Big Easy® Fried Turkey Recipe

Big Easy Turkey - 131
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Every year on a particular Thursday in late November, thousands – if not millions – of turkeys dry out in ovens all over the United States. They look so golden brown and delicious, but so often those birds need a heavy dose of gravy to be edible. Cue the Big Easy Oil-Less Turkey Fryer. The TRU Infrared technology of the Big Easy cooks with radiant heat rather than convection (which is hot drying air). It’s the foolproof way to make the perfect turkey as long as you follow a few simple rules.

First, when preparing the turkey, NO SUGAR. No sugar in the rub or even in a marinade or a brine. Even turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) in a rub will burn and blacken. Sugars in a marinade or a brine, even if washed off prior to placing the bird in the Big Easy, will  blacken the skin. It will taste fine, but it will look terrible. I know from experience.

Second, a slathering of a wet marinade on the skin, other than oil or butter, is not a good idea either. You won’t get that crisp skin you crave.

Third, don’t stuff the bird before placing it in the Big Easy. Make the stuffing separate in the oven.

The final rule for a turkey is 10 minutes per pound.

So let’s get to that Big Easy turkey recipe:

Ingredients:

1 13-pound turkey
Coarse salt
Favorite no-sugar rub
Vegetable oil

I have not included any amounts here in the ingredients except for the size of the turkey. This is so simple that you won’t need any.

First, defrost the turkey properly according the directions on the package. Usually 2-3 days in a refrigerator will thaw it completely depending on size.

Now, coat the back of the turkey with coarse salt and your favorite rub:

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Then place it inside the Big Easy basket, breast up:

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Why didn’t I season the front of the bird? If I seasoned the back with the salt and the rub, then flipped it over to season the front, guess what happens to the first layer of seasoning? It all sticks to the cutting board and I’m seasoning the turkey a third time.

So season the back, put it in the basket and then tilt the basket on its side so the front of the turkey is up. The basket will keep the skin off the cutting board:

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Finish seasoning:

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Now she goes into this bad boy:

Big Easy Turkey Collage

Turn the Big Easy on and drop the turkey in:

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Back inside, it’s pie time:

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After about 30-40 minutes, I drizzled the turkey with some vegetable oil to help it brown and crisp the skin and then put the lid on. You can see the little pool of oil near the neck:

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Back inside, pies are out of the oven:

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After about an hour and a half, the bird is starting to brown nicely:

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Right around the two-hour and twenty-minute mark, the turkey was at 162 degrees internal temperature (measured with a digital thermometer in the thickest part of the breast but not touching the bone) . I pulled the turkey to let it rest so the juices redistribute throughout the meat, making sure every bite is moist and delicious:

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The old saying goes that the proof is in the pudding. Well, the proof of a juicy turkey is in the breast. Esteemed members of the jury, what is your verdict?

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This turkey is guilty of being super juicy and uber tasty! The skin is so crisp people will swear you deep fried it in oil.

Big Easy Turkey

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: -

Serving Size: -

Calories per serving: -

Fat per serving: -

The simplest recipe there is for the most perfect turkey done in a Char-Broil Big Easy.

Ingredients

  • 1 13-pound turkey
  • Coarse salt
  • Favorite no-sugar rub
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Thaw the turkey in the fridge for several days.
  2. Coat the back of the turkey with coarse salt and your favorite rub.
  3. Place the turkey in the Big Easy basket, breast-side up
  4. Set the basket on its side so the front of the turkey is up and season with coarse salt and the rub.
  5. Turn on the Big Easy and place the turkey (in the basket) in the unit.
  6. After 30-40 minutes, drizzle the oil over the turkey and put the lid on
  7. Once the breast reaches 160-165 degrees (about 2 hours and 10 minutes for a bird this size, remove from the heat and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the turkey.
  8. Slice and serve.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/big-easy-fried-turkey-recipe/

77 thoughts on “Big Easy® Fried Turkey Recipe

  1. Where do you set the temperature knob on The Big Easy to start your turkey? Is it on the highest heat, middle or low?

    1. Set the knob between medium to high. You want to cook the meat until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

    1. Add the lid toward the end of the cook time will give your turkey a browned, crisp and tasty outer layer.

    1. Use the lid when you are cooking in colder outdoor temperatures, extremely windy days or towards the end of the cook time. The lid will reflect infrared heat back into the cooking chamber and can burn the exterior of your food before it’s done on the inside. Don’t use the lid for the entire cook time. Add the lid toward the end of the cook time will give your turkey a browned, crisp and tasty outer layer.

