Southern Deep Fried Turkey

Culinary Setting
Meal Type
Main Course, Entrée
1 HR 15 MIN
Cooking Style
Deep Fry
Whole Turkey


10 to 12 lb WHOLE TURKEY, non self-basting

2/3 c vinaigrette dressing

1/3 c dry sherry

2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

As needed peanut oil (See note below)


Remove the giblets and neck, and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Take care to dry both inside cavity and outside of turkey. To allow for good oil circulation throughout the cavity, do not truss or tie legs together. Cut off the wing tips and tail (as they may get caught in the fryer basket).

In a medium bowl, mix vinaigrette, dry sherry and seasonings together. Strain the marinade.

Place the marinade in an injection syringe. Inject the marinade in the turkey breast, thighs and legs.

Place the bird in a large food-safe plastic bag, refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours. Turn the bag and massage the turkey from time to time.

Drain the marinade from the turkey and discard marinade. Place the turkey in the fryer basket or on a rack, neck down.

Place the OUTDOOR gas burner on a level dirt or grassy area. Never fry a turkey indoors, in a garage or in any structure attached to a building. Do not fry on wood decks, which could catch fire, or concrete, which could be stained by the oil. (Safety tip: have a fire extinguisher nearby for added safety.)

Add oil to a 7 to 10 gallon pot with a basket or rack. At the medium-high setting, heat the oil to 375 degrees F, (depending on the amount of oil, outside temperature and wind conditions, this should take about 40+ minutes).

When the oil temperature registers 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer, slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. The level of the oil will rise due to the frothing caused by the moisture from the turkey but will stabilize in about one minute. (Safety tips: to prevent burns from the splattering oil wear oven mitts/gloves, long sleeves, heavy shoes and even glasses. It is wise to have two people lowering and raising the turkey.)

Immediately check the oil temperature and increase the flame so the oil temperature is maintained at 350 degrees F. If the temperature drops to 340 degrees F or below, oil will begin to seep into the turkey.

Fry about 3-4 minutes per pound, or about 35-42 minutes for a 10-12 pound turkey. Stay with the cooker at all times as the heat must be regulated to maintain 350 degrees F.

When cooked to 165 degrees F, carefully remove the turkey from the hot oil. Allow the turkey to drain for a few minutes. (Safety tip: allow the oil to cool completely before storing or disposing.)

Remove turkey from the rack and place on a serving platter. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

NOTE: Use only oils with high smoke points, such as peanut, canola or safflower oil.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 7.8 ounces

Total Calories 520

Total Fat 27 g

Saturated Fat 7 g

Cholesterol 195 g

Sodium 220 mg

Potassium 665 mg

Total Carbohydrates 1 g

Dietary Fiber 0 g

Sugars 1 g

Protein 66 g

% Daily Calcium 6

% Daily Iron 25