Our first Fried Turkey of 2011

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
Tucson, AZ
I've learned a lot from many of you and I thought it a good time to share. (It is taken from my blog - posted here in its entirety.) I know it's not about smoking a holiday bird, but I thought it would be of interest to some of you. I hope you enjoy.


I’ve been frying turkeys for many years. It’s a skill I learned in the Air Force – no really – sure it wasn’t formal training, but my fellow Airmen showed me how and I’ve been hooked ever since. I posted about the new fancy fryer  I got last year but never got into the preparation on this blog so I thought I would share.

For this – our first fried turkey of 2011 – I decided to go with the “tried and true” method. I made two or three of these last year. It is very simple and easy to duplicate over and over. We use a store bought marinade and injector, stab our bird and then dunk that baby in hot peanut oil.

So there you have my technique for perfect fried turkey.

Oh, you want more details? Okay – you asked for it. (grin)

The first thing you want to do is find a relatively small bird – about 10-15 lbs. Then you want to make sure it is completely thawed  before attempting to fry it. I cannot stress this enough – if the turkey is not thawed you stand the risk of literally blowing yourself up.

Don’t believe me?

We don’t want that to happen right? So  thaw the bird completely!!

Also – and just as important – turn the gas off before putting the turkey in the oil. No flame – no fire! Very important!!

We start to thaw ours in the refrigerator about two days prior to cooking. On the day of cooking, we remove the gizzards and make darn toot’n there is no ice in the center. If there is ice, we fill the kitchen sink with cold water and finish it off. It must be thawed!

We have been hooked on “Cajun Injector” brand Creole Butter flavor.


The injection marinade is easy. I usually inject the turkey just before I light the fryer. This gives me about a half hour of marinade. You can do it earlier, but this is how I do it. Using the small plastic syringe that come with the marinade, I fill it, and inject it deep into the breast, give it a little squirt then pull out about an inch, give another little squirt and pull it out another inch and squirt again. I repeat this about 8 – 12 times per breast, then I hit the legs and wings.


I put the turkey on the stand that will go into the fryer and I’m ready to go. I add a little salt and pepper to the bird as well.

Notice: I did not tie the legs or wings – this a new technique – I wanted the hot oil to be able to reach all sides of the bird so I didn’t bind the limbs. It worked well.

Then I turn my attention to the oil – I want to heat it up to just under 400° – but follow the instructions on your fryer. This takes about a half hour or so. Once it’s good and hot – turn off the gas!!!  This is so when I put the turkey in the fryer, there is no chance of a fire due to boil over or spillage.

What kind of oil? We use peanut oil because of its high smoke temperature. It takes about 4.5 gallons.


Notice the good gloves and covered toes. This is important because there is a good amount of bubbling and splatering going on at this point. Yes, real men wear aprons. (grin)


I put the cover on, insert the thermometer through the hole in the lid making sure it isn’t touching anything inside and re-light the burner. You did turn off the flame right?

It takes about 2.5 minutes per pound unless you are cooking a bird over 15 pounds, if so it could take as long as 3.5 minutes per pound. I keep an eye on the oil temperature, once it starts to raise back up to 375°, I can tell we are getting close and I check to see if the bird is floating and check the internal temperature. I’m shooting for 160° at the deepest part of the breast.


165° on the counter - perfect! It read just over 160 when I checked it at the fryer.


There she is in all her glory! The skin was super crispy but not burnt, the meat was tender, juicy and full of flavor. The football game was about to come on so we set up a table in from of the TV and just picked at it for a while. The leftover meat will last us a few days and the carcass will make for a super great turkey Pho.

My 16 steps to; How to fry a turkey in detail.

Thanks again everyone here!! Happy Thanksgiving.

David Francis
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