      1. When should the lid be closed? What temperature should the internal temp be when the lid is closed? Last 10 minutes? 20 minutes?

  2. Hello,

    Hoping someone can assist while we approach Thanksgiving. I a going to cook two 16-lb turkeys – yep, we have a lot of people joining us!

    I will have to cook one bird a few hours prior to eating, and the second one just prior to mealtime. Does anyone have any recommendations to keep the first bird warm while the other cooks, ensuring I don’t over cook it or leave it dry?

    Any guidance or help is appreciated!

    Kevin

    1. When the first turkey is finished, you want to wrap it in aluminum foil for about 5 minutes to let it settle. Then, remove the foil. You can either slice it and set it in the microwave so that the microwave will keep the heat around the meat but not cook it, or leave the bird intact and set it in the oven to sit until you’re ready to slice it, leaving the oven off.

    2. I HAVE IN THE PAST WRAPPED THE TURKEY IN TIN FOIL THEN IN A TOWEL AND SAT IT IN A COOLER WITH THE LID CLOSED. THIS KEPT THE TURKEY WARM AND JUICY.

  3. I had a turkey cooked in the Big Easy last year and I bought one for myself this year. I am going to put a chicken in it next weekend to try it out before the big day. Can’t wait. Thank you for all your tips.

  4. Cooking a bird for a large potluck at worksite. Is it possible to precook the night before and then reheat the turkey in the big easy?

  5. I will be using for the first time on a 6-8 lb breast that will be tied. Can I cook it tied? Do I just add a rub? Salt?

    1. If you’re using the thermometer that came with the fryer, you can leave it in throughout the cook.

  6. I just got my oil-less cooker, I’m going to try it today with a rack of ribs, but I didn’t get the access’s can I just lay it down and around the rack? what temp, & about how long? Thx for any help!

    1. You can lay the rib rack flat or wrap them around the inside of the basket so that the rack is standing on its side.
      Place the gauge on medium/high. The time to cook will vary on the weather conditions and the size of the rack. Plan for 1-2 hours.

  7. I am so confused!! I am trying to find a recipe for a turkey. I have been looking through these recipes and can’t tell if they are for the Big Easy Oil-less fryer or the Big Easy Grill, Roaster, Smoker, which is what I have!! Do you close the lid, or not, and if so, when?!? Also, I was told that I should soak the turkey in brine for 12=24 hours. Thoughts on that? Thanks for any, and all help!

    1. You do not need to close the lid throughout the cook. You can close the lid during the last 15-30 minutes to add a brown color to the skin.
      Brining the turkey beforehand helps add juices to the meat and reduces the amount of moisture loss. You can also add herbs and flavorings to the brine, and the meat will soak it up.

  8. two questions,
    #1 I just received the big easy smoker, roaster, grill I am doing a rib roast for the 1st time just salt/pepper temp qauge setting med/high.
    #2 frying 20# turkey set temp to high and keep lid opened then closed the last 30 min to brown skin.

    1. 1. you should be good with those settings for the rib roast.
      2. Correct. Medium/High or High will work. Leave the lid up throughout the bulk of the cook and lower it at the end to color the skin.

  9. I’ve seen discussion on injecting the turkey with garlic butter or
    cajun sauce. Does this help??

    1. You can inject the turkey with garlic butter or cajun sauce prior to frying the turkey. It will add flavor to the meat.

  10. 1. I am a bit confused. In post one you state to set the temp from Med to High and in Post 13 you confirm setting temp to High when cooking Turkey.
    2. If adding wood chips to the Big Easy Smoker, Grill Fryer does this increase the cook time. I notice there is a reduction in the tempature..
    3. I am cooking a 23lb turkey is there any concerns or additional tips when cooking one this large?

