Dry Brined Fried Turkey without Oil with a cornucopia in the background
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Dry Brined-Fried Turkey without Oil

Dry Brined-Fried Turkey without Oil, crispy outside, juicy inside, an easier, faster and healthier way to deep fry a turkey in an oil-less turkey fryer. Dry brining adds flavor and moistness throughout and cajun seasoning spices things up ever so slightly for a Thanksgiving turkey you will never forget! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 53 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Thanksgiving dinner entree, Thanksgiving turkey
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Sharon Rigsby

Ingredients

  • 10 lbs whole turkey Not kosher, not self-basting. Check the label to make sure no added salt.
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt For every 4-5 pounds of turkey will need 1 Tbsp of Kosher salt. Do not use table salt.
  • 2-3 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun or Creole Seasoning I used Zatarain's Creole Seasoning

Instructions

  • To dry brine the turkey, place the bird on a cutting board and remove the giblets and neck from inside the cavity. Also, remove any plastic holders or pop-up thermometers.
  • Rinse the turkey well and pat dry inside and out with paper towels.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt inside the turkey cavity and sprinkle the rest evenly over the entire bird and under the skin, where ever possible.
  • Place the turkey breast-side up on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and refrigerate uncovered for at least 1 day, but ideally 3 days. You do not need to rinse it or pat it dry before cooking.
  • To fry the turkey, brush the peanut oil all over the skin of the turkey.
  • Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning evenly over the entire turkey.
  • Turn on the oil-less fryer and place the turkey in the basket, breast side up. The fryer does not need to pre-heat.
  • The directions on the fryer say to cook the turkey uncovered for about 9-10 minutes per pound. My turkey cooked much quicker than this and I highly recommend using an instant-read meat thermometer to avoid overcooking it. The turkey is done when it registers 160 degrees when the temperature probe is inserted in the thickest part of the breast not touching bone.
  • During the last 15 minutes of cooking cover with the wire mesh lid to allow the turkey to brown.
  • Remove the turkey, cover loosely with foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. The turkey will continue to cook and come up to 165 degrees F.

Notes

Sharon's Expert Tips:
How much turkey do I need? In general, one pound of turkey per person should do it. However, smaller turkeys don't have as much meat as the larger ones, so you will need closer to 1-1/2 to 2 pounds per person if you get a turkey less than ten pounds. Also, think of who you will be feeding and add a little more if you have any big eaters. And then, there are leftovers. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without leftover turkey, so be sure to plan for that as well!
Plan ahead! - Don't make the mistake of buying your turkey a day or so before the big day. If you plan to buy a frozen turkey, be sure to allow 1-3 days for a bird weighing 6 to 12 pounds, or 3-4 days for a bird weighing 12 to 16 pounds, to thaw safely in the refrigerator.  Add another 2-3 days to brine it, and you can see why you should buy your turkey at least a week before Thanksgiving!
I highly recommend using an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure your turkey is cooked perfectly. I use a DOT thermometer which I found at Browns Kitchen Center in Tallahassee. With the DOT, you just insert the temperature probe in the meat, set the temperature you want, and it beeps when the meat is done. It takes all of the guesswork out of cooking meat!
When dry-brining your turkey, be sure to leave it uncovered in the refrigerator. This helps to dry out the skin and makes it extra crispy when cooked.
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Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Protein: 142g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 31mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 9.7mg