as what you can get at LGCM. These will be juicier than a frozen turkey and really shine after being deep fried. They will also be easier to get dry, which is very important for this process!
- A turkey that hasn’t been pre-brined. These turkeys will lose flavor when they cook in a deep fryer and we’re going to inject our own solution into the turkey later!
- A 12 – 14 pound turkey is a good size turkey. We don’t recommend frying smaller than 10 pounds or larger than 16 pounds. This size will fit in most deep fryers and not cook too fast.
Season Your Turkey
We recommend injecting your deep fried turkey with a solution of your own making and letting it sit overnight. There are a number of recipes for injections and even premade injections you can buy. Cajun injections are popular, but we like to keep it fairly simple and use a lemon-garlic solution. This will add a bright flavor and help keep the meat juicy.
After letting the turkey sit overnight to allow the solution to evenly distribute, we then season the inside and outside with Cavendar’s seasoning, but you can use your favorite poultry seasoning!
Set Up the Fryer and Make Deep Fried Turkey
Put your fryer in an open area and hook the turkey up to your hanger and lowering hook. Put the turkey into the empty frying pot and cover the turkey with water until it is covered by about 1/2″. Remove the turkey, and mark where the water reached. Dump the water and dry the turkey and pot. Make sure they’re both very dry. As you probably have heard, oil and water don’t mix.
Fill the frying pot with oil (we recommend canola, peanut, or vegetable oil) to the mark, and then heat it to 250ºF. Once the oil is hot, add the turkey, increase the heat to 350ºF and get cooking!
Recommended Tools & Accessories
Most of these items that we use are readily available in local stores, but if you need to purchase online, here are links to purchase some of the tools we used in this recipe:
- Deep Frying Kit from Webstauraunt Store.
- Injecting Kit from Amazon.
- Grilling Gloves from Amazon.
- Cavender’s Seasoning from Amazon.
We hope you enjoy this recipe and give deep fried turkey a try at home. Be safe and enjoy!
PS – we also have plenty of other turkey recipes available for you to try right here!
- 1 Turkey (12 – 14 lbs.)
- 1/2 cup(s) Chicken Broth
- 1/4 cup Melted Butter
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- Cavender’s Greek Seasoning (or your favorite poultry rub)
- Canola Oil (or peanut or vegetable, for frying)
Remove all plastic parts inside your turkey as well as any giblets and neck bone that may be with the turkey. Remove any ice that may be inside the turkey and pat dry.
Mix together the chicken broth, melted butter, lemon juice, kosher salt, garlic power, onion powder, and black pepper and pour the mixture into a poultry injector. Inject the mixture into your turkey in four parts. Make one injection in each breast, and one injection in each thigh. Try to move the needle to each side of the breast while you are injecting to spread the solution evenly.
Let the turkey sit covered overnight in your refrigerator or at least one hour before deep frying.
Set up your deep fryer according to your manufacturer’s directions but do not add oil to the pot yet. Put the turkey on the frying rig and lower into the pot. Add water to the pot to the point where it covers the turkey by 1/2″ and then remove the turkey. Mark where the water reaches and discard. Dry both the turkey and pot thoroughly.
Add oil to the pot and heat to 250ºF. You will need somewhere between 2 and 4 gallons.
While the oil is heating, generously season your dried turkey with Cavendar’s seasoning (or your favorite seasoning) on all sides, including the inside.
Once the oil is hot, slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil, taking precautions to not get oil on yourself. Increase heat to 350ºF and fry for about 45 minutes, until the turkey reaches 165ºF in the thighs.
When the turkey is cooked, turn the flame off, and slowly remove the turkey from the frying oil, being careful to not get oil on yourself. Set the turkey on a baking sheet and let drain and cool for 30 minutes before carving. Carve as normal and enjoy!