Fried Turkey “Southern-Style” in The Big Easy

Fried Turkey “Southern Style” in The Big Easy

The classic ‘fried turkey’ uses several gallons of peanut oil that takes quite some time to heat up before you can fry the turkey. If the temperature is off just 5-10 degrees you either have oily tasting turkey or problems on your hands.  But this basic recipe uses only a couple tablespoons of oil and will deliver a fried turkey taste without the mess.

Fried Turkey "Southern-Style" in The Big Easy

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: -

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Fried Turkey

The classic 'fried turkey' uses several gallons of peanut oil that takes quite some time to heat up before you can fry the turkey. If the temperature is off just 5-10 degrees you either have oily tasting turkey or problems on your hands. But this basic recipe uses only a couple tablespoons of oil and will deliver a fried turkey taste without the mess!

Ingredients

  • Whole turkey - check product manual for maximum weight
  • 2 tablespoons of Vegetable or Peanut oil
  • Herb seasoning or dry rub (NOTE Lower sugar content)

Instructions

  1. Prepare turkey for cooking - remove the giblets, neck, etc.
  2. Remove any plastic or metal ties used to hold legs or cavity in place.
  3. Rinse the turkey in tepid water and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Apply dry rub on outside of turkey - if your hands are small enough you can also work rub in between the skin and the meat on the breast and leg/thigh area.
  5. Lightly spray or brush oil on outside of turkey.
  6. Truss the legs and place turkey legs down in the cooking basket.
  7. NOTE:
  8. To help prevent sticking, oil the wire in the cooking basket before placing turkey in it.
  9. Insert meat thermometer in the breast so that the tip does not touch bone and the dial is easily read when the basket is in the cooker.
  10. Light the burner according to instructions in manual - no pre-heating required
  11. Plan to cook the turkey for approximately 10 minutes per pound - and monitor the temperature closely as the last "planned" 20 minutes begin.
  12. When the thermometer registers about 3 degrees below the target temperature of 165F degrees - turn off the cooker and remove the cooking basket with the turkey in it. Place the basket on a shallow sheet pan and allow to rest for about 15 minutes while the turkey continues to cook from internal heat.
  13. Remove the turkey from the cooking basket.
  14. Tip: You can use your hands to make sure the turkey doesn't get hung up while trying to remove...and invert the basket and allow the turkey to gently "fall" out.
  15. After the turkey rests for about 20 - 30 minutes total it will be ready to carve.
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93 Comments
  1. What temperature setting do you cook the turkey 12lb average, can’t find an example?

    • Renee – The Big Easy is just on and off as far as temperature setting. You want to make sure that your turkey cooks to at least 165 internal temp though. With the big easy, you will be cooking at approximately 10 minutes a pound so for a 12 lb turkey, you would be looking at 120 minutes. My suggestion would be to check the bird about 20 minutes from the “planned” amount of time – @100 minutes to see where you are temp wise. Sometimes the big easy will cook faster than 10 minutes/lb. Try cooking with the lid off as well until the last 30 minutes or so. The lid reflects a lot of heat back down on the bird and will crisp the skin more the longer you keep it on. Hope this helps!

  2. can I cook a whole ham in my big easy?

  3. If you can get it in the big easy you can cook it!! there are a lot of things I can cook in it. they Charbroil have other items to help you cook ribs etc. Just ordered the oven stacker will try it soon!!!

    • Where did you locate the “oven stacker” and was this for the “Big Easy” turkey fryer?

