How to make Deep Fried Turkey

Deep Fried Turkey, if you haven’t had it, I promise you are missing out on a juicy and well-flavored turkey. It isn’t only people in Texas, home of the fried food exhibit in their State Fair, that enjoy this, you can make these at home.

deep fried turkey on a table

I used my Masterbuilt 23011114 Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer Cooker Extra Large Capacity what I really like about this is you can really fry a turkey indoors without an issue.  A few years back I tried this at a Blogging convention.   I asked the lady doesn’t it make a mess, isn’t it difficult to do while I munched on some of the best turkey I had eaten.  She told me I was standing right next to the turkey frying at that moment.  Since then I have wanted to try one of these myself.

If you go online you can see all sorts of a disaster of people catching everything on fire, and sometimes people actually end up in the emergency room.  I can say with this indoor turkey fryer you are going to have great results and this will be simple for you to do.   What I really like about frying a turkey is that you can have a turkey cooked completely in about 45 minutes.    You can typically fry 2 or 3 turkeys with one batch of oil.   I think getting together with a couple of families you can easily knock out several turkeys together.

Tips for Deep Fried Turkey

Completely thaw your turkey – thawing a turkey on the countertop is not the best way to thaw a turkey.  Consider thawing your turkey either in the refrigerator, it may take a day or two, or you can thaw it in a cold water bath.  You can also buy a fresh turkey.  When I used to work in the grocery store business you would be surprised how many people would go into the store the morning of Thanksgiving and buy a frozen turkey to prepare that night.   Thanksgiving is not a surprise holiday.  Buy your bird a couple of days in advance.

Take the packaging off the turkey – your turkey will come with a variety of packaging.   Remove it, remove the leg ties, make sure you remove the plastic pop up cooking tab if available, and make sure you remove the giblets and the neck.  You can save the giblets and neck to make broth.

Pat the turkey dry – make sure you remove any excess moisture from the turkey.   Paper towels will do this very well.  Make sure you dry the inside and the outside of the turkey.  Excess water may cause the grease to splash and bubble out of control.

Cooking the turkey – Preheat the oil to 400 degrees or the proper temperature as mentioned by the manufacturer.   The bird will need to cook about 3 to 4 minutes a pound.  Cook all dark meat to an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F, and all white meat to an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.

Ideas for Marinade

You don’t need to buy an expensive marinade for your deep-fried turkey, you can make one from scratch that is as good if not better than any you can purchase from a bottle. Ideally, you should inject your turkey a few hours before you are going to prepare the bird.

Some of my favorites include Lea and Perrins Chicken Marinade. This is a simple marinade that can be simply purchased. But you can put together other ones easily.

Cajun – you can prepare one with 16 ounces of Italian dressing, 1 cup creole seasoning, 1/4 cup cayenne pepper, and 1/4 cup black pepper.

Butter and Beer – 1/2 pound butter, 5 ounces beer, 1/2 pound butter, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder

Simple and Savory – 2 cups chicken broth, 1/4 pound butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt

You may also want to use a rub if desired. I like using a simple rub of salt and pepper, it works well to help season the skin of the deep fried turkey.

Oil for Frying a Turkey

You can use any type of oil to deep fry a turkey. I personally like to use peanut oil, but this is my personal preference. You could also use a blend of vegetable oils if desired. Canola oil works very well to fry a turkey in, and it is a lot less expensive.

Deep fried turkey on a platter

Deep Fried Turkey

You haven't had a turkey until you have had it deep fried. 
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Deep Fried Turkey
Servings: 10
Calories: 624kcal


  • 1 turkey completely defrosted
  • 16 ounces marinade
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3 gallons vegetable oil you can use peanut, safflower, or canola oil


  • Dry turkey completely with paper towels. Inject turkey with up to 16 ounces of marinade. Allow turkey to marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours if desired before frying. Bring oil up to the proper temperature. If desired use a rub on the turkey to help season the skin and the inside of the bird. Fry the turkey approximately 3 to 4 minutes per pound. Use a thermometer to make sure that all dark meat to an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F, and all white meat to an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.



Calories: 624kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 231mg | Sodium: 1915mg | Potassium: 751mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2.8mg
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About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Baltisraul

    Popeyes used to do deep fried turkey. We had it 3 years in a row before they stopped the service. Order at least a week in advance and pick up on Thanksgiving Day.

    • Stephanie

      I bet they had a great injection flavor too. Popeyes is a fast-food restaurant that has a lot of flavor. I love their fried chicken, and their chicken sandwich is awesome.

  2. Rafael

    Did you have any issues with keeping the temp constant? Read some reviews where 3-4 min/lb were not enough, according to some reviews? Going to try for this weekend with your tips and a marinade. Thanks,

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