If you haven’t ever deep fried a Thanksgiving turkey, you’ll want to give this a try for your harvest feed this year.
Deep frying your holiday turkey is a great way to change it up for your Thanksgiving dinner. It might even be in your best interest to do the old fashioned oven turkey alongside a deep fried turkey, allowing your guests to have multiple selections for your harvest feast.
If you tagged a tom, this will make it taste as good, or better, than any oven roasted turkey. But that’s just my opinion. Try it and prove it to yourself.
Deep Fried Turkey
- 3-5 gallons peanut oil for frying, or as needed
- 1 (12-17 pound) whole turkey with neck and giblets removed (self-harvested is best, but a store-bought one will suffice)
- 2 cups creole seasoning
- 2 Walla Walla sweet onions
- Outdoor Turkey Fryer (propane-powered) for 20 pound turkey (I prefer the Mr. Outdoors Turkey Fryer from Cabela’s)
- Meat thermometer
Depending on your fryer size, I suggest putting the fully cleaned turkey into fryer and adding water to see how much peanut oil you’ll need. With the turkey in the fryer, add water to cover the entire turkey. When you add the perfect amount of water, remove the turkey and make a line in the fryer, which will show you how much peanut oil to add.
After you pull the turkey from the water, pat entire the turkey (inside and out) down with paper towel.
Add the exact amount of peanut oil to replace the exact depth of the water. Heat oil to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the turkey is moisture free, rub creole seasoning all over turkey inside and out. Creole includes paprika, dried oregano, ground black pepper, dried basil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme, and granulated garlic. If you prefer, you can make your own creole seasoning.
Allow the turkey to set at room temperature for 1-2 hours, which will let the seasoning to cure in the turkey. Be sure the hole in the neck is open approximately 2-3 inches so the oil can flow thoroughly through the turkey when deep frying.
After it’s seasoned, lower the turkey slowly into 400 degree F oil and add the two whole onions. Most fryers have a hanger, so be sure to use this for putting the turkey in and taking it out.
The temperature will likely lower when the bird is placed in the fryer, so maintain the oil at 350 degrees F when cooking. Cook turkey for 3 1/2 minutes per pound. For example, a 15-pound turkey will take approximately 52 minutes.
Carefully remove turkey from fryer. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The internal temperature must be 180 degrees F. Once reached, allow the turkey to fully drain.
Congratulations, the turkey is now ready for your Thanksgiving dinner table.