Deep Fried Turkey Without Oil1

Do you know the difference between youth and maturity? It’s how you feel about Thanksgiving. As a child, Thanksgiving was the worst. It was that bastardized holiday between Halloween and Christmas. You had to get dressed up, but not in fun costumes. Instead, itchy sweaters, shirts with collars and uncomfortable shoes. And nobody gave you any candy or presents. No, it was just a big meal with dry turkey. Sure, there’s lots of desserts, but for the most part they consist of pumpkin or pecan pies. The first is a funny orange color and how can a nut be made into a pie?

As an adult, I LOVE it! I don’t have to shell out a bunch of money on costumes, candy, or presents. I don’t mind getting dressed up. In fact, I sort of like it. There’s not just two football games anymore, now there are three! Did I mention that the food and wine are outstanding? Even the funny colored orange pie. Particularly if I’m making the turkey.  We haven’t done a turkey in the oven in close to two decades. We always make one outside on Thanksgiving. We’ve grilled the turkey, deep fried the turkey and now we do a little bit of both. We use this ingenious little device from Char-Broil to do deep fried turkey without all the pesky oil, potential deck fires and third degree burns. Also, not only is this low fat compared to a deep fried turkey, it’s also naturally low carb. And low carb is all the rage these days. Just do your best to avoid the mashed potatoes, yams, and wine!

Here it is, the Char-Broil Big Easy Oiless Turkey Fryer:

Big Easy Turkey Collage

But before we get to that, let’s prep our turkey. This recipe is so ridiculously easy, you’ll never go back to that boring old oven bird. Also, if you would like to buy a Big Easy, use my discount code and get yourself 25% off – B15ST

Expert Tip ~ There is one rule though. No sugar. No sugar in a brine or marinade and no sugar in a rub. See, this thing cooks so hot, which simulates deep frying it, that it will blacken any sugar used in preparing the turkey. 

Deep Fried Turkey Without Oil Ingredients:

13 lb turkey
Coarse salt
Favorite sugar free rub (in this case, Code 3 Spices Grunt Rub)
A little vegetable oil (OK, it’s not entirely oil free!?!)

Properly thaw the turkey according to the directions on the packaging. Coat the back with coarse salt and then hit it with the Code 3 Spices Grunt Rub:

Deep Fried Turkey Without Oil - 003

Then place the turkey in the Big Easy basket, breasts facing up:

Deep Fried Turkey Without Oil - 007

The reason I don’t do both sides before putting it in the basket is that the rub will stick to the cutting board when I roll it over to coat the other side. The basket keeps the turkey elevated from the cutting board.

Now lay the basket on its side:

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And coat the front of the bird with salt and the Code 3 Spices rub:

Big Easy Turkey - 012

And now the turkey is ready for the Big Easy:

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On a side note, if you haven’t tried the Code 3 spices, you are missing out on a number of levels. First, the rubs are fantastic. Top to bottom, the entire line is outstanding. Also, they give a portion of every sale to charities that help first responders (police, firefighters and EMT’s) and our military personnel. I like to say they make great rubs and have an even better cause. Now back to the recipe.

Fire up the Char-Broil Big Easy to high and place the turkey in the unit:

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To help crisp up the skin, put the mesh lid on top to help deflect the heat back down:

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Man cannot live by turkey alone, so while the bird is doing its thing, time to check out what’s happening in the kitchen. Looks like we’ll be having some pies tonight:

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After about 30 minutes in the Big Easy, I drizzled some vegetable oil over the bird which will further help to crisp up the skin. You can see a little of the oil near the neck:

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The reason I waited to coat it with the oil is that I wanted the rub to adhere to the skin before I poured oil on the turkey. If I poured the oil on right away, it would’ve washed the Code 3 Spices rub off.

How long to you cook the soon to be Thanksgiving turkey? Easy, 10 minutes per pound. Here we have the turkey at about 90 minutes:

Deep Fried Turkey Without Oil - 116

Back inside, the pies are done. I can’t flippin’ wait!

