Deep Fried Turkey is a quick way to enjoy turkey during the holidays. I’ve always thought that nothing was better than a traditional oven roasted turkey for Christmas or Thanksgiving, but now I’m hooked on deep frying my turkey.
I’ve discovered how amazing the crispy skin and juicy and flavourful the meat is when you deep fry a turkey. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to traditional roast turkey again. I think the best thing is that is only takes about 45 minutes to deep fry the turkey! I know, what a time saver!!!
I love to drop some potatoes into the oil when the deep fried turkey is done. I experimented a few times and found that is the potatoes are par-boiled, you get a crispier potato. If you don’t like the taste of used oil, check out this potato side dish, Crispy Leaf Duck Fat Roast Potatoes which looks and tastes amazing.
There are a few risks with turkey frying. Here is a handy video, brought to you by our friends at State Farm Insurance. Please check it out here. It’s very important not to overfill the turkey fryer, so use the water displacement system to create an oil fill line.
Place the whole turkey into the turkey fryer pot, and fill with water until the turkey is covered. Remove the turkey from the pot, and mark the water line, which will be the same level of oil that will be needed to deep fry the turkey. This will ensure you don’t dangerously over fill with oil, causing a fire. See video above.
You can play with the herbs you add in the marinade and rub, we have a fantastic Smoked Sea Salt that my sister gave us, but regular salt would work fine. Purchase a marinade injector, but be careful not to clog the holes, which is why I ground up my spices using a pestle and mortar. You could just strain the herbs from the butter before you inject, but that flavour would be weaker. When you cut the turkey breast, you can see the flavour of the marinade in the meat, so good!
Deep fried turkey isn’t a new idea, it dates back to the 1930’s in the American South. They don’t sell Turkey Fryers in Australia, but I discovered that BCF Camping Store in Australia sells Crab Cookers. When I bought it, I discovered it was actually an American turkey fryer, just packaged differently for Australia. The pot even had a turkey fryer oil fill line stamped on the pot in the manufacturing process. Otherwise Amazon has lot of options.
So Australians, rejoice. If you’ve always wanted to try deep fried turkey, now you can, easily available in Australia, with a bonus crab cooker. For my American readers, your turkey fryer doubles as a crab cooker too.
How To Deep Fry A Turkey
- 1 large 12lb/5.5kg turkey - completely defrosted and patted dry and at leave room temperature for about an hour before frying
- 12 litres 3 gallons of oil - peanut, canola, sunflower or rice bran oil
- Turkey fryer
- protective gear apron, gloves...
- Dry Turkey Rub Spices
- 2 teaspoon smoked salt
- 2 teaspoons sage
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Marinade Ingredients
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoons sage
- 1 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules/powder
Season the turkey by mixing the turkey spice ingredients together and rubbing the Dry Turkey Rub all over the turkey. Rub under the turkey skin where possible, and rub the leftover rub inside the turkey cavity.
Using a pestle and mortar, add the dry ingredients of the marinade, and smash them together to crumble them as small as possible. The goal is to smash them small enough that they don't get stuck in the marinade injector holes. Put the butter in a pan, and using a tea strainer (sieve), sift the spices into the butter. Melt them together and allow to cool (from hot to warm) for you to handle to inject into the turkey.
Inject the warm marinade by stabbing the turkey deeply, and depressing the plunger of the marinade as you pull out. Inject the breast and thigh meat, and even the drumsticks.
Fill your turkey fryer pot with oil up to the fil line (see water dispersion method) and heat the oil to 160°C/325°F. Carefully and slowly, lower the turkey into the oil, feet pointing up. Do not drop the turkey quickly, otherwise the oil will overflow dangerously.
Set a timer. It takes 3-1/2 per pound (500 grams) to cook the turkey. For a 12 pound turkey, this will take 42 minutes. Check to see that the turkey is golden brown in colour, remove and check that the internal temperature is 165°F-170°F (75°C) in the breast. If the oil begins to smoke, or is higher than 325°F, lower the temperature
Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow to rest for about 20 minutes, which ensures the turkey will be juicy. Place on a cutting board and carve.
During the turkey rest time, drop some sliced potatoes into the oil for an easy tasty side with your turkey.