  4. I assume on the Big Easy Smoker, Roaster & Grill which has high and low temp that you use low to cook the turkey.

    • Carol – I usually start the SRG on high to get some wood chips going, then turn it down around medium to cook. You don’t have to cook it on low if you don’t want to. It’s really up to you. Either way, you will get delicious, juicy results. I recommend that you try and stay away from using any sort of rubs with a lot of sugar content on the outside of the turkey. They will burn pretty quickly. If there is anything else I can answer, just let me know!
      Thanks-
      Michael

  5. Can I use a spice injecter rather than a dry rub?

    • Cora – Sure you can! I like to use a butter based marinade/sauce when injecting a turkey. Butter seems to make everything better! – Michael

  6. Do you recommend using a brine for a whole turkey then a dry rub before roasting? Thank you!

    • Ashley –

      If you are cooking a turkey in The Big Easy, a brine is not a necessary step in making your turkey juicy. When you brine something, you are essentially introducing more water content into the meat along with some extra flavors from what ever you want to add to the brine. Brining is especially helpful when roasting a turkey in the oven or smoking a turkey. Brining definitely helps and adds moisture to the turkey, but The Big Easy keeps your turkey moist and juicy regardless of brining. I suggest a dry rub after brining if you choose to do so. However, make sure to pat your turkey dry with some paper towels before adding the rub. Hope this helps!

      PS – Try to use a rub that doesn’t have a high sugar content if you are cooking your turkey in The Big Easy. Rubs that have a high sugar content tend to burn when cooked in The Big Easy.

      -Michael

  7. I have cooked two turkeys with peanut oil then the rub, both were great.

  8. what tempature do i cook a 12lb. turkey in the big easy

    • Are you asking to what internal temperature? If so, you should cook your turkey to 165F according to USDA guidelines. Let me know if this answers your question.

      Thanks – Michael

  9. Doing my first turkey in the oiless char broil fryer do you have any recommendations for a good brine recipie?

    • Jeromy – Unfortunately we don’t have many recipes for a brine listed here on Char-Broil Live, but the Char-Broil LIVE Community Forums might be the place to go for a great brine recipe and some tips on how to brine a turkey. Here’s a post to get you started How Do You Brine? There are tons of threads on our forum about brining. You can easily search for more threads like this one just by using the search box on the top right of the page. Hope this helps.

      -Michael

  10. If i’m cooking outside when temperature is 50 deg. Will that slow up roasting time?

    • Great question JP! At 50 degrees, cooking time should be affected very little. If it get’s down into the low 40s or 30s, you may need to add a few minutes to cooking time. Just make sure that when cooking turkey in The Big Easy, your turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165F in the thickest part of the meat. Thanks for your question JP.

  11. What size Turkey can I cook in the 2 in 1 roaster smoker? Or can I get one as large as I want as long as I can fit it in the basket.

    • David – You can cook up to a 16 pound turkey in the 2-in-1. Anything larger than that may not fit in the cooking basket. A 15 pound turkey fits PERFECTLY in the basket though.

  12. Hello…I am looking at buying the big easy. Problem is, I have read a lot of bad reviews about the “cooking time” and that it takes so long. Is that an early production unit or are all these people doing it wrong?

    also, what else can I cook with this thing?

    • Mark – The Big Easy will cook a turkey in about 10 minutes per pound compared to 20 in an oven. A 15 pound turkey can be cooked to perfection in right around 2.5 hours. To answer your second question, you can cook turkey, whole chickens, chicken pieces, kabobs, wings, boston butt (pork shoulder), veggies, etc. The possibilities are endless with this thing! Check out some of our accessories for the Big Easy to get a better understanding of what you can cook. Big Easy Accessories

    • Hi Mark, I own both the Big Easy Oiless Turkey Fryer and the Big Easy Smoker, Roaster Grill. Amazing appliances! So much so that 3 of my guests at a recent cookout all bought one! Once you get to use the Big Easy and experience it for yourself, You will be hard pressed to cook indoors ever again. At least cooking anything that would be prepared grill styled. All this being said, the cook time is slightly longer than with an oil cooker but when you consider the cost and health factors, it ends up being a non issue. Good luck and I hope you get to experience TRU IR for yourself, as that is the best way to make up your own mind.

  13. Have used the Big easy for the last 2 years to cook our turkey. The wings always seem to burn. How can that be prevented?

  14. what is the largest bird which will fit in the Big Easy?…I bought two 20 lb birds.