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A little over 2 hours, the turkey is at 160 degrees internal temperature and ready to come out of the Big Easy at which point I let it rest for about 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the bird and the internal temp to come up to the 165 needed to be safe to eat:

Deep Fried Turkey Without Oil - 138

But how did it come out? Let’s check that breast:

Deep Fried Turkey Without Oil - 144

Uber juicy, skin so crispy people will swear you deep fried it, and that wonderful rub! Did I mention low carb? Wow! This is why I love Thanksgiving!

If you have any questions about this deep fried turkey without oil, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Deep Fried Turkey Without Oil
Author: 
Recipe type: Thanksgiving Turkey
Cuisine: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to deep fry a turkey without oil in the Char-Broil Big Easy, infrared grill.
Ingredients
  • 13 lb turkey
  • Coarse salt
  • Sugar free rub
  • A little vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Thaw the turkey safely according to the packaging
  2. Coat the back with coarse salt and the rub
  3. Place the turkey in the basket, breast side up
  4. Lay the basket on its side and coat the breasts with salt and the rub
  5. Start the Big Easy, set to high and place the turkey in the basket in the unit, covering with the mesh lid
  6. After 30 minutes, drizzle vegetable oil over the breasts
  7. Grill for 10 minutes per pound
  8. Remove from the Big Easy and allow to rest for 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute
  9. Slice and serve
 

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool

https://t.co/lVWgniik3V - #GrillPorn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
You know what, I never thought of it that way, but that's a fantastic way of saying it. https://t.co/CuvSiOeAmD - 3 hours ago
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45 comments

Scott, do you ever do a chicken in this thing during the non-Thanksgiving months?

Reply

JR,

I’ve done chickens in it as well. Takes no time! Just avoid the sugars and you will make some mean chicken!

…….Scott

Scott,
We have a Big Easy Roaster/Smoker/Grill. I assume this recipe can also be done in that. If so, after the 30 minutes with the top down (like your mesh cover on), do you leave the top open and leave it on high or do you turn the heat down?

I can’t wait to try a turkey in this. We’ve done many things; i.e. baby back ribs, chicken, pork roast, baked potatoes, vegetable etc. Everything has been delicious.

Thanks
Linda

Reply

Linda,

I leave the bird covered, particularly if it’s windy or cold. And I leave it on high the entire time. Let me know how it comes out…

…….Scott

should you remove the pop out timer or leave it in the bird

Reply

Dave,

I realize this is a little late, but you can go either way. I hope it came out well!

…….Scott

we just got a The Big Easy and did a test run using two 6lb chickens. They came out moist and juicy. can wait to fix our turkey in it!!!!

Reply

Thomas,

Let me know how it comes out…

…….Scott

How come the legs don’t cook fully through at the same time as the rest of the turkey

Reply

Carmel,

Because they are dark meat. Means they have more fat and the higher the fat, the longer they take…

…….Scott

Why does my 6pound chicken keep coming out unevenly cooked and is taking and hour and a half to cook but part of it still isn’t done

Reply

Steve,

Can you make sure all the burners are working? Maybe some are clogged or malfunctioning. Contact Char-Broil. They should have better questions to ask you to get to the root of the problem…

…….Scott

can I cook a 17# turkey in my new grill

Reply

Minnie,

I think it has a 16 lb maximum, but I would assume a 17# would just take a little more time, but I can’t guarantee that…

…….Scott

Just bought the oil less fryer and we are going to have a Turkey this thanksgiving. I’m super excited.

Reply

Kimberly, you won’t be disappointed. Let me know how it goes.

Scott, I’m so glad I found your info on this. We are trying this for the first time for Thanksgiving. Do you suggest seasoning the basket as well? Hoping to season it over the weekend but they are calling for snow & temps in the 20’s. Wish me luck! Thanks, Debbie

Reply

Debbie,

Just to be safe, I would season the basket as well…

…….Scott

Scott,
If I leave turkey in fridge over night do I need to bring it down to room temperature before cooking it next day

Reply

Mike,

I don’t think you will have a problem. It just might take a little longer to get to the 155-160 you want to be at before resting…

…….Scott

Any problem with injecting the bird?

