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The Big Easy® Fried Thanksgiving Turkey
recipe

The Big Easy® Fried Thanksgiving Turkey

5.0

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 golden brown and delicious, but so often are overcooked and dry on the inside. This turkey is marinated in a buttery chicken stock with a splash of bourbon and seasoned with a spicy dry rub. The Big Eas...

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Ingredients

Serves 10-12
For the Turkey
1
(10-13 pound) turkey
2
tablespoons canola oil
For the Marinade
1/2
cup melted butter
1/2
cup chicken stock
1
splash bourbon
For the Dry Rub
2
tablespoons paprika
1
tablespoon ancho chile powder
1
tablespoon onion powder
1
tablespoon cayenne pepper flakes
1
tablespoon dried thyme
1
tablespoon garlic powder
1
tablespoon ground black pepper
1
tablespoon salt
1
teaspoon ground bay leaves

Ingredient Tips

THAWED Turkey
The turkey must be completely thawed with neck and giblets removed before cooking.
NO Stuffing
We don’t recommend stuffing the turkey because stuffing blocks airflow inside the bird’s cavity and prevents it from cooking evenly.
NO Sugar
Your rub and/or marinade should contain NO sugar. Sugar will cause your food to burn.
Paprika
There are a number of varieties of paprika and they range in flavor from sweet and mild to pungent and hot. Most grocery stores carry mild paprika. You’ll find the more pungent variety at ethnic and gourmet markets.

Directions

Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 2 Hours, 30 Minutes
1

Power up The Big Easy Oil-less Turkey Fryer.

Hot Tip: The Big Easy was designed to be powered ON (all the way to the left) and OFF (all the way to the right). All recipes for The Big Easy are based on operating the fryer at full power.
2

Rinse the bird thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

3

Brush the skin of the turkey with canola oil, using a basting brush.

4

Combine melted butter, chicken stock and bourbon in a medium-size bowl. Fill a marinade injector with the mixture and inject both breasts and both legs.

5

Combine paprika, ancho chili powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, garlic powder, pepper, salt and bay leaves. Apply liberally to all sides of the turkey.

6

Place the bird in the roaster basket, breast side up. Then, lower the basket into the cooking chamber. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast so that the tip does not touch bone and the dial is easy to read when the basket is in the cooker.

Hot Tip: To minimize sticking, coat the wire frame of the cooking basket with oil before inserting turkey.
7

Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 2 ½ hours. Cook time varies based on weather conditions and the size of your turkey.

Hot Tip: Cover the fryer with the wire mesh lid during the last 15 minutes of the cook for crispy skin, using infrared heat reflected back into cooking chamber. If used throughout cook, this heat can burn food before it is fully cooked.
8

Lift the roaster basket out of the chamber and set it on a shallow sheet pan. Allow the turkey to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, remove the turkey from the basket.

9

Slice and serve with all your special holiday dishes.

Hot Tip: Call our Turkey Hotline at 1-800-526-1065 with any questions you may have about cooking with The Big Easy. It’s available year-round, including Thanksgiving Day (8 am-4 pm EST).
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Cooking Notes
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  • Kali&Fred | Nov 15, 2017

    Umm the recipe for the rub looks great! But the recipe doesn't tell when to apply it? I assume it's after the injection right?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 17, 2017

      Yes, apply the rub after injecting.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Dry rub | Nov 16, 2017

    It does not say in recipe when to apply dry rub. I"m assuming after you inject it, but it would be helpful for recipe to say when.

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 17, 2017

      Yes, apply the rub after injecting.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • jerry | Nov 18, 2017

    watch the video for dry rub

    This was Helpful (0)
  • eschultz8 | Nov 19, 2017

    For those asking about the rub, it's easiest to add it after step 4 (after itsin basket). This way you don't lose the seasoning while trying to fit it in the basket.

    This was Helpful (0)
  • Jeff | Nov 21, 2017

    The cooker is flawless. It's all about the temp/prep for your meat.

    I love this thing. From pork butts to chicken wings it does everything just right.

    Let temperature and prep be your guide and you CAN'T go wrong. 10 out of 10 approval rating.

    This was Helpful (0)
  • Woody | Nov 22, 2017

    I have the oil less fryer/smoker/grill version. I keep the lid closed for about the first 20 min until the turkey starts to brown and prop the lid open to keep the outside from burning. I could never seem to get the turkey to sit in the basket correctly so now I also use a large bean can with a little water it (like bushes baked beans) and set the turkey on it like a beer can chicken. I find that this allows for a bigger bird and and keeps the shape better. Just be careful pulling out the can.

    This was Helpful (0)
  • Ernest | Nov 23, 2017

    I have used recipe dry rubs to store bought (Old Bay or Tony Chachere's if your brave!) I liberally sprinkle the bird just before it goes in. The cooker takes care of the rest. Tasty!