    • Eric – The Big Easy Oil-less Turkey Fryer will fit up to a 16 pound turkey. The Big Easy Smoker, Roaster, & Grill will fit up to a 20lb turkey.

  15. I keep seeing that you don’t recommend temperature settings. My big easy has settings from 1-15. It would be nice if you would recommend one of those settings as each on has a corresponding temperature.

    • Brian –

      Most of our recipes are created using The Big Easy Oil-Less Turkey Fryer which only has one temperature setting. For your Electric 2-in-1 Big Easy, I would recommend that you cook your turkey on from around 11-13 power level setting depending on outside temperatures. You can adjust as you go if the turkey is looking like it may be cooking too quickly or too slowly. I hope this helps.

      -Michael

  16. how large of a turkey (lbs.) can you put in a Big Easy CharBroil Greaseless Fryer?

  17. Is a 20 lb turkey too big for the big easy?

  18. I have seen in previos posts where you mention that the Big Easy has just an on and off setting. The one I just recently purchased has what appears to be 5 Heat setting s on the dial fromt the Flame symbol all the way down to Off. Which one of these settings do you reccomned a Turkey be cooked on?
    Thanks

    • Dwayne – You can start by cooking the turkey on high. Cook with the lid off for a while and then, if you see that it may be cooking too quickly, turn it down to a 4. Most of the Big Easy turkeys I have cooked, I have cooked on high for the entire time without the lid on. Seems to work just fine! Let us know how it turns out. We would love to hear back from you.

      -Michael

  19. Should I cook my turkey with the lid on or off in my greaseless fryer

    • Dale – You should start with the lid off when cooking a turkey and then toward the end, you can add it to brown and crisp the skin a little more. You may not even need to use it through the whole cooking process although it just depends on how crispy/brown you want your turkey.

      -Michael

  20. Iam doing a 5-6 lb. turkey breast is it the same 10 min cooking time?

    I have done whole turkey’s before

    • Yes. It should be about the same cooking time. It may cook a little faster than a whole turkey (per pound), but just make sure you cook it to 165 degrees F.

  21. I just purchased the Electric 2 in 1 and will be attempting to cook my 13 pound turkey. My questions is if I want to fry it what setting do I put it on? I assume that the different settings corrilate to a certain way to cook ie. smoke, roast, fry?

    I tested a few chicken breasts tonight and they didnt turn our so well. very chewie and not tender. Makes me nervous for my turkey.

    • Rick – You should try cooking the turkey at a temperature setting around 12 or 13. If it starts to brown too fast, back the level down around 10. This should make a juicy delicious turkey every time. Set your target temperature on the unit to 162 and then pull the turkey out. Let it rest for around 5 minutes a pound up to an hour and then slice and serve. Should be perfect!!!

  22. I have 15lb turkey and your Electric smoker fryer. So if I understand previous question a setting of 10-12 equals about 180 min? Do you think roast only or some apple wood smoke

    • Tim –

      I have updated my response to the question to say 11-13. I think 13 would probably be a better setting to cook your turkey on and then you can back it down from there if it seems like its cooking too hot. Apple wood is great for a turkey and I recommend you give it a try! It will be delicious!

      – Michael

  23. Hello, I just bought a Big Easy oiless fryer and am a bit confused. I keep reading that the fryer only has one cooking temp, but as I conducted the initial burn off before cooking, I noticed that the burner does lower as you are turning the knob towards the off position? I want to cook my 14lb brined turkey but do not want to scorch the outside so can you please explain where the temp needs to be? Thx

    • Martin –

      I would cook your turkey on the high setting and if it looks as if the turkey is getting a little too dark, back it down to about a 3 to 4. Try cooking with the lid off to start with and you shouldn’t scorch the turkey. Also, stay away from rubs with a high sugar content as the sugar tends to burn. Thanks!

      -Michael

  24. Just purchased one, in the book it says to seperate the legs fo cooking the turkey, if doing it with this recipe, do I still truss the legs? Was just wondering since this is a newer machine and they want me to do it differently?

