Deep-Fried Turkey


Wondering how to deep fry a turkey? Learn from Martha and chef Rina Prentice. The fresh turkey is rubbed with a mix of spices and refrigerated for one day, then cooked in a turkey fryer using peanut oil. The 15-pound bird only takes 45 minutes to cook. This recipe for deep-fried turkey produces a bird that tastes so rich, it needs no gravy.


  • Fresh turkey (15 pounds)

  • 25 medium whole bay leaves

  • 3 ¼ teaspoons dried thyme

  • 3 ¼ teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 ½ 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 temperature. 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.

    Deep-Fried Turkey

Cook's Notes

This recipe should be made outdoors, on flat ground, and at least 10 feet from any structure. Don't leave your deep fryer unattended and keep children and pets well away.

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