An amazing deep fried turkey that turned me from a turkey hater to a TURKEY LOVER… This deep fried turkey recipe turns out tender, juicy, and flavorful EVERY TIME (thanks to an easy fried turkey rub), AND the cooking time is trimmed to under an hour!
Deep Fried Turkey Recipe
So here’s the thing (and don’t come at me with pitchforks, please)… I have to admit that I’ve never really been a fan of turkey. In fact, there have been many years when we opted for a ham at Thanksgiving instead. Shocking, isn’t it?!
That is until a few years ago. My husband and boys love a good turkey, so we tried this deep fried turkey recipe. And you know what? Now I’m a total convert. My deep fried turkey turns out tender, juicy and flavorful EVERY TIME, and the cooking time is trimmed to under an hour!
I know you might be envisioning some of the horror stories you may have heard about gas and/or propane turkey fryers right now. No worries — did you know that you can actually purchase an electric turkey fryer?!? Yep, and they’re safe enough that you can fry a whole turkey right on your kitchen countertop!
Deep Fried Turkey In An Electric Fryer
It appears that the particular electric turkey fryer model I have is no longer sold. But there are two newer versions available: one that fries turkeys up to 14 pounds and one that fries turkeys up to 20 pounds. Though I have the smaller capacity model, I’d highly recommend going for the larger one. Finding small turkeys can be a bit difficult, and the price difference is negligible!
If you’re trying to stay within a budget, deep frying turkey probably isn’t the most cost effective way to cook a turkey. I prefer to use peanut oil for its rich flavor and high smoke rate, and peanut oil doesn’t come cheap…
But this method saves a TON of time — and since it takes so little time, a great way to defray the cost of the oil is to have a turkey-frying party after Thanksgiving. Invite friends, families, and neighbors over to fry up those marked down turkeys and turkey breasts that you can pick up for a steal!
Also, while intended for frying whole turkeys, you can fry just about anything in your electric turkey fryer, including fish, shrimp, onion loaf, and more. And it has a steaming feature, as well, making it much more versatile than at first glance.
How To Cook A Deep Fried Turkey
Deep fried turkey using an electric turkey fryer is really super simple! I start by rinsing and drying a thawed bird inside and out. Then I mix up a simple fried turkey rub using poultry seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper, and rub it all over the outside and inside of the bird. After I complete these two steps, I then turn the fryer on to heat up, allowing the turkey to sit out and come to room temperature in the meantime.
When the peanut oil reaches 375 degrees, gently lower the turkey in (I recommend silicone mitts for this step), making sure it’s fully submerged and that the oil has filled the cavity of the turkey. Sometimes the turkey needs to “burp” to get it to fill with oil. It’s handy to have a pair of rubber-tipped tongs to gently nudge it and tilt it to make sure it’s filled.
Fry the turkey for 3.5-4 minutes per pound (so a 13-lb. bird like I used would cook for 45-52 minutes), until a meat thermometer inserted into the turkey breast reads 165-170 degrees. When it’s done frying, remove it from the oil and allow it to drain on some paper towels. It’s best to let it sit for about ten minutes before carving.
Deep Fried Turkey Recipe Side Dishes
So what do we serve alongside this delicious deep fried turkey recipe? The rest of our Thanksgiving meal is pretty traditional, as far as side dishes go.
You’ll want to check out my favorite recipes for cream corn casserole, green bean casserole, make ahead mashed potatoes, stuffing muffins, cranberry salad, and of course, pumpkin pie… Each has a unique twist to make it a little new and different and/or to save time in the kitchen!
And who doesn’t want to be able to spend more time with family and friends outside of the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day?!?
Deep Fried Turkey Breast
You can also deep fry a turkey breast in your electric turkey fryer! Follow the directions above, and then lower the cooking temperature to 325 degrees after submerging the turkey breast in the oil. Cook for approximately 7 minutes per pound, until a meat thermometer (I like this inexpensive digital one) inserted in the breast reads at least 165 degrees.29