    • Bud – You can choose to do it either way. I would probably leave them separated so that they do not stick to each other and the bird is easier to carve though. It shouldn’t affect the way it cooks though, either way you decide to do it.

      Thanks!

      -Michael

      • I have lost my Big Easy Manual, but remember very well how to use it, with never any disappointment. This year I want to cook a turkey with an internal sausage stuffing. How can I do this with the Big Easy or do I have to revert to oven roasting?

        • We don’t recommend cooking any turkey (whether in the Big Easy, Oven, or grill) with stuffing inside the cavity. It presents a food poisoning issue and it also sucks the moisture right out of the turkey like a sponge. I would suggest you do the stuffing outside of the turkey and then use the turkey drippings in the drip pan to incorporate back into the stuffing. If you do this, make SURE that you cook the drippings to a safe temperature so you can kill off any bacteria that may be left over from the turkey. Hope this helps!

          -Michael

  25. Thanks, just one more ?. I can take the bird from the fridge and put it in the fryer without preheat?, or better to preheat? If prior, does the time start when I start the fryer. Preheated the fryer for my first chicken last night and seemed to be ok with the standard time for a chicken. Came out great, really happy with the purchase. Would like to season it again but is that necessary? Would like to season it, burn off oil then throw turkey on. 15 1/2 pound turkey. Thanks, Bud

    • Bud – I would take it out of the fridge for about an hour before you put it into the big easy and let it get to almost room temperature (just to take the chill off the bird) then drop in on in there without preheating and let your Big Easy do the rest! It’s that simple! No mess, no fuss, no problem!

  26. Michael

    This will be my second year cooking my bird with the Big Easy. I have the oil less fryer. The first year my wife was a little skeptical she threatened to cook a back up bird in the oven but did not. It turned out great. We have turkey more often now because it is so easy. I use a cajun butter injectable and rub with Tony’s. Just drop it in the only work is prep and after the turkey is done. It also makes a mean rib roast.

    • Jim –

      Yep! The cajun butter along with a little Tony’s is absolutely my favorite for a turkey. Glad to hear that you are enjoying your big easy and that you have attempted some other cooks beyond just a turkey. If you haven’t checked us out on facebook yet (www.facebook.com/charbroil) you may want to be looking over the next few days to see what kind of deals we will have going on for Cyber Monday over on charbroil.com. There are several things you might enjoy including some big easy accessories, sauce and rub kits, and even some cookbooks that have some excellent recipes in them. Should be up in the next couple of days.

      -Michael

  27. Can you cook a Butterball Turkey in the Oil-Less Fryer? Also is it ok to rub oil on the outside of the Turkey or will it burn? Thanks so much.

    • Gary – It is a good idea to rub some olive oil on the outside of your turkey to get a good crisp on your turkey.

      Thanks!

      -Michael

  28. I’m cooking a 16lb Turkey with a dry rub. The instructions says to estimate cooking 10min per lb or until the Turkey reaches165 degrees. What should my ‘burner’ setting be? There are five that range from low to high. Do I just crank the know to the highest setting (i.e. the one that is a flame) and let it cook for 160 min?

    Would appreciate any help…Thanks in advance :)

  29. Hi Mike-
    I plan to cook a brined, 12 pound turkey in my Big easy gas SRG. The gas dial goes from high to low. Reading the other posts, it looks like I need to cook this bird on the high setting with the lid open for around 2 hours (checking thermometer during the last half hour) and closing lid if needed to make the bird more brown during last half hour. Does this sound like a winner?
    Thanks, Dave

  30. I have the big easy oil less fryer and love it. My wife bought the turkey this year and its 17 1/2 pounds. Is that gonna be a problem?

    • If it fits in the basket, it should cook just fine. Just keep an eye on it and turn the cooker down if need be. You may also want to tuck the wings in to keep them from burning.

