Dry Rub Recipe for Deep-Fried Turkey

Started by Dano, October 23, 2013, 08:07:37 AM

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Hi everyone,

I thought I'd get this out before American Thanksgiving so people can give it a try.  For Canadian Thanksgiving and Christmas parties here I usually end up deep frying 5 or 6 birds per year, which everyone raves about. (and I make extra as requested so people get to take some home) :) 

This is the one dry rub I have used time and again so thought I'd share it with everyone.

3 tblsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper (feel free to add more if you like your bird hot! hot! hot!)
5 tblsp ground black pepper
4 tblsp garlic powder
3 tblsp onion powder
1 tblsp salt(can add more if you like a more saltier skin) - fine ground table salt works best
2.5 tblsp dried oregano leaves
2.5 tblsp dried thyme leaves

Rub outside and inside turkey and try to get under the skin where the breast meat is.  Let this sit for about 8 hours in the fridge or over night so it gets that wet look.  Take birds out and leave them in the open for an hour to let them come up in temp before frying.  If you have room in your fridge or cooler, depending on how you're chilling them, I actually insert them on the turkey bases and tie the legs/wings with bbq wire before cooling.  This way it packs the dry rub tightly against the skin and you don't lose any while it sits.

For deep frying, I use canola oil ( I hear peanut is best though but never tried it ) and heat my oil up to 350F.  I cook the turkey at 3 minutes per lb at 350F but as you probably know the temp can come down after slowly inserting the bird.  If you can get the temp back up to 350F quickly, great!  If you idle it around 325F I give it an extra 3 minutes at the end just to be sure.

Proud member of PETA:  People Eating Tasty Animals.  :)


sounds delicious,, thanks for the  post

Saber 4

Nice post thanks, I've wondered about using canola oil we have a friend with peanut allergies so fried turkey has been a no-go for her so maybe I can do one fried this year. May try your rub, then smoke and finish in the fryer


Thanks Saber4.  Definitely let me know how it goes if you smoke and then fry... I've seen as many negative posts as positive ones when it comes to smoking then frying as 'apparently' the fryer oil washes the oily smoke off the skin but the meat still as a tinge of flavouring.  I hear there's a lot of success of cold smoking then oven baking the turkey and you also get to make the traditional dressing/stuffing inside the bird.  When we fry I just take the giblets and get them to the ladies in the kitchen so they make the dressing with them and it's still fantastic.  :)

I've only ever used canola oil for the dozen+  I've fried and I find it's great.  Unlike peanut oil, canola does not impart a taste or flavour when I've fried my birds.  All you taste is the rub and the turkey so if peanut allergies are an issue give it a shot.  I'd be sure to soapy hot bath the turkey fryer first to get rid of any peanut residue so your friend doesn't become ill.

A note about canola though now that you just jogged my memory.  It has a similar smoke/flash point but it can taste burnt if you push 400F.  Not sure if peanut oil gets that burnt taste if you go over 400F so something to keep in mind.
Proud member of PETA:  People Eating Tasty Animals.  :)

Saber 4


Thanks for the additional info on the Canola oil, I hadn't thought of the hot soapy bath to make sure there's no residue left so that's a definite must do.


I've smoked/fried my turkeys for the last 5-6 years.  I can assure you that the smoke flavor does not get lost in the fryer.  I fry one and my MIL usually roasts one to have drippings for gravy and backup meat.  The smo-fried bird is ALWAYS gone first.

Instead of a rub, I brine mine in Pachanga's low-salt brine for 48 hours before cooking.  You should be able to find his recipe on here.  If not, I can probably dig it up.


Great info Redneckinthecity.  So can you provide a few more details as to how you perpare the bird?  I've seen the brine recipe you use but was wondering if you cold or hot smoke, at what temp, how long, what flavor of wood etc?  I know the 40F-140F is the Kenny Loggins danger zone of poultry and fowl so am curious to see how you set yours up.  :)
Proud member of PETA:  People Eating Tasty Animals.  :)


Before brining, get your fryer pot and whatever you're going to use to insert/remove bird from the oil (i have a basket that fits in my pot that I use for frying/boiling shrimp, etc).  Put the bird in the basket, basket in pot and fill with water so that the bird is covered.  Remove bird and mark on the pot where the water level is.  That tells you how much oil to put in so that it doesn't overflow when the oil is 350 degrees and starts a massive fire.

I brine for about 48 hours in one of the giant ziplock bags and pack the cooler around it with ice.  The day I'm smoking I take it out of the cooler in the morning and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours after patting dry with paper towels.

It's usually pretty cool on Thanksgiving day here, so I run the smoke generator with no heat and sometimes put ice in the water pan.  Once I have smoke rolling, I'll put the bird in for 1.5 to 2 hours and have used apple, pecan and hickory - all with good results and sometimes mixing apple with one of the others.

I try to time it so that I go straight from smoker to fryer to minimize any additional bacterial growth.  Most recipes call for about 3 minutes per pound frying.  Because the bird has warmed a bit, I usually calculate 2 to 2.5 minutes per pound and then check the temp at the breast and thigh with a thermopen.  Also remember that the temp will continue to rise after you remove from the oil.

For oil, I've used canola and peanut - and no one has really remarked about differences in flavor.  I heat the oil to 350, put bird in and then turn the gas up so it returns to temp as quickly as possible.


Thanks for providing that information.  This sounds epic!  Can't wait to try it with the cold smoke and the dry rub!  :)
Proud member of PETA:  People Eating Tasty Animals.  :)