Deep Fried Turkey

This deep fried turkey has been a tradition for my family for over 20 years. The brine is the key to a tender, juicy and most importantly, flavorful turkey. Do not rinse the turkey after removing it from the brine because you are removing flavor and much needed salt. There is additional salt in the final rub and believe me it is required for the most flavorful turkey. This recipe has had 20 years of tweaking and I think this one is my most delicious.

If you need help pulling together your holiday menus, please read my Thanksgiving favorites menu. There is also a guide to taking the stress out of preparing that holiday menu in my How to make Thanksgiving Dinner without breaking a sweat article.

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4 from 2 votes

Deep Fried Turkey

This recipe should be made outdoors; making it in the kitchen is too dangerous.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword brine, deep fried turkey, turkey
Servings 10


  • Turkey Fryer


Turkey Brine


  • Bring water for brine to a boil then add other ingredients and turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes then let cool.
  • I use a clean cooler and a trash bag by using the trash bag as a liner for the cooler. Place turkey breast side down in the trash bag then add cooled brine and 2 additional quarts of ice and additional water to make sure the turkey is entirely submerged. The brine level will rise as you tie the trash bag so pull up bag as you attempt to tie bag to see the final brine level.
  • Let turkey brine at least 12 hours up to 24 hours. If you are brining more than 12 hours you should cover the outside of the trash bag with additional ice to keep the turkey at a safe temperature. Two hours prior to cooking time drain, rinse and pat dry turkey. The dryer the skin the crispier the skin will be.
  • Finely grind bay leaves in spice grinder; transfer to small bowl. Finely grind thyme, oregano, and sage separately; add to bay leaves and additional salt.
  • Rub 1/3 spice mixture in inside of turkey and the rest on outside of turkey; place in roasting pan.
  • Fold wing tips under. Using steel or aluminum wire, truss legs and Pope's nose together securely; form a handle with wire. This will enable you to hold turkey while submerging in hot oil.
  • Heat oil in 10-gallon pot over high heat until temperature registers 360°F. Holding turkey by handle, immerse in oil. Maintain temperature at 360 °F while frying. Fry until golden brown and an internal temperature of 155 degrees F, about 45 minutes, or 3 minutes per pound.
  • Lift turkey from oil; transfer to a wire rack over a roasting pan. Allow turkey to rest and drain for 10 minutes before carving.

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