      Thanks!
      -Michael

  31. This is our first year cooking our turkey in the SRG. 1: We don’t have the turkey bucket/rack. How would you recommend cooking it? We don’t want to grill it. 2: Do you think that this recipe (http://shewearsmanyhats.com/2011/11/mayonnaise-roasted-turkey/) is doable in the SRG? Everything I read recommends a dry rub.

    • You should just be able to cook your turkey in the basket that comes with the Big Easy. As far as the recipe using mayo, I haven’t ever tried this, but it seems like it should work in the Big Easy. Most anything without a high sugar content will turn out great in the Big Easy. Hope this helps!

      -Michael

  32. When you “season” the cooking chamber, do you “season” the basket too? It says in the guide to season all of the the cooking chamber but it doesn’t mention the basket.

    • Er – You don’t have to season the basket, but we do recommend that you wash it before you use it for the first time.

      Thanks!
      -Michael

  33. The top half of my turkey cooks fine and browns nice in the 3hrs i cooked it. The bottom of the turkey was cold and temp was 120. What is the problem

    • Mark- Was the mesh lid left on the top the entire time? If so, this will trap heat around the top of the cooking chamber and actually cause the top of the food to finish before the bottom. For a thorough cook and crispy skin, only put the top lid on for about the last 20 to 30 minutes. Hope this helps to get you back up and grilling. – Dustin

  34. I thought that I might mention this. I asked my daughter to buy a turkey for the Big Easy because we were out of town. She bought a 18 pounder and
    I thought well I am gonna try it anyway. Well, I figured from past experiences that the turkey’s that I have done in the past were cooked for
    nine (9) minutes per pound and they were perfect. Everytime I have checked the temp and when it reached 162 degrees I take them out and cover with tin foil for about 30 minutes. This time was no exception…… 9 minutes per pound and when the temp read 162 degrees I took it out. When I did carve it, the meat was very tender and juicy. Everyone proclaimed it was the best Turkey I had fixed.
    Seasoning was Tony Chachere’s Original Creole seasoning and McCormick Perfect Pinch Savory All Purpose Salt Free. I brushed the turkey with light coat of Olive Oil and then applied the seasoning then covered the
    turkey with tin foil and placed it in the refridgerator over night. The next morning I took the turkey out of the refridgerator and let sit for about an hour then put the turkey in the Big Easy.
    NOTE: Clean Up……After the turkey is removed from the Big Easy I spray the pan with Easy Off Oven Spray and when I wash the pan it is so easy to clean.

    Thanks and Merry Christmas to All !!!!

  35. I thought I read where the legs should not be tied together but then looking at some photos, it seems they are. What is the recommendation for the legs in the Big Easy?

  36. Can I cooktop turkey breast down?

    • Ray – This can be done, but to make sure that the turkey is completely cooked through we recommend it being cooked breast up. Please reference your Big Easy cooking guide. – Dustin

  37. I am confused. I cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving and it was perfect. It cooked in 2 hours. I am cooking one for Christmas and it has been cooking for 4 hrs and it is still not done and not crispy. Any ideas?

    • Sam – When cooking, in the Big Easy, is the lid being left on the entire time? This can cause the bottom of the turkey to not get done as quickly as the rest. Ambient temperature can also play a major role in in cooktime. If it is a gas Big Easy the regulator may need to be reset. Follow this link to create a case with us and we will be able to further troubleshoot this… http://www.charbroil.com/support/case/create – Dustin

  38. I have the 2in1 Elec Roaster. I seen comments speaking about not putting the top on the gas version until the last 20-30 minutes cooking time for a turkey to properly cook/brown. With the roaster 2in1 elec is that the same rule also? The roaster top is a solid cover.

