In recent years, frying the Thanksgiving turkey has caught on, and it’s easy to see why: the skin becomes dark and crispy, while the meat remains tender and juicy. Also, it takes less time to fry a turkey than it does to roast it. Frying turkeys is a longtime tradition at Blackberry Farm, our partners in this year’s Thanksgiving menu. Here are some of their best tips for pulling it off at home — scroll down for the full recipe!
Safety first. The right equipment makes frying safe and easy. Use an indoor turkey fryer for the best results; it requires a third less oil than traditional frying and achieves a crisp, even skin without being completely submerged in oil. Otherwise, move outside to fry the turkeys in a heavy pot.
Season ahead. Rub the turkey with plenty of spices to flavor the meat, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours to give the seasonings time to penetrate it. Or, inject the turkey with a marinade a couple of days before you cook it.
Avoid splattering. Always bring the turkey to room temperature before submerging it in the hot oil, and make sure it’s completely dry inside and out.
Mind the time. Allow about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes of frying time per pound of turkey.
Spice-Rubbed Fried Turkey
1 turkey, 12 to 14 lb. (6 to 7 kg), neck and giblets removed, turkey rinsed and thoroughly dried inside and out
2 Tbs. barbecue sauce, at room temperature
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 Tbs. lemon pepper
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 gallons (4 to 8 l) canola or peanut oil
Truss the turkey legs and wings. In a bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce, chili powder, cumin, coriander, lemon pepper and black pepper until smooth. Rub onto the outside of the turkey. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Pour the oil into a turkey fryer to reach the fill line. Set to 375°F (190°C). Pat the turkey with paper towels to remove any moisture. Skewer onto the rotisserie spit and place in the frying basket. Lower the basket into the hot oil, ensuring the spit clicks into place. Turn on the rotisserie and fry until the internal temperature of the breast registers 165°F (74°C) and the thigh, 175°F (80°C), 40 to 45 minutes.
Turn off the fryer and, using a spatula or tongs to support the turkey, lift the basket out of the oil. Place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let the turkey rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove it from the spit and carve.
Recipe by Sam Beall, Proprietor, Blackberry Farm.