    This was Helpful (0)
  • turkey rubber | Jan 14, 2018

    When do you put on the dry rub mentioned in the ingredients but not given instructions for in the method section above? After the canola oil...will it burn?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Shelby Hood | Aug 6, 2018

      Apply the dry rub after applying the canola oil; it won't burn.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • average time? | Nov 6, 2018

    what the average time per pound?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Harrison Benett | Nov 7, 2018

      The average time per pound is 15 minutes per 1 pound.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Jenn | Nov 14, 2018

    What is the largest weight turkey that can fit in this fryer?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 16, 2018

      Hi Jenn, the fryer basket will fit a turkey up to 16 pounds.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Phil | Nov 16, 2018

    What temp setting should I use to do my turkey

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 16, 2018

      Hi Phil, for The Big Easy the temperature setting is designed to work at optimum efficiency at its highest setting.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Dobson777a | Nov 18, 2018

    Even though your specs indicate a maximum of 16lbs I just cooked a 19.5 lb Turkey. It appears if it fits in the basket it will work fine. BTW it took nearly 4.5 hours but looks perfect.

    This was Helpful (0)
  • big ed | Nov 20, 2018

    want to do a turkey in my big easy 3 in 1 do i cook it with lid up or down

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 28, 2018

      Hi, you can start with the lid up for a slower, more even cook then close the lid during the last 15 minutes for a finishing crisp.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Smokin chick | Nov 23, 2018

    I love my Big Easy smoker/roaster/grill! Just made my 20lb thanksgiving turkey in it following these instructions and it came out great! One extra step I took was brining my turkey overnight. I kept the lid closed on high for the first half hour (with pecan wood chips) and then kept it open and on medium heat for the next 4hours, total cooktime 4.5hrs.

    This was Helpful (0)
  • Jan | Mar 24, 2019

    I have model 14101480 TRU Infrared Turkey fryer. How long should an 8 lb. Turkey breast only take?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Apr 15, 2019

      Cooking times can vary depending on weather. However, you can generally expect 10 minutes per pound.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Karen | Apr 10, 2019

    Is it safe to use the drippings from the drip tray for gravy? I am assuming the drippings are not cooking with the bird and raw juices will be dripping off while cooking.

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Apr 22, 2019

      Yes, it is safe to use the drippings. It would be no different than using the drippings if your bird were cooked in the oven.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Jane | Sep 21, 2019

    Ihat about cooler temperatures? I want to do Thanksgiving weekend?
    I feel like I had trouble with a roast beef last yr in October..just wouldn't cook

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Sep 30, 2019

      Hi Jane - Yes, cooler temperatures can increase the cooking time. It's important to get the burner fully heated (about 5 minutes) before adding the meat to the cooker. Your turkey or roast will cook best when it is at room temperature before being loaded into The Big Easy. If you have any trouble, you can call our Turkey Hotline at 1-800-526-1065 throughout the year.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Barry | Nov 9, 2019

    Would it be ok to spritz the bird during cooking with apple juice?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 11, 2019

      We don't recommend using spritzes with high sugar content as the sugar can burn. The TRU‐Infrared heat will keep your turkey moist and juicy on the inside.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Jen | Nov 14, 2019

    Whats the largest size Turkey you can use?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 18, 2019

      Ideally, you want a bird that’s between 10 and 12 pounds, but no more than 16. Larger turkeys block airflow and prevent even cooking.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Tony C | Nov 16, 2019

    I notice a lot of people put these in legs first. Last year I did two turkey's in my Big Easy Oil less fryer - one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. Both times I put neck side down instead of legs. I added a cut up apples, a cut up red onion, minced garlic, salt and pepper to the cavity. My dry rub was an applewood rub I like.
    I also added rum instead of bourbon to the injection. This year I'm going to use Honey Jack Daniels.
    Love the Big Easy Oil less fryer. I use it year round.

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 18, 2019

      We love to hear that. Thanks Tony and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Anne | Nov 19, 2019

    How long do u cook a 16lb turkey?!

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 24, 2019

      We recommend cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Generally the time estimates are to give you an idea of how long it will need to cook.

      Call our Turkey Hotline at 1-800-526-1065 with any questions you may have about cooking with The Big Easy. It’s available year-round, including Thanksgiving Day (8 am-4 pm EST).

      This was Helpful (0)
  • rosebud | Nov 23, 2019

    can i cook a 25lb turkey. it fits in the basket

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 24, 2019

      Ideally, you want a bird that’s between 10 and 12 pounds, but no more than 16. Larger turkeys block airflow and prevent even cooking.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Mike | Nov 23, 2019

    Can I cook a 20 lb. turkey in the grease less turkey fryer?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 24, 2019

      Ideally, you want a bird that’s between 10 and 12 pounds, but no more than 16. Larger turkeys block airflow and prevent even cooking.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • nick | Nov 24, 2019

    I just purchased the big easy. Before use do I need to wash or season anything before cooking??

