A Spicy Perspective

Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

This Deep Fried Turkey Recipe is not only easy, it’s also crispy and succulent. The perfect combination for a memorable Thanksgiving Turkey dinner!

Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

To Fry or Not To Fry

If you’ve been hanging around A Spicy Perspective very long, you know I don’t usually deep fry.

It’s not that I don’t love the flavor and texture of deep fried foods. God knows, I love a well-made french fry just as much as the next girl.

No, my reasoning for not frying is actually 3-fold.

  1. By far the biggest reason is, I’m scared to deep fry. Every time I’ve tried it, I get little splatter burns all over my arms.
  2. It’s a big mess. My stove and kitchen counters are covered in oil when I’m finished.
  3. The odor of evaporated fry oil lingers around the house for days on end.

Needless to say, I just stay away from deep frying in general.

But there is one deep frying experiment I have always wanted to try….

Deep Fried Turkey.

Best Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

Take Caution

I know, I know. I’ve seen those clips on Youtube and America’s Funniest Home Videos, of the guy lowering the turkey into a gas fryer and the whole thing going up in flames. (I have a hard time understanding why this is considered funny.)

Trust me, I’ve seen those clips.

Yet the adventurous side of me has always wanted to throw caution to the wind and try it anyway.

So this year I got my chance, and it just so happens my dangerous-side and practical-side met in the middle.

Juicy Turkey Meat

Masterbuilt, makers of superb smokers, grills, and fryers, sent me one of their Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryers. You cannot imagine the fusion of exhilaration and fear that bubbled up inside of me the day it arrived.

Nevertheless, I was aching to test it out…

Ingredients For This Fried Turkey Recipe

The ingredients list is quite simple and very easy to pull off in this recipe. 

  • Whole Turkey (thawed completely)
  • Cooking Oil (preferably peanut oil)
  • Turkey Injecting Marinade – Homemade or Store-bought
  • Turkey Dry Rub Seasoning – Homemade or Store-bought
Deep Fried Turkey Seasoning

How To Make Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

  1. Thaw the turkey in the fridge.
  2. Add the oil to the turkey fryer and let it preheat.
  3. Dry the turkey thoroughly, even inside the cavity, with paper towels.
  4. Injected the turkey with marinade. Then dried it again… Just in case. 
  5. Sprinkle Dry Rub Seasoning on the turkey and placed it in the frying basket.
  6. Then ever so slowly, lower the turkey into the hot oil.
  7. Close the lid and set the timer for 50 minutes, or 3-4 minutes per lb. 

After all this, I waited anxiously for something bad to happen. But guess what… it didn’t! The turkey came out of the fryer crispy on the outside, ultra-moist on the inside, just like I hoped. 

Turkey Rub Recipe

See The (Printable) Recipe Card Below For How To Make Deep Fried Turkey Recipe. Enjoy!

Injecting a Turkey for Frying

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I brine the turkey beforehand?

Yes, I usually brine a turkey before cooking it in any way. Brining makes the meat more tender and juicy all around. Plus, it helps the skin to brown evenly.  

How do I know my turkey is done?

Once the temperature of the meat comes to 165 degrees F (in the center of the breast and thigh) you should gently remove it from the oil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes to ensure that any excess oil drains from the turkey. 

How long does this stay fresh? 

You can keep turkey meat in an airtight container in your fridge for 4 to 5 days. When you are ready to reheat it, you can warm it up in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.

deep frying a turkey

My End Thoughts?

In fact, the whole process of making this Deep Fried Turkey Recipe was completely peaceful.

  • This Masterbuilt Fryer is electric, so it’s safe to use in the house without fear of explosion.
  • The lid protected me and my counters from splattering oil.
  • The specially designed vent in the lid, allowed steam to come through, but not smoke, so my house didn’t reek of fry oil.
  • Using the lifting hook and an oven mitt to lower and lift the turkey, further protected me from burns.
How To Deep Fry A Turkey

Best Fried Turkey

My turkey was cooked to perfection, in less than half the time it takes in the oven.

The skin was dark, but very flavorful… Not burnt tasting. The turkey meat was ultra-tender and juicy from breast to tail.

To top it all, after the oil had cooled and I got around to cleaning out the fryer, it came with a little spout that made draining it a cinch.

How To Fry A Whole Turkey

Amazing Masterbuilt Fryer

If you have always wanted to fry a turkey for Thanksgiving, I can tell you without reservation that this is a great product.

It’s easy to use, super safe, easy to clean up, and you can also use it to boil and steam large quantities of food.

Find it online with quick-ship options on Masterbuilt and Amazon.