Reply

Joe,

Not at all, just avoid injections with a lot of sugar because some of the injected liquid will leak out and if it has a lot of sugars it will blacken really bad…

…….Scott

Do u pour the oil on or do I use a brush. Just afraid it might start smoking if the oil touches the sides or bottom

Reply

Niki,

I just drizzle it over the top. It will smoke a little but not bad…

…….Scott

Niki… i use the spray oil to help the sugarless rub to stay on hours before cooking. Obviously not near the gas flame….

can you soak you turkey in a brine the night before… if so any suggestion

Reply

Shaena,

Yes, you can soak in a brine the night before, but I wouldn’t recommend going move than about 12 hours in a brine otherwise it can get a little hammy…

…….Scott

Oh, and don’t use any sugars in the brine. The skin will blacken pretty bad and it will look terrible. It will still taste great tho!

Scott Thomas,
Thank you!!!!

Reply

I tried the big easy last year for thanksgiving. It was my first time ever cooking a turkey period. It was such a success at our family dinner, I had family members requesting I do theirs for Christmas. I’ve got 11 orders today.

Reply

Can you use the traditional style of internal stuffing of the bird?… For example. My Wife always puts a lemon, onion, and other objects, and ingredients inside the bird during the cavity search. Will that still work with this cooking design?…. Thanks,

Reply

No, Don, you can’t use the traditional stuffing. It will burn up bad…

…….Scott

Hello Scott,
I use my new fryer for chicken. Breast side up and cook to a temp of 165 however the bottom of the chicken is raw? Any ideas?

Reply

Jason,

Maybe rotate halfway through and cook a little longer? I wish I had a better answer, but I’ve never experienced this…

…….Scott

I had the same problem because I laid the bird on its back. The next time I cooked, I stood the bird up with the butt end down and the neck end up, and it came out perfect.

Howdy from College Station, TX! Thanks for your insight, been frying turkeys for 15 years, first run at the oil-less…

Reply

At what temperature should I cook at not the Turkey but the cooker thanks

Reply

Bill,

I’m not sure the temp of the cooker. I just crank it up and let it do its magic…

…….Scott

Followed your recipe and it worked great. It was very windy and my Big Easy was actually extinguished! I caught it fairly quickly and moved to a better location and restarted. I’d lost my time frame for cooking and went solely by temp. Pulled the 13lb bird when the breasts reached 165 degrees. I wrapped it tightly in foil for about 15 minutes before carving. Unfortunately, the legs and some of the meat deep in the breast wasn’t quite done. More time? I had 2 temperature probes in the bird. One went to 165 the other was over 170. Just posting to maybe help someone else who reads this.

Reply

I’ve been doing oil-free frying using the Big Easy for four or five years now. It really does a terrific job. Always brine the turkey overnight. I saw an earlier question about the size of the bird being limited to 16 pounds. I’ve done over 20 pounds and had excellent results. Basically if you can get it in the rack it will work just fine. I never put the lid on but it seems to brown very well anyway. A friend of mine used the lid and had a problem with the turkey turning black but now I wonder if she had sugar in her brine. I’ve never used a rub or drizzled oil on the bird but will try that next time.

Reply

Frying my first turkey tomorrow. Kind of nervous. Hope it works out. I’ve only used the fryer once since I’ve owned it. Anyone have any pointers? Not really sure on a rub or injection yet…..

Reply

Oh, and how do you brine a turkey???

Ed,

How was it?

Tried this recipe tonight. Followed it to the letter and that turkey is beautiful and Delish! We’ve cook a few chickens and a pork roast since we got our big easy but this was the first turkey. Great recipe! We will be cooking more soon.

Reply

Kimbrie,

Glad it came out well!

…….Scott

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