Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

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


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

Fried Turkey Recipe: How to Safely Fry a Turkey | #thanksgiving #turkey

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.

Deep Fried Turkey Recipe | #thanksgiving #turkey

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.

Fried Turkey Recipe with Masterbuilt | #thanksgiving #turkey

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.

I had a turkey thawing in the fridge. So I sat down with the handbook to read every single word, before I dared to test the fryer.

How to Safely Fry a Turkey | #thanksgiving #turkey

I added the oil and let it preheat.

I dried my turkey thoroughly, even inside the cavity, with paper towels.

How to Safely Fry a Turkey | #thanksgiving #turkey

I injected the turkey with Butterball Garlic and Herb Turkey Marinade, as the handbook suggested. Then dried it again… just in case.

How to Safely Fry a Thanksgiving Turkey | #thanksgiving #turkey

I sprinkled it with Butterball Garlic and Herb Seasoning and placed it in the frying basket.

How to Fry a Turkey with Masterbuilt | #thanksgiving #turkey

Then ever so slowly, holding my breath, I lowered the turkey into the hot oil.

I closed the lid and set the timer for 50 minutes, 3-4 minutes per lb.

Then waited anxiously for something bad to happen.

Deep Fried Turkey | #thanksgiving #turkey

But guess what… it didn’t!

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 | #thanksgiving #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.

Learn How to Safely Fry a Turkey | #thanksgiving #turkey

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

For further confirmation, just read the comments on Amazon; everyone loves this thing!

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!

Tender Deep Fried Turkey | #thanksgiving #turkey

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

And FYI, you may see a lot more deep fried recipes from me, now that my deep-frying fears have been eliminated! *wink*

Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

Yield: 8-12

Prep Time:30 minutes

Cook Time:45 minutes

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

How to Deep Fry a Turkey


  • 1 – 10-14 lb. turkey, thawed completely
  • 2 gallons cooking oil, preferably peanut oil
  • 1 bottle Butterball Garlic and Herb Turkey Marinade
  • Butterball Garlic and Herb Turkey Seasoning


  1. Thaw turkey, if frozen. To properly thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 pounds. Fill 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 turkey thoroughly with warm water or completely cover with warm water and soak for no more than 30 minutes to ensure cavity is free of ice.
  2. Pat turkey completely dry on outside and inside of cavity with paper towels. Using a marinade injection syringe, inject ½ cup (4 ounces) marinade in each breast. Inject ¼ cup (2 ounces) marinade into each leg and thigh. Sprinkle turkey generously with turkey seasoning, completely coating the outside of the turkey and inside of the cavity.
  3. Place turkey, breast side up, in 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.
  4. 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.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Masterbuilt. All opinions are my own.

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39 comments on “Deep Fried Turkey Recipe

  1. Teana Bposted November 7, 2018 at 9:34 pm Reply

    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!!!!!!

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

  3. Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creekposted November 4, 2013 at 7:20 am Reply

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

  4. Allisonposted October 14, 2013 at 9:48 am Reply

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

  5. Deepfryaturkeyposted November 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm Reply

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

    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!

  6. Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted November 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm Reply

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

  7. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebelposted November 19, 2012 at 10:33 am Reply

    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!

  8. leslieposted November 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm Reply

    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!

  9. shelly (cookies and cups)posted November 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm Reply

    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 :)

  10. Chrisposted November 18, 2012 at 11:19 am Reply

    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.

  11. JulieDposted November 18, 2012 at 9:53 am Reply

    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!! :-)

  12. Kim Beeposted November 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm Reply

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

  13. MIss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted November 17, 2012 at 8:33 am Reply

    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!

  14. BusyWorkingMamaposted November 17, 2012 at 8:16 am Reply

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

  15. Beverly Cottonposted November 17, 2012 at 6:09 am Reply

    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.

    • Sommerposted November 17, 2012 at 7:01 am Reply

      Awe Beverly, I’m sorry! Thanks for commenting. I’m sure Masterbuilt would want to know about this. :s

  16. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinchposted November 16, 2012 at 11:38 pm Reply

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

  17. Anita at Hungry Coupleposted November 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm Reply

    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…

  18. Connie Hudlowposted November 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm Reply

    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 ??

    • Sommerposted November 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm Reply

      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

  19. Michael J. McCoyposted November 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm Reply

    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!!!!!!!!

    • Sommerposted November 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm Reply

      Michael the creole butter sounds so good! I think you’ll love the electric fryer.

  20. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted November 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm Reply

    Yum, that turkey looks incredible!

  21. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted November 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm Reply

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

    Hugs <3

  22. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted November 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm Reply

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

  23. Cassie | Bake Your Dayposted November 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm Reply

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

  24. Jersey Girl Cooksposted November 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm Reply

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

  25. Nancy Longposted November 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm Reply

    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

  26. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted November 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm Reply

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

  27. Paula - bell'alimentoposted November 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm Reply

    Love a good deep fried turkey!

  28. Julia {The Roasted Root}posted November 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm Reply

    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!

  29. BigFatBakerposted November 16, 2012 at 10:06 am Reply

    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!

    • Sommerposted November 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm Reply

      That’s so neat! I would love to meet John. :)

  30. Angieposted November 16, 2012 at 9:18 am Reply

    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.

  31. Rachel @ Baked by Rachelposted November 16, 2012 at 8:52 am Reply

    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!!!

  32. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggiesposted November 16, 2012 at 8:42 am Reply

    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!

  33. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted November 16, 2012 at 8:29 am Reply

    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.

  34. Jeanetteposted November 16, 2012 at 8:19 am Reply

    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.