Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey Keys Style

Published | Written by BJ Born

In our family we really enjoy cooking and this year we are planning an outdoors dinner. Thanksgiving allows us a perfect opportunity to break out the fryer for our holiday bird. I know the popular go to for a Thanksgiving feast has always been to roast a turkey, but I will tell you frying it results in a perfectly juicy, browned turkey with an incredibly crispy crust that is pure deliciousness!

My husband Harley is the Master Turkey Fryer in our family and has agreed to share his recipe. He typically only cooks these once a year so my mouth is already watering! I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s easy and sure to please.

To deep-fry a turkey, you first, of course, need a turkey — plus a turkey fryer and lots of oil (peanut oil is yields the most incredible flavor and color.) You will need a lot of Peanut oil! You can shop Amazon or other online stores for your oil in advance, but if you’re like me and seem to always run out of time you can purchase peanut oil at your local Home Depot.


1 (10-12 pound) Turkey

2 tablespoons of seasoning blend, recipe follows

2 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub

3 to 5 gallons peanut oil

Secret Seasoning:

1 T Salt

½T Pepper

½T Garlic Powder

½ - 1 T Poultry Seasoning

½ - 1 T Paprika

(The rub needs to be a dry rub & applied after the turkey has been patted dry, for best results, rub it under the skin too so it doesn’t just fall off into the grease.)

Chef Harley says….. Before you get started, measure the amount of oil needed to fry the turkey FIRST. Place turkey in fryer, add water to top of turkey, remove the turkey and the water line will indicate how much oil will be needed to fry your turkey. Having too much oil can cause a fire. The pot should not be more than 3/4 full or the oil could overflow when the turkey is added.


1. Completely thaw your turkey before frying, and then measure the amount of oil needed as mentioned above. Wash your bird inside and out & allow it to drain and pat the turkey dry.

2. Rub the inside and out of the turkey with the secret seasoning. Allow the turkey to sit at room temperature for an hour or two before frying.

3. Slowly pour the peanut oil into the deep fryer and heat to 350 degrees F. Carefully lower the turkey into hot oil, very carefully, making sure it is fully submerged. Fry turkey for 3-3 1/2 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes per bird. Once the dark meat reaches 180 F and the white meat reaches 170 F, your bird is done. Remove turkey from oil and drain on paper towels. 

4. Allow your turkey to rest for about 30 minutes. Trust me it will still be the most amazingly moist and crispy turkey you’ve ever had.

Enjoy your masterpiece!

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