Or in nationwide retailers like:

  • Home Depot
  • Wal-Mart
  • Costco
  • Lowes
  • Academy Sports & Outdoors
  • Bass Pro
  • Sears
  • Target

Masterbuilt’s Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer is a product I can recommend wholeheartedly.

Dadgum, that’s good, too!

“Dadgum, That’s Good, Too!”

I also received a copy of John McLemore’s second cookbook “Dadgum, That’s Good, Too!” Along with the basic fried turkey recipe I tried, it includes all sorts of wonderful things that would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

Court Pear Pies, Smoked Sweet Potatoes, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, Sweet Potato Fries with Maple Pecan Butter, Deep Fried Corn, Apple Fritters, Sweet Potato Fritters, and Fried Apple Pies,  just to name a few.

John McLemore and his family have poured their hearts into their Masterbuilt products, along with the recipes in this cookbook. It’s filled with wonderful family photos, funny stories, and tantalizing recipes.

Thanks John!

Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Other Thanksgiving Day Meat Options

How To Deep Fry A Turkey
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Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
How to Deep Fry a Turkey.
Servings: 12


  • 10-14 pound whole turkey thawed completely
  • 2 gallons frying oil preferably peanut oil

For the Dry Rub Seasoning

For the Injecting Marinade


  • Thaw the turkey, if frozen. To properly thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 pounds. Fill the deep fryer halfway with oil and heat to 375°F. Remove giblets and neck. If present, remove and discard plastic leg holder and pop-up timer. Rinse the turkey thoroughly with warm water, or completely cover with warm water and soak for no more than 30 minutes to ensure the cavity is free of ice.
  • Set out a small bowl for the dry rub. In the bowl, combine all the dry seasonings and mix well.
  • Set out a measuring pitcher for the injecting marinade. In the pitcher combine the oil, water, lemon juice, mustard, salt, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder. Whisk well to immulsify the mixture.
  • Pat the turkey completely dry on the outside and inside of the cavity with paper towels. Using a marinade injection syringe, inject 1/2 cup of the marinade in each breast. Inject 1/4 cup marinade into each leg and thigh.
  • Sprinkle the turkey generously with turkey dry rub seasoning, completely coating the outside of the turkey and inside of the cavity.
  • Place the turkey, breast side up, in the fryer basket. Slowly lower the basket into hot oil, being careful not to splatter hot oil. Fry turkey for 3 to 4 minutes per pound. Lift the basket from the hot oil slowly. Insert a meat thermometer in the meaty part of the breast; turkey is done when it reads 165°F. If the turkey is not done, lower it carefully back into the oil for an additional 5 minutes. Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature (minimum 165°F), remove from oil.
  • Allow the turkey to rest and drain in the fryer basket for 10 minutes before removing for carving. The turkey can remain in the basket to cool until ready to serve.


In a hurry? You can purchase Butterball Garlic and Herb Turkey Injecting Marinade and Dry Rub Seasoning to skip some of the prep work. 


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 378kcal, Protein: 58g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 193mg, Sodium: 301mg, Potassium: 601mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 150IU, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 2.3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Masterbuilt. All opinions are my own.

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43 comments on “Deep Fried Turkey Recipe”

  1. YUM, I’ve deep fried a turkey before, but brining it first was genius!

  2. Hey, this is really amazing.

  3. Now, that is something! Sounds like a challenge, but also like a plan for this year’s Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Unfortunately, can’t get these wonderful machines down here in Australia :( but was wondering if you would also brine your turkey beforehand to make it even juicier if at all possible? Thanks for the great recipes and ideas – loving it!!!!!!

  6. Pingback: 10+ Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes | Food and Everything Else

  7. Awesome! I’ve never had deep fried turkey (can you believe it?) but this looks so good!

  8. Sommer this is a beautifull step by step explanation of how to do it! ll give it to my husband :)

  9. That looks delicious! We would love to share some of our very own recipes with you from Howtodeepfryturkey.com.

    If you head on over to the website we have a lot to offer such as recipe, turkey tips, instructional videos, safety videos and much more!

    Check it out and we would love to try you spicy turkey recipe!

  10. Oh my goodness I’ve always wanted to try a deep fried turkey!

  11. HOLY YUM. I tooooootally need this to happen to our Thanksgiving turkey! I’ve never had deep-fried turkey before but ohmahgawsh it looks phenom!

  12. Deep fried Turkey is the best!!! I have one of those big drum fryers that you have to do outside…I am totally digging this tabletop version!

