How to Marinate a Deep Fried Turkey


Deep frying turkey has several advantages: a juicier taste and a drastically reduced cooking time. This method only requires 3 minutes per pound rather than 15 minutes per pound in an oven. Marinading the turkey before frying adds to the flavor of the meat, and marinade injector kits can be found populating the shelves of grocery and sporting goods stores around Thanksgiving. The kits typically include a plastic syringe with a bottle of marinade, but use any type of marinade you prefer, as long as it does not contain large bits which could clog the injector. For best results, marinade the turkey the night before frying.

Step 1

Put on a pair of disposable gloves before working with the raw turkey to prevent food-borne illness.

Step 2

Clean out the interior of the turkey cavity, removing the internal organs and using them for gravy or discarding them.

Step 3

Place the turkey on the support rack or basket and lower it into the empty turkey fryer. Fill the fryer with water so that it completely covers the turkey plus 2 additional inches.

Step 4

Remove the turkey and mark the water level on the outside of the turkey fryer. Know that this level equals the amount of peanut oil you must put into the fryer. Do this before marinating the turkey or adding any rubs.

Step 5

Attach the needle to the tip of the injector. Place the needle of the injector into the bottle of marinade and pull the plunger back to draw some of the liquid into the syringe.

Step 6

Pull the skin from the area you wish to inject while holding the injector with the other hand. Insert the needle of the injector directly to meat of the turkey and push the plunger to inject the marinade into the meat. Refill the injector with marinade as needed.

Step 7

Inject as many sites around the bird as possible, but be sure to include each half of the breast, the two legs and the two thighs. Reach inside the turkey cavity for better access to inject the thighs from the inside. Move the needle of injector inside the meat to disperse the marinade over a greater area. Move the needle to inject the marinade from different angles and directions to fill more parts of the meat with the marinade, especially in the larger, drier breasts.

Step 8

Discard any unused marinade and the plastic injector.

Step 9

Sprinkle the dry rub over the entire turkey and rub it into the entire exterior of the turkey using your gloved hands. Do not skip this step, which also helps to move the marinade injected into the meat deeper into the muscle tissue.

Step 10

Place the marinated turkey in a disposable turkey roasting pan in the refrigerator overnight to complete marinating.

Things You'll Need

  • Thawed 10- to 12-pound turkey
  • Turkey fryer
  • Water
  • Marker
  • 5 gallons peanut oil
  • Disposable gloves
  • Marinade injector
  • 16 oz. bottle of liquid marinade (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 cup dry rub or spice blend (such as Tony Chachere's or Zatarain's) (optional)
  • Large work surface
  • Disposable turkey roaster pan


  • How to Deep Fry a Turkey
  • Deep Fried Turkey

Who Can Help

  • Barbecue Injectable Marinade Recipe
  • Deep Fried Turkey Rub Recipe
Keywords: deep fried turkey, cajun turkey, injector marinade

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor in Arts in history from the University of Houston.

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