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Deep-Fried Turkey

A traditional holiday meal in the US, turkeys can easily feed a crowd. Deep-frying is a favorite preparation in the South and delivers a tender and juicy bird. Native to the Western Hemisphere, turkeys were prized by Spanish conquistadors, who discovered them in South America and took them to Europe. In the US, Native Americans were the first to domesticate turkeys and use them as a food source after initially raising them for their feathers. A high smoke point is needed when frying, and peanut oil is preferred and brings additional flavor.

Recipe Servings: 6

Prep Time
15 minutes
+ 9 hours resting
Cook Time
45 minutes
Total Time
10 hours
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 1½ gallons hot water
  • 1 lb kosher salt
  • 1 lb dark brown sugar
  • 5 lbs ice
  • 1 turkey (13–14 lb), giblets removed
  • 4–4 ½ gallons peanut oil, or enough to cover turkey


  1. Combine the hot water, salt, and brown sugar in a 5-gallon cooler or other 5 gallon vessel.
  2. Stir until salt and sugar are completely dissolved then add ice and mix until the temperature cools.
  3. Gently lower the turkey into the container, weighting the bird down if necessary to ensure that it is fully immersed in the brine.
  4. Cover and let sit in a cool dry place for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours.
  5. Remove turkey from brine then rinse and pat dry.
  6. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  7. In large 8 gallon pot, heat peanut oil over high heat to 250°F, using an outside propane burner with a sturdy structure.
  8. Gently lower the turkey into oil and bring the temperature to 350°F. Maintain this temperature steadily.
  9. Check temperature of the turkey using a probe thermometer after cooking for 35 minutes. Once the breast reaches 151°F, remove from oil and allow to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to carving.
  10. Carve as desired.


Cooking time is about four minutes per pound.

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