Recipe: How to Cook the Perfect Thanksgiving Fried Turkey

Fried Turkey, Kelly B's 101, Seafood

Fried turkey will be a home run this Thanksgiving. Everyone loves to pick the fried skin off of a juicy, savory bird. We’ve got a recipe that will leave your guests begging for more.


1 whole turkey, (16-pounds or smaller)
1 to 2 jars Cajun Injector, or similar injection mix
3 to 4 gallons peanut oil
1 pan or casserole dish


  1. Remove the giblets from your bird.
  2. Place your bird in the pan and inject it with your Cajun Injector or similar mix the night before you plan to fry. Insert the syringe once in each breast, gently moving the syringe at different angles to disperse the Injector without creating new entry points. You can also remove the syringe and reload it with more Injector if needed, just be sure to use the same entry point you used before. Repeat on the legs and thighs. Don’t worry if some juice seeps out into your pan. It can sit in the juices and continue to soak them up.
  3. Place your turkey in the fridge overnight to keep it cool.
  4. The next day, set it out at least one hour prior to frying.
  5. Set out newspaper or cardboard underneath the fryer, as well as around your frying area, to protect any grass or concrete from grease stains. This will make for easier cleanup.
  6. Pour peanut oil into your fryer prior to turning on the heat. Only pour enough oil to slightly submerge the bird. Do not overfill.
  7. Heat the peanut oil to 380°F. Your cooking temperature will be 350°F, but the oil will cool once you lower the turkey into the pot.
  8. Once you’ve reached 380°F, slowly lower your bird into the oil. You should be wearing protective gloves and eyewear. Avoid wearing loose clothing that may end up in the hot oil. We don’t want any Thanksgiving trips to the ER.
  9. Cook the turkey for three minutes per pound. So if you have a 16-pound turkey, plan to fry for about 48 minutes. Most fryers will not hold a turkey much bigger than 15 to 16 pounds. If you need more meat, plan to fry two turkeys.
  10. Once your turkey has been frying three minutes for every pound of meat, you can slowly pull the turkey out using the basket or rack that accompanies the fryer setup. Remember to use gloves and goggles.
  11. Set your turkey in a pan on the newspaper or cardboard and allow for the oil to drip off.
  12. Once you are able to safely carry the pan, take your fried-prize inside to carve and serve to guests!

Pro tip: When you first bring your turkey home (before you take it out of the plastic casing), put it in the fryer pot. Fill the pot with water until the water just covers the turkey. Mark this spot with a marker or sticker on the outside of the pot. This will be your oil fill mark and prevent any hot oil spill over. Too much oil is very dangerous, but using peanut oil allows you to safely cook at a higher temperature.

WARNING: Only fry your turkey outside and away from the house. DO NOT use your fryer in your garage, underneath a deck, or inside your house. Allow for plenty of ventilation and be prepared to safely clean up any spills or fires. A fire extinguisher should be close by, just in case.