    • Glen – I would suggest to cook with the top up for the first 30 – 45 minutes and if it looks like it is cooking fast enough for you, continue to cook with the top up. If not, close the lid, but check on your food every 15 minutes or so to make sure the top is not burning. If you are smoking on a lower power level (you must first start the smoking process on high then back the power level down), you can certainly cook with the lid down to keep the smoke inside your cooking chamber. Let us know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks – Michael

  39. It gets pretty cold here. I was looking at your electric model and wondering how effective it would be on a turkey when its 4-14 degrees out? Sounds crazy but we still use our grills for steak and burgers when we have a few feet of snow.

  40. Just finished cooking a 6 LB chicken at the fire station in the big easy. It took almost 3 hours!!! And when we finally carved into it, it was very dry. This was going to be a practice run for our families thanksgiving this Sunday, and then used again on Thanksgiving for the crew at the station. It seemed like it never really got too hot. The flame was on and everything looked correct. I’d love some help before the family gets together in two days, or its old school peanut oil time again.

    • Steve – You will want to cook the chicken around 15 minutes per pound. If this was the first time cooking with the Big Easy, the cook time can be longer. This is because the Big Easy improves with higher temperatures and faster cook times the more it is seasoned and used. If you are unable to get a sufficient temperature, try removing the regulator from the tank for a full minute, and then reattach it by hand tightening it. Cooking with the Big Easy will take much less time overall, because there is no preheat time, and it only takes around 15 minutes for the cooker to cool down as opposed to the amount of time it will take for oil to cool before disposing of it. For more information, I have provided a link to the cooking guide for The Big Easy. It is full of information, recipes, and cooking tips to get the best out of your cooker. Good luck, and please feel free to let us know if you have any more questions. Happy Grilling! -Neil

      http://www.charbroil.com/media/pdf/12.120250_The-Big-Easy-Grilling-Guide-English.pdf

  41. Just bought the SRG and have a question. Does the metal cooking grate with the ring have to be on when using the basket?

  42. I’ve done just about everything in my Big Easy except a whole turkey. I’m going to try it this week but is brining neccessary with the big easy? My Dad used to brine our bird before smoking it but wasn’t sure about the Big easy?

    • Kevin – When using the Big Easy brining can be done, but it is not a must. The Big Easy will not dry the meat so it is not necessary. Make sure that if brining or using any marinades that they are not very sugary as this can cause the bird to burn. Injecting can also be done to help add extra flavor. Keep us updated and let us know how your turkey turns out. Happy grilling! – Dustin

  43. I have the 2 in 1 Electric smoker roaster. About how long will it take to make a 16 lbs turkey if I want to try the deep fat fry. At level should I use? 14 or 15..

    I smoked one last year and it came out perfect but I really want to try the roasting or Deep Fat fry thing if it is worth it

    • Mike – If you are wanting a faster cook in your Big Easy 2 in 1 then keeping the power level at 14 or 15 will be the best bet and provide the fastest cook. A 16 lb turkey should be completely cooked after about 8 minutes per pound. Use the temperature probe to ensure that the turkey has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m glad to hear that your turkey turned out so well last year. Be sure to let us know how this year’s is. Happy grilling! – Dustin

  44. I didn’t read all the way and put the turkey in legs up!!! Is that gonna mess up my turkey?

    • Manuel – I have seen positive results from cooking a turkey with the legs up, but it is not something that we would recommend. It may not be too late to flip it around, depending on how far into the cook it is. Be sure to let us know how everything turned out. – Dustin

  45. We had turkey this thanksgiving cook in a big easy. It was great! I was telling my sister about it she has a 26 lb turkey which is to big. If we had the butcher cut it in 1/2 could we cook it in a big and easy?

  46. I just received a Oil less fryer for my birthday and was wondering if I could bread chicken and make fried chicken in it?

    • Angela – You certainly can if you’d like, but this unit is designed to allow you to fry foods without the need for breading or oils. All foods cooked inside of that Big Easy will come out with a delicious crust and you’ll be quite surprised with the outcome! Good luck with your future grillings and Welcome to the Char-Broil Family! – Mandy

  47. What is the cooking temperature of the Char-broil oil-less turkey fryer? Just curious what temperature it cooks at.

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