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Deep-Fried Turkey

This recipe should be made outdoors; making it in the kitchen is too dangerous.

  • Servings: 12
Deep-Fried Turkey

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1996


  • Fresh turkey (15 pounds)
  • 25 medium dried bay leaves
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons Konriko brand, or other hot Creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 gallons peanut oil


  1. Wash turkey inside and out under cold running water; pat dry. Finely grind bay leaves in spice grinder; transfer to small bowl. Finely grind thyme, oregano, and peppercorns separately; add to bay leaves. Mix in Creole seasoning and garlic powder.

  2. Rub 1/3 spice mixture on inside of turkey, 1/3 under skin of breast, and 1/3 on outside of turkey; place in roasting pan. Cover; marinate overnight in refrigerator or up to 24 hours.

  3. Bring turkey to room temperate. Using a wooden skewer, thread neck flap securely to bottom of turkey. Fold wing tips under. Using steel or aluminum wire, truss legs and tail's nose together securely; form a handle with wire. This will enable you to hold turkey while submerging in hot oil.

  4. Heat oil in 10-gallon pot with liner basket over high heat until temperature registers 360 degrees. Holding turkey by handle, immerse in oil. Maintain temperature at 360 degrees.while frying. Fry until golden brown, about 45 minutes, or 3 minutes per pound.

  5. Lift turkey from oil; transfer to a wire rack over a roasting pan. Drain for 15 minutes. Serve.

Reviews (10)

  • ethos 14 Nov, 2010

    Make a broth using the giblets and a few turkey necks (or a drumstick, or thigh) to make your gravy. Adding some chicken broth, about 1/3 of the total liquid, will enhance the flavors. Since you're having a well seasoned, deep fried turkey you definitely want some Cajun seasoning in it!

  • pikewife 10 Nov, 2010

    How do you make a good gravy when you deep fry the turkey? Without all of the roasted pan drippings, I'm not sure where to begin. I would love to make a 'cajun-style' gravy. Any ideas?

  • pikewife 10 Nov, 2010

    How do you make a good gravy when you deep fry the turkey? Without all of the roasted pan drippings, I'm not sure where to begin. I would love to make a 'cajun-style' gravy. Any ideas?

  • Cynmack 2 Nov, 2009

    This has been our turkey recipe for 10 years. It is just wonderful and the oven is freed up for other cooking. Everyone stands around outside sipping pumpkin soup from cups and watches the bird fry. It's part of our Thanksgiving tradition. The best part is that since we eat an early dinner at noon, there's no getting up at six a.m. to start the turkey.

  • wuglywol 14 Nov, 2008

    Oh, and one more thing: We can't use peanut oil, and have never had a problem using soybean oil. Just don't use olive. It has too low of a flash point. No burning down things on Thanksgiving, y'all.

  • wuglywol 14 Nov, 2008

    I measure time from when I put it in. I also put a meat therm in it while it rests (covered), and keep the oil hot in case the reading is too low after 10 min. I've stuck the turkey back in the oil for an additional 10 min, and it still tasted great. (and not dry or oily)

  • wuglywol 14 Nov, 2008

    One thing: Before you season the turkey, put it in the pot you will be frying it in (with any baskets, etc. you are using). Add water to cover, remove the turkey and mark the water line with a sharpie or wax pencil. On cold days, use slightly less oil (it expands as it heats). I've overflowed my oil by using the standard 4 gal. I usually only need 3g in a 10g pot. (12-14lb turkey)

  • jhcjfc 13 Nov, 2008

    We have tried deep fried turkey have different view points. One of says that the cooking time starts when the oil comes back to 360 degrees. There other one thinks that it starts once the turkey is submerged in the oil. The 1st way seem to over cook the turkey. Which one is the correct way?

  • RevKathy 19 Nov, 2007

    We fry curly fries after the turkey and it helps clarify the oil so we can use it again. But the best is passing around the curly fries while we let the turkey rest.

  • photophil 10 Nov, 2007

    We do this every Thanksgiving and Christmas. We cook two turkeys, one after the other. The second turkey is crisper because the oil is seasoned. We use the first turkey for sandwiches and soup and the second turkey for our holiday meal.

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