  13. I love a deep fried turkey! That’s how we have been doing it for about 13 years now…I am almost scared to try and bake one! WHat a cool fryer, so much nicer than the big pot we use outside :)

  14. Too funny. As you were outlining the reasons that you don’t fry them, I was already thinking, “She needs one of those Masterbuilt units.” A few of my friends have them and have raved about them for the past two years. I like that you can make a buttload of onion rings and other deep fried stuff compared to those small home deep fryers where you can only do an order or two at a time.

  15. I love me a good deep fried turkey!!! Yours looks awesome!! I met John at BlogHer Food in Atlanta and just the other day again…he’s so nice and I want me a Masterbuilt too!! :-)

  16. Is there leftovers? If there is I’ll be right over. This is amazing. I’ve deep fried pizza but never turkey.

  17. I am a deep frying fool and I’m sure I have the arteries to prove it! My husband deep fried a wild turkey a few years back (in the yard) and it was awesome. I would love to have one of these fryers because I do make a huge mess!

  18. I’ve eaten a fried turkey before, and man, it is so juicy and good!

  19. I was ready to buy this fryer this morning @ 6:40am. Rude service at # 800- 313-7992 by a person named “Lucy” stopped me from ordering the xl fryer. Really wanted it but will not be hung up on twice & told I wasn’t going to buy the fryer. I really wanted this. Lost a sale & bad publicity.

  20. We’ve only fried turkeys a few times and I was a nervous cat the entire time. They do taste amazing though.

  21. OK, even the site of that deep fryer makes me want to run and get a fire extinguisher. But Mr. Hungry Couple, who is a guy and has no fear of setting things on fire or making them explode, has been pressuring me for a deep fried turkey. This maybe, might be, possibly, potentially be the answer. Now excuse me because I’ve got to go get that extinguisher in case the photo on the computer screen catches on fire or anything…

  22. I just ordered a Turkey XL Fryer from QVC .. and also the Dadgum that’s good, too Cookbook .. I haven’t gotten it yet ,, I would imagine it will be delivered on Monday ,, Anyway I am curious as while looking online I see that WalMart sells the XL Fryer along with the Blue Heat Proof Gloves, the Injector and the Seasoning for less then I paid for the Cooker on QVC and I don’t think it comes with the Gloves, Injector and Seasoning from QVC .. and I had to pay for shipping too . So I am disappointed before I get it ,, So you know if I am right and would have to order the other items separate ??

    • Hi Connie, I honestly don’t know that much about QVC. My fryer just came on its own, but maybe Masterbuilt put together a special kit for Walmart. (?)

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. :s

  23. I have been deep frying them for years. Bought one of these electrics on clearance at Wally World last year. Gonna try it out this year and see if I like it as well as my gas cooker. Love deep fried turkeywhen it has been injected with creole butter!!!!!!!!

  24. Yum, that turkey looks incredible!

  25. I’m drooling!!!! That looks absolutely irresistible, Sommer! I want some :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs <3

  26. I’ve heard so much about fried turkeys, but haven’t tried one. Looks YUM!

  27. That is one gorgeous bird! My husband would have so much fun with this.

  28. I love a deep fry chicken too! But you make me want to run out and get one.

  29. my first fried turkey was when I worked at the port in New Orleans – the office had a Thanksgiving picnic lunch and they had several turkey friyers going, outside of course. Some of the best I’ve ever had. Great memory

  30. I am not big on fried foods, but now I want to fry a turkey! How fun and it looks so easy!!

  31. Love a good deep fried turkey!

  32. Can you believe I have never had deep-fried turkey? I have heard time and again that this is the best way of eating turkey, so I definitely will have to try it at some point. That handy dandy turkey fryer you have must be great during holiday season! And injecting garlic and herb marinade into a healthy bird sounds fabulous! We’ll be roasting this year but if I had access to a deep fryer, I’d definitely give the fried bird a shot!

  33. I did a food styling gig for John when he was on tv in Indianapolis! We styled for his segment on the fryer, the pear pies and the smoked mac and cheese. He gave me one of his cookbooks but I really wanted a fryer — those things are awesome!

  34. Love fried turkey, my in-laws only do it that way, mainly because it’s so quick to cook and you don’t have to baste it.

  35. Lucky you for getting to try that baby out!! I’m super jealous. I’ve wanted to try a fried turkey for YEARS and yours looks scrumptious!!!

  36. I am terrified of deep-frying too! I tried it once and that was all I needed–my arms were covered with tiny little spatter burns for days. This would be a lot more manageable!

  37. I had my first bite of fried turkey over the summer (hey, I was curious) and was very much impressed. I do believe it’s one of the best ways to cook it.

  38. My brother used to make deep-fried turkey and I remember thinking it was going to taste really greasy – I was shocked – very moist and tender! I would never have known it was deep fried.