Instructions for the Perfect Deep Fried Turkey with Marinade Recipes

A deep fried turkey, if you get it right, is succulent and crisp, doesn't need that much draining off, and will take a fraction of the time than if you were going to roast it. You can also marinade the turkey a day before the time, which will add to the taste.

So how do you deep fry a turkey, other than with extreme caution? Follow these simple instructions for deep fried turkey and see the marinade recipes.

Deep Fried Turkey Instructions

  • If you are using an electric deep fryer, then make sure that it is big enough for your bird. Place the bird breast side up. Use your fryer outside with an extension lead. Hot oil can easily spill over, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • If you are using just an ordinary stock pot, then it is even more advisable to deep fry your turkey outside. Place the bird in the pot legs facing up. 
  • You need to get your oil to a very high heat, and this, combined with the amount of oil you need to use, makes it very dangerous. Make sure that you have a fire extinguish at the ready, and keep the kids and pets away from the cooking area. Also make sure that you are not deep frying your turkey anywhere near flammable objects and it is out in the open, rather than under overhangs or tree canopies.
  • Use an oil that has a high smoke point such as peanut oil, sunflower oil or safflower oil, and have about 5 gallons on hand, as you will use between 3-5 gallons depending on the size of the pot and bird.
  • Only use a fresh turkey. Frozen turkeys usually contain a basting solution in the meat.
  • If you froze your fresh turkey make sure that it is completely defrosted. This will take a maximum of 4 days in the fridge.
  • Never brine your turkey if you want to deep fry it. The added water in the turkey does not go well with the oil.
  • Never stuff a turkey that you are going to deep fry.
  • Before cooking remove the giblets, cut off the wing tips, and remove any metal trusses holding the legs together or any pop-up timers.
  • Make sure that the bird is totally dry when placing it into the oil.
  • If you are using an electric fryer follow the manufacturer's cooking instructions. If you are using a stock pot you will need to bring the oil to a temperature of 375 degrees F. for about 30 minutes. Maintain a temperature of 350 degrees F. for best results as you want a crisp skin.
  • Deep fry your turkey at 3 1/2 minutes per pound if it has the skin on, or 3 minutes per pound if it doesn't.
  • If you are deep frying turkey pieces such as the breasts, legs, and thighs it will take 4-5 minutes per pound. 
  • A meat thermometer inserted into the breast should read 170 degrees F. The temperature for the legs and thighs should read 180 degrees F.
  • Never leave your deep fried turkey unattended.
  • Allow turkey to rest of 20 minutes covered in aluminum foil before carving.

Deep Fried Turkey Marinade

Orange and Ginger Marinade (enough for a 10 pound turkey)

4 cups hot water
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons salt

Pour the hot water over the fresh ginger and zest of 1 orange. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Add the orange juice and the salt and stir to dissolve.  When cool place the marinade in a large plastic zip-lock bag and add the turkey. Rub the mixture into the flesh through the bag all over for a good cover. Place in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight until needed. 

Boozy Turkey Marinade Recipe (enough for a 12 pound bird)

2 cups rum
2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup olive oil
4 bay leaves, fresh or 2 dried
1/4 cup lime zest
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups water
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup parsley, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Place in a large plastic zip-lock bag and add your turkey. Rub all over to cover and place in the fridge overnight to marinade.

Spicy Citrus Marinade for Turkey Pieces

zest of 1 orange, and the juice
zest of 1 lemon, and the juice
zest of 1 lime, and the juice
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix marinade ingredients altogether. Place turkey pieces into a large plastic zip-lock bag. Pour over marinade, make sure that all pieces have been well covered, and place in fridge for 3-4 hours.

Deep fried turkey being taken out of the pot.htt

Deep Fried Turkey Rub

The following recipe is for a turkey that weighs about 10 pounds.

Herb and Spice Rub

1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
3-5 gallons safflower oil

Thaw your turkey completely. Rinse and pat the bird dry and then combine all the rub ingredients together. Rub the mixture onto the outside of the skin, as well as inside the cavity of the bird. Cover with clingfilm loosely, and place in the fridge overnight for the herbs and spices to penetrate the meat.

The next day, take the turkey out of the fridge and allow it to stand for an hour before cooking. Pat the bird dry, especially inside where you will find that there is a lot of moisture still.

Fill your fryer with the oil and heat up to 350 degrees F. Lower the turkey carefully into the oil, and mind as it will splatter, especially if you haven't removed enough of the moisture.

Deep fry the turkey for 30 - 35 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from the fryer and place on a baking rack to drain for about 10 minutes before carving.


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