    1. 1. Medium/High or High will both work for cooking a turkey.
      2. It shouldn’t alter the cooking time drastically either way.
      3. With a larger turkey, as long as it fits the cooking basket, you should be fine. Just keep watch on the internal temperature.

  11. When using the Big Easy for cooking a Turkey can you inject it with a inject-able seasoning like when deep frying?

  12. I just got my oil-less fryer and tried it on a chicken and I injected it with cajun butter. I am not a big fan of chicken but oh man it was fabulous, so juicy. Cant wait to cook a roast and ribs.
    Can you cook steaks at all, maybe on the top accessory rack?

    1. You wouldn’t want to cook steaks in the fryer. The steak would most likely dry out during the cook because it wouldn’t be able to get a good outer sear. You can cook roasts, ribs, tenderloins and other meats.

  13. Did my first cook in my Big Easy SRG last night…a very nice T-Bone…seared the steak on the grill for about 4.5 minutes per side off just perfect…med/rare. Doing a 12.3lb turkey tomorrow.

    1. Planning to smoke a 15# turkey for our Friday Thanksgiving dinner in the electric Big Easy using one chip container of Pecan wood. It sounds like I put it on High (15) for the first 15 minutes to get it smoking then drop in the turkey (in the basket breast-up) and let it smoke for 15 minutes with the lid closed then turn it down to 10-12 (probably 12 since it is suppose to be 35deg outside) and maybe open the lid for the next 1.5 hours of cooking (?) then close the lid for the last 15 minutes till the breast temp reached 165deg. Is that right? If not please let me know right away what to change.
      Thanks so much to all you other Big Easy cooks!

  14. We recently got a big easy oil less fryer but there was no lid. Do we need the lid to cook a turkey or is it just for the browning? If we need a lid can we use any lid

    1. You do not need the lid to cook the turkey unless you’re in extreme cold temperatures. Did you purchase the unit new? If so, please feel free to contact our customer service department for a replacement lid.

  15. I followed these instructions exactly and ended up with a PERFECT turkey. From now on, this will be my ONLY go-to turkey recipe. Comments from Thanksgiving guests “Best turkey I’ve ever had!”

  16. Ok, the 10.5# is in the Big Easy but many comments say to open and close the lid? I’m confused. Ours only has a screen lid. It’s either on or off the cooker. This is only my second attempt to do a turkey. The first one wasn’t done enough so cooking this one for two hours.

    1. Hi Marsha, the screen lid directs the infrared heat back down into the Big Easy to help brown the turkey, functioning in the same way as a closed lid. You do not want to keep the screen lid on the entire cooking time, as it will burn the turkey before it is done. Using the screen lid towards the end of the cooking process will help ensure that the turkey is thoroughly cooked and crispy.

      1. Ok, here goes the third attempt with a 13.13# bird. I’m allowing 2 hours for cook time. I was wondering if it is advisable to remove the Legs and/or wings and place on the rack so they can be removed earlier before getting overlooked?

        1. Another question… is it possible to add smoke chips in the bottom of the Big Easybto give some smoke taste?

    1. Hi Pat, you can use the juices in the drip tray to make gravy. You can use the custom-fit foil drip pans for easy clean-up and use, which can be found here.

  17. I bought a big easy 3 in 1 tru infrared that smokes, grills and roasts. I have a few questions:
    1) if I keep temp med/high, how many minutes per lb for a 12-13 lb turkey? I know to bring internal temp to 165, but how many minutes per lb, so I can manage my time schedule on thanksgiving day.
    2) can we put stuffing in its cavity during cooking?
    3) how many minutes into cooking do we brush with oil or do we brush with oil and dust with rub before putting in basket to cook?
    Thanks in advance for all replys and comments !!

    1. Hi Rick, for roasting/frying a turkey you will want to set your unit to either level 12 or 13, which is between 450F-475F. You will want to keep the lid open for the cooking process. If you choose, you can close the lid during the last 15 minutes of cooking to check for doneness.

