Brining, Injecting, Frying and Carving a Turkey

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You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving or for that matter, any holiday to have Turkey.  You also don’t have to prepare your Turkey the traditional way.  Here in West Texas we Fry our Turkey!  It’s an event all in itself, but so well worth it and once you’ve had Fried Turkey, it’s really hard to ever eat any other way.

Yes we usually fry our Turkey for Thanksgiving, but this is only because since it makes so much and this is the only time we can gather the entire family, it makes sense to entertain the family with frying the Turkey.

Just a little warning, it’s not real pretty the first time to see a fried Turkey.  In fact you might think that it’s burnt.  But when you slice into it and see how juicy it is and then take your first bite, you will see that it is a perfectly beautiful Turkey.  Also, you will want to make gravy using the giblets, or from chicken stock, because there are no turkey drippings.

You can download a copy of the ingredients and step by step instructions on how I brine, inject, fry and carve the Turkey by clicking on the below Frying a Turkey hyperlink:

Frying a Turkey

Brining the Turkey (2 days prior to frying the Turkey)


2 gallons Water
2 cups Kosher Salt
1 cup Brown Sugar
3 cups Maple Syrup
3 cups Honey
12 Bay Leaves
1 tablespoon Ground Cloves
1 tablespoon Ginger
8 tablespoons ground Peppercorns
2 Oranges quartered
2 Lemons quartered
6 Thyme sprigs
4 Rosemary sprigs
12 fresh Sweet Basil leaves


Gathering the Sweet Basil

The first step is to collect the basil leaves, for this recipe we’re using sweet basil leaves.

Pinch off 12 sweet basil. Make sure that you are pinching the leaves that are near the new growth so that you the plants growth is not affected.

Brining the Turkey

Add a gallon of water to a big pot and heat it up. Once the water gets heated, add ground cloves and ginger. Add the brown sugar and stir. Add fresh black peppercorns that are coarsely ground to the water.  Add the bay leaves.

Add the Kosher salt to the mixture. The salt will help to make the turkey juicy, and there will not be lot salt left in the turkey since we don’t use the brine water while frying the turkey. Bring the mixture to a boil.

When the mixture comes to a boil, add the honey to the mixture. Add the bottle of real maple syrup to the mixture. Stir the mixture well and bring it back to a boil.  Once it is back to a boil, turn off the heat and let the brine completely cool.

Once the mixture is cooled, add the quartered lemons and oranges to the mixture. Add thyme sprigs to the mixture. Add the sweet basil leaves and few sprigs of rosemary to the mixture.

Add the turkey with its butt first into the pot.(Make sure that you are not putting stuffing in the turkey when you are going to fry it.) Pour water to the pot to completely cover the turkey.

Cover the pot and allow it to cool down overnight. If it is warm outside, cover the top the pot and place ice around it so that the mixture will get cooled. Leave it in the brine at least 24 hours before you inject the turkey.

Injecting the Turkey (1 day prior to frying the Turkey)

Injection Marinade Sauce


1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian dressing

2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

1 cup Creole Seasoning

2 tablespoons Garlic Powder

2 tablespoons Thai Basil


Injecting the Turkey

To prepare the Injection Marinade Sauce for the turkey, we will be pureeing the ingredients.

Clip a few leaves from the Thai Basil plant, which is near new growth. Rinse the basil leaves in cool water. Pinch the little stems off the leaves and dry on a paper towel. Chop the leaves using kitchen utility scissors and put in a bowl.

You’ll want to choose an injector with larger holes for the marinade to be injected easily.

Pour the Italian dressing in to the blender. Add pepper and seasoning. Blend the mixture until it is totally blended. Make sure that all the spices are blended so it will fit through the injector’s needle.

Fill up the injector with the marinade and inject it in the muscle part of the turkey. Draw up more marinade and inject it to different muscle parts of the turkey.

Empty the brine from the pot and put the turkey back to the pot. Put ice around the pot overnight.

Turkey is Ready to Fry

Frying the Turkey


4 Gallons Peanut Oil (This is the best oil to use)


The turkey has marinated for 24 hours. Take the turkey out of the pot and put it on the wire basket. Make sure that you are putting the turkey butt first.

Put the little hanger on to the basket and then and place it in the pot containing the hot oil very slowly. Make sure you are at a safe distance from the pot when you are putting the turkey in to the oil.

The oil can be splashing so always be at a safe distance. Once the basket hits the bottom, take the hanger off. Cover the pot and cook the turkey for about 30 to 45 minutes. (Approximately 3 minutes per pound)

Pull out the turkey out the oil with the hanger. Make sure that you take the turkey out very slow.

Turkey is Fried and Ready to Carve

Carving the Turkey


Hold the leg of the turkey and cut it at the leg joint. Pull the wings of the turkey aside and cut them. To slice the pieces from the breast, slice the first piece and continue to slice all the way to the breast bone. Arrange the sliced turkey on a platter.

Before You Fry

Before beginning, (and before you even season or marinate your turkey) determine the amount of oil you’ll need by placing the turkey in the basket (or on the hanger, depending on the type of fryer you are using) and putting it in the pot. Add water until it reaches about two inches above the turkey. Remove the turkey and note the water level by using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Remove the water and thoroughly dry the pot. Now add enough oil to equal what the water level was without the turkey in the pot.

How to Fry

Using the candy thermometer to determine temperature, heat the oil to about 325°F and no higher than 350°F. This usually takes between 20 to 30 minutes. Once the oil is hot enough, place the turkey in the basket or on the turkey hanger (follow instructions that came with your turkey frying kit) and slowly lower it into the pot.

Now let her fry. With whole turkeys, you can estimate on about three minutes per pound to cook. Remove turkey and check the temperature with a meat thermometer. The temperature should reach 170° F in the breast and 180° F in the thigh.

Tips & Troubleshooting

• Do not stuff turkeys you plan on frying, it just doesn’t work and food safety issues come into play.

• Be sure to measure for the amount of oil you’ll need BEFORE you marinate or bread the turkey.

• Immediately wash hands, utensils, equipment and surfaces that have come in contact with raw turkey to avoid cross contamination.

• Keep an eye on the time, fried turkeys cook quickly. It only takes about 3 minutes per pound. Overcooking is one of the biggest mistakes beginners make. We should know, we cooked our first turkey so much the outside was charred completely black. Surprisingly, the meat inside the burnt shell was still delicious, so know that if you make this mistake, all may not be lost.

• Consume cooked turkey immediately and store leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking.

• Never leave the hot oil unattended.

• Don’t allow children or pets near the cooking area.

• Allow oil to cool completely before disposing or storing it.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

LED Torch No Gravatar October 14, 2010 at 4:31 am

i woul prever wire basket over plastic baskets coz they are more sturdy,~.


CatnipNo Gravatar January 25, 2011 at 12:58 am

“: I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives great information ,.:


Denmark Green CardNo Gravatar August 30, 2011 at 8:46 am

I like your post. Good job!


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