How to (Safely) Deep Fry a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Everything you need to know about how to deep fry a turkey, including how long it takes, a foolproof recipe and the best safety tips.

Oven space is always at a premium in my house during the holidays. Everyone is trying to get in there to make a side, bake a pie or warm up the rolls. There’s practically no room for the main event: the turkey. One way to solve the problem is to get out of the kitchen and cook that bird outdoors in a fryer.

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I like to use a fresh, natural turkey that’s about 12 pounds. My secret weapon when frying a turkey is injectable marinade. You can get an injector at any kitchen store and use your favorite marinade, or you can buy marinades that come with an injector, like Stubb’s Injectable Marinades in Texas Butter and Chipotle Butter. Here’s a video of me and my buddy Chris showing how to deep fry a turkey with marinade injectors for maximum flavor:

And below are step-by-step instructions for making the perfect fried turkey.
I’ve also included recipes for some Stubb’s-inspired side dishes—a twist on classic stuffing and green bean casserole—that are big on flavor. Why not try something new this year?

Related: 101 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

How Long to Deep Fry a Turkey

Depending on the size of your bird, cooking time will vary, but the general rule of thumb is to cook your turkey for 3 ½ minutes per pound. Remove the turkey when the temperature reaches 160°F and let it rest until it reaches 165°F.



Deep Fry Turkey Recipe

Ingredients & Tools Needed:

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Related: 15 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

  1. Before you remove your turkey from its plastic packaging, place it in the turkey deep fryer. Fill the fryer with water two inches above the turkey. Remove the turkey and measure the water. That is the amount of oil you will need to cook your turkey.

  2. Remove the turkey from the packaging and the neck and giblets from the inside of the turkey.

  3. Pour the marinade into a measuring cup. Pull the marinade into the injector.

  4. To inject, push the needle all the way down until you hit the bone. As you push the plunger down, pull the needle up. Be sure to distribute the marinade in multiple places on each part of the turkey so that every bite is flavored. You’ll want to inject the marinade as follows: 4 oz. in each breast, 1 ounce in each thigh and ½ ounce in each leg.

  5. Rub the entire turkey with Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub, if desired.

  6. Heat your oil in the deep fryer to 350°F then turn your fryer off (this will prevent a grease fire in case your oil comes out when you lower your turkey in).

  7. Place your turkey into the fryer basket and lower it into the oil. Wait one minute and then relight the fire.

  8. Cook your turkey for 3 ½ minutes per pound. Remove turkey when temperature reaches 160°F. Let the turkey rest until it reaches 165°F.



Best Tips

  • Never deep fry a stuffed or frozen turkey.

  • Do a test run to see how much oil you'll need, by using water first.

  • Do not let water get into the hot fat, or use water to cool or clean the appliance while food is deep-frying.

Stubb’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Ingredients Needed:

  • 4 tablespoons butter (or margarine)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 celery stalks, cut into quarter-inch slices

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground sage

  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme

  • 10 cups dried unseasoned bread cubes (usually found in the bread aisle)

  • 1.5 cups Stubb’s Chicken Marinade (or chicken broth)

  • 1 egg

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Melt butter in a large pan. Saute onions, celery, salt, sage and thyme for 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove pan from heat.

  3. Stir bread cubes into the onion mixture, then pour chicken broth over the bread cubes slowly. Carefully fold ingredients together (so that the bread cubes don’t get too soggy).

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Then, fold into the stuffing mix until fully incorporated.

  5. Transfer mixture into a medium casserole dish, then bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until lightly toasted on top.

Related: The 12 Best Stuffing Recipes Ever

Stubb’s-Style Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients Needed:

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Combine green beans, onion, garlic, and half of the barbecue sauce in a casserole dish.

  3. Bake for 20 minutes.

  4. Top with bacon and remaining barbecue sauce and bake an additional 5 minutes.

  5. Sprinkle French Fried onions over the top (if desired) and serve.

Related: 65+ Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Dishes