Deep-Fried Turkey Recipe

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More Recipes By Bradford Thompson

Bradford Thompson's Deep Fried Turkey
Courtesy of Jeff Zalaznick

You might know James Beard award-winning chef Brad Thompson from the world famous Chef Tailgates he holds just outside of Giants Stadium at every home game. He is also collaborating with Serge Becker to open the eagerly awaited Miss Lily’s on West Houston Street in New York City.

When he is not hosting tailgates, Brad, who is passionate about Jamaican cuisine, makes one of the best hot sauces ever.  The addition of hot sauce and BBQ rub truly set his Deep-Fried Turkey apart from the rest. Believe me, this is the only way that you should be making your turkey this Thanksgiving. - Jeff Zalaznick



  • One 14-16 pound turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 2 quarts Franks Red Hot sauce, plus more if needed
  • Your favorite dry BBQ rub (optional)
  • Frying oil *(see note below)

Tools needed:

  • Syringe
  • Turkey fryer (set up outside)
  • Long-probed, hot-oil thermometer
  • Full propane tank
  • Heavy-weight twine
  • Pole or broomstick
  • Meat thermometer


The day before cooking, wash the turkey inside and out and pat it dry. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to dry out slightly. (You can also submerge the turkey in a brine of 1 gallon water, 1 cup salt, ¾ cup brown sugar and thyme leaves).

The next day, using a syringe, inject the Franks Red Hot sauce into the joints and thick parts of the breasts. Do not worry if the bird has excess sauce on it, this will help the bird color while cooking. You can rub more sauce on the exterior or you can use your favorite dry rub. (I prefer Franks inside and out).

Set up your fryer outside, away from any buildings and anything flammable.

Place the thermometer in the oil to monitor the temperature. Turn the propane on until the oil temperature reaches 375 degrees, about 30 minutes. (When you add the turkey, the oil will dip to about 350 degrees – this is the temperature you want).

Meanwhile, tie the turkey’s legs together with heavy-weight twine and loop the twine around a pole or broomstick. Once the oil is at the desired temperature, with one person holding either side of the pole, slowly lower the turkey, breast-side down, into the fryer, allowing the oil to bubble before lowering completely. This will take about 5 minutes to get the bird fully submerged.

Do not cover the pot while cooking. Occasionally check the temperature of the oil and allow three and a half minutes per pound to cook.

Before removing from the oil, insert a meat thermometer into the leg joints to make sure the internal temperature of the bird has reached 165 degrees. Turn the propane off and remove the bird slowly from the oil. (It is best to wear gloves to protect your hands in case you need to “catch” the bird). Place the turkey on a large board or sheet pan and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Recipe Details

*Editor’s Note: The best way to determine the level of oil needed is to take the turkey before you brine/dry it, put it in the frying pot, and cover it with two inches of water. Remove the bird and mark the water level. That marks where to fill the pot with oil. Make sure to dry the pot well, and then add the oil.

Servings: 12

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