Basic Fried Turkey Tips

Basic Fried Turkey Tips

Frying is a popular method for cooking a really tasty turkey. The meat is moist and tender, and the skin is crispy. Turkeys cook more quickly in a fryer than in the oven. But traditional hot oil fryers can be extremely dangerous. Bubbling hot oil can splash and burn skin and hands, boil over and catch fire. With a forgiving fryer like The Big Easy® Oil-Less Turkey Fryer by Char-Broil®, it’s simple to prep, cook and serve your turkey. And cooking without all that oil is safer, healthier and so much easier to clean up. Here are some basic fried turkey tips to keep in mind.


Two days before your big dinner, make sure the turkey is either thawing (if frozen) or completely thawed. There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave.

HOT TIP: Make sure you place your cooker in a level spot away from wind or other adverse weather.


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. Try this 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.


While it may be tempting to stuff the turkey with your favorite edibles, don’t do it. Stuffing the bird will block airflow and prevent it from cooking evenly. The inner meat will be undercooked, and the outer meat will be dry. Since it is NOT recommended to stuff the inside cavity, you can make a baked stuffing recipe instead.


If you still feel the need to put something in the turkey cavity, try adding a few small aromatics like herbs, onion, garlic, lemon or orange slices and sprigs of fresh rosemary. These items won’t adversely affect the cook time but can enhance the turkey’s flavor profile.


To light The Big Easy, press and turn the burner control knob to the left all the way to the flame icon. Then turn the rotary ignitor knob rapidly. If the burner does not light within 5 seconds, turn the burner control knob off. Wait 5 minutes and repeat the lighting procedure. There are no settings with this product, simply on (all the way to the left) and off (all the way to the right). Do NOT lean over the top of The Big Easy when lighting.


When starting up The Big Easy, the burner will be cold. It takes a couple minutes for the flame to travel around the entire burner. Wait for the flame to be carried all the way around the burner before placing meat in the cooker. Adding your turkey too soon can increase the time it takes to fully heat the burner for cooking.  Depending on the ambient temperature, this could take up to 5 minutes.

HOT TIP: Place your cooker on a level spot away from wind or other adverse weather to prevent it from tipping over.


Ambient or outside temperature affects how quickly the turkey will cook. If your ambient temp is below 30°F, your cook time will be longer.


Use the wire mesh lid only when you are cooking in colder outdoor temperatures, on extremely windy days or toward the end of your cook time, if extra browning is desired. The lid will reflect infrared heat back into the cooking chamber and can burn the outer layer of your food if used for the entire cook time.


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.


Set the basket and the turkey on a tray or platter and allow it to rest for 10‐15 minutes. Once the basket has cooled, gently separate any places where the turkey has attached itself to the basket during the cooking process. Turn the basket on its side to remove. Insert a butter knife into the bird's cavity. Tilt the basket on its side and guide the cooked bird onto a platter.

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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