  18. Hello,

    I’m seeing mixed information here. Charbroil says in the earlier posts for the 3 in 1 big easy to leave the lid open for most of the cooking and then close it the last 15 minutes to brown the turkey. On the 11/08/2016 post char-broil is saying to keep the lid closed for most of the cooking process. Which is it? I have a 3 in 1 and planning on doing a 14 lb turkey next week. Can someone explain the process to me so I don’t ruin the first thanksgiving I am having family over for. LOL please help.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Hope you can help.

      It’s gonna be 48 degrees here in New York on Thanksgiving. Should I leave the lid open on the 3 in 1 big easy while the turkey cooks. Will it be too cold outside?

      Happy Thanksgiving
      Mike

  19. I have had my Big Easy for 3 plus years now and have cooked a lot of turkeys. Put the bird in the cooker and plan for 10-12 minutes per pound. around the last 30 minutes put the lid on and the skin will come out perfectly.

  20. I have a 3 in 1 TRUinfrared smoker, roaster and grilled. My temp knob reads low->high, so where do I place the temp for a 13 lb turkey? And does the 15 min rule of closing lid towards end apply to a 13 lb turkey. It’s my first turkey in my family’s new toy and I don’t want to mess up… S.O.S…PLEASE HELP

  21. Reasking:
    I bought a big easy 3 in 1 tru infrared that smokes, grills and roasts. I have a few questions:
    1) if I keep temp med/high, how many minutes per lb for a 12-13 lb turkey? I know to bring internal temp to 165, but how many minutes per lb, so I can manage my time schedule on thanksgiving day.
    2) can we put stuffing in its cavity during cooking?
    3) how many minutes into cooking do we brush with oil or do we brush with oil and dust with rub before putting in basket to cook?
    Thanks in advance for all replys and comments

    1. General rule is 10-12 minutes per lb. Times can vary slightly based on outside temp. DO NOT put stuffing in the bird while it is cooking. Brush with oil and dust with rub before putting in basket to cook.

      1. Hi all again
        Should I take off at 160, so it will carry over to 165 during resting? Is medium/high the correct heat to roast turkey? It’s going to be about 55 degrees on thanksgiving? Do I “Un-fry” the turkeybwith dome lid up and close at end to darken/crisp skin?
        Help !!

  22. Hi,

    It’s gonna be 48 degrees here in New York on Thanksgiving. Should I leave the lid open on the 3 in 1 big easy while the turkey cooks. Will it be too cold outside?

  23. I have ended up with a 27 lb turkey. How can I cook this in the Big Easy Cooker? Can I cook it without the basket or cut it up into pieces and then cook? Open to ideas.

    1. Hi Cassie, due to the dimensions of the Big Easy a 27 lb turkey may be too large for it to handle. You may have luck cutting it into pieces and cooking, but we do not recommend cooking without the use of the basket.

    1. Hi Matt, because of the infrared heat of the Big Easy and the small cooking space, any meat in the Big Easy will cook faster than on a conventional grill or oven.

    1. Hi Dave, we do not recommend using accessories for the Big Easy outside of those that were made specifically for the Big Easy.

    1. Hi Jennifer, you can inject in multiple spots all over the turkey, making sure to concentrate on areas with the most meat, such as the breast, wings and thighs.

  24. I have an electric Big Easy. When roasting a turkey, does the same procedure regarding when to keep the top open and when to close it apply as in the propane Big Easy?

    1. Hi Richard, the same cooking method can apply to the electric Big Easy in comparison to the Big Easy Oil-less Turkey Fryer.

  25. Thanks for the tutorial!! Even though I have cooked my turkey with the big easy for 6 years now I always forget the times! I did a 21 pounder last year and today will be a 26 …hopefully I can fit it! Thanks again, it always comes out perfect

  26. Thank You to the author… I followed this recipe today; it was perfect. In addition, I injected the turkey with two 16 ounce jars of Cajun Creole seasoning, one entire jar into the breasts, and the other entire jar into the rest of the turkey. It came out absolutely Awesome, and extremely juicy.

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