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Nov 24, 2019

      Coat all interior surfaces of the cooking chamber with vegetable oil. If you use a vegetable spray, wipe down the cooking chamber after spraying to ensure an even coat. Start The Big Easy® and let it burn until the vegetable oil burns off and stops smoking. The shiny finish of the stainless steel cooking chamber should now have a very dark brown or bronze color. You are now ready to cook.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • bob | Nov 26, 2019

    can you brine a turkey before cooking in the big easy?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 3, 2019

      Yes, brining your Big Easy-bound bird ensures it will be as moist as it is delicious. Begin the brining process the day before you plan to cook it. Here’s a recipe for an easy turkey brine to get a tender and flavorful turkey. You can also boost flavors by injecting the bird with marinade before cooking it.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Ben | Nov 26, 2019

    Do you need to brine the turkey before cooking?
    Thanks

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Carly Dubay | Nov 27, 2019

      It's not necessary to brine the turkey, but we do recommend a dry rub to impart more flavor.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • LAM | Nov 26, 2019

    Do you need to keep the breast side colder before putting into the big easy so that the whole turkey cooks to the right temp from the breast side and the leg side? Basically will the breast side cook quicker than the leg side like in the oven?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 3, 2019

      No, but we do recommend that your turkey is completely thawed and dry before you place it in The Big Easy. In fact, it’s better for the meat to be at room temperature.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Bob | Nov 27, 2019

    I guess a 19 lb Turkey is too big for my Chr Broil Big Easy

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 3, 2019

      Ideally, you want a bird that’s between 10 and 12 pounds, but no more than 16. Larger turkeys block airflow and prevent even cooking. Although according to @geenowalker, it has been done.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Josh | Nov 28, 2019

    So I have been trying to cook this 16lbs turkey and I’m at 3 1/2 hrs. Temp is 106 degrees. Why is it taking so long?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 3, 2019

      There are several factors that can affect cook time with The Big Easy, including the temperature of the turkey as well as outdoor temperature. You can call our Turkey Hotline at 1-800-526-1065 and talk with one of our representatives about your specific circumstances to learn what you might do differently next time. The hotline is available year-round.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • david | Nov 28, 2019

    I usually cook two 14lb birds every year. One in the smoker and one in the oil less fryer. Both are delicious, but I prefer the one out of the charbroil.i brine them for two days then stuff them with oranges, always come out real juicy. I notice a lot of oil less fryer recipes say not to brine the turkey. Why is that?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 3, 2019

      At CharBroil, we don’t advise against brining your turkey. However, we do advise against anything (brine, marinade or rub) with a high sugar content as the sugar can burn. After brining, the turkey should be rinsed thoroughly and patted dry before loading into The Big Easy.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Cyn | Nov 28, 2019

    Hi can I put stuffing in it?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 3, 2019

      No, don't stuff the turkey. Stuffing your turkey will block airflow and prevent it from cooking evenly. The inner meat will be under-cooked and the outer meat will be dry.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Ron | Nov 28, 2019

    HELP, 12 lb Turkey has been cooking for 9hr and not done yet. It said 15 to 20 min per lb.

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 3, 2019

      Cook times will vary depending on outdoor weather conditions, but it should not take 9 hours to cook a turkey in The Big Easy. You may want to call our Turkey Hotline at 1-800-526-1065 to talk with someone about your experience. It’s available year-round. I’m sure they can help you figure out what went wrong so you’ll know for the next time.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • Jeremy | Dec 2, 2019

    So you use the drippings to make gravy or use the drippings “as” gravy? With them being close to the burner is there any concern of them being undercooked?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 3, 2019

      You can use the drippings to make gravy. Before cooking the turkey, you must insert a food‐safe aluminum liner into the removable grease tray to catch the drippings. After cooking the turkey, the drippings must be heated on a stovetop to the proper temperature for doneness (180°F). Never serve the drippings directly from the removable grease tray.

      This was Helpful (0)
  • geenowalker | Dec 2, 2019

    21.5 lb bird. Cooked 3.5 hours. Right in line with the 10lb per pound. This is my 3rd 20+ lb bird and the only time I had issue (1st time) was outside in high wind and cold (Philly suburb). Cooked last two in garage (3 feet from the door). Used the screen top fir the first 30 min and the last 20. Bird was great. Brined the night before and used oil and seasoning rub on outside before roasting.

    This was Helpful (0)
  • KR | Dec 8, 2019

    Can a bone-in Turkey breast be substituted for a whole turkey with this recipe? Will a bone-in Turkey breast still average 15 mins per lb for cook time to get it to 165?

    This was Helpful (0)
    • Char-Broil | Dec 12, 2019

      Yes and yes. Of course, the thermometer gets the final say on doneness.

      This was Helpful (0)
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