This deep-fried turkey, which requires no brine and no injection, is the juiciest and most tender we’ve ever tried and has just the slightest Cajun lilt. Here’s how to (safely) make it.
We’re just going to say it like it is. This deep-fried turkey is the best damn turkey most of us have ever had.
You may have heard others brag about the burnished appearance, crackly skin, and impossibly tender, juicy-beyond-belief meat of a deep-fried turkey. It’s true.
And a deep-fried turkey frees up your oven for all those side dishes.
Deep-frying a turkey has acquired something of a bad rep because, well, accidents happen. But there are precautions that can and should be taken which make this as mundane an act as boiling water. You’ll find them below the recipe. Heed them.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 3 H, 30 M
- Serves 6 to 8
Special Equipment: Outdoor deep fryer
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
*What You Need To Know About (Safely!) Making Your Deep-Fried Turkey
You’ll need a few things to make this deep-fried turkey, including the following items and insights:
An outdoor deep fryer, either gas or electric (check that it comes with a fry basket; you may need to purchase this separately)
Long-sleeved fireproof gloves
Safety goggles (in a pinch, a clear-bottomed plastic bowl will suffice)
Shoes (um, something other than flip-flops; leather boots with steel toes do quite nicely)
Stopwatch or kitchen timer some sort
Instant-read thermometer (deep-fry or candy)
Fire extinguisher (for the love of all things good, if you’ve never used one, read the directions; if, heaven forbid, you need to use an extinguisher, there’ll be no time to reach for your reading specs)
A turkey that will easily fit in your fryer (preferably no more than 12 pounds).
Don’t even consider jury-rigging a hot-frying contraption. Pony up the money for a proper outdoor deep fryer. Trust us.
And for the love of all things good, be absolutely certain to actually read (and follow!) all the manufacturer’s instructions for your fryer. While you can get away with not reading the instruction manual for your espresso maker, this isn’t the same. Those instructions will no doubt reinforce this, but it can’t be stated enough–set up the fryer outside on a flat, flame-retardant surface. Think concrete.
Do not–we repeat, do not–even consider frying in your house, garage, or even on your porch. In fact, set it up at least 10 feet from your home, your garage, your fences, or anything else you treasure and don’t wish to see go up in flames. (Just saying.)
If using a gas fryer, position the gas tank at least 2 or 3 feet from the fryer, preferably more. And the fryer must, must, must be situated so that the wind will carry the heat that emanates from the fryer away from the tank, not toward it.
Now have fun. And give thanks.
Recipe Testers Reviews
Deep-frying a turkey is a very unique experience. If you have the chance, visit someone who’s done it before, so you have the benefit of experience. The finished turkey tasted as good as it looked! It had a clean flavor hinting of the deep-frying treatment, and a nicely browned and crisp skin.
There seems to be some fundamental differences between electric and gas fryers. It took close to 1 hour with my electric fryer to get the turkey cooked. There was very little splatter and no flare-ups. I mixed equal portions of fresh ground black pepper and sea salt to season the turkey. I would suggest a minimum of one tablespoon, but if you start with two tablespoons, there should be plenty, with a bit left over. The amount of cayenne had me concerned, but there really wasn’t much heat to the skin and definitely none in the meat. The white meat was just a tad on the dry side, but the dark meat was quite moist. My thermometer registered between 160 and 180, depending on where I stuck it — difficult to gauge through bubbling oil. So it may have overcooked a bit. There was no greasiness to the meat at all. I can say the roast is very “pick-able” — I had to force myself away from the table to avoid overeating! My 12-pound turkey would probably serve eight people, but there’d better be a lot of other fixin’s on the table if it’s going to serve 12.