Frying a Turkey in an Electric Deep Fryer

It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day and my oven began turning off abruptly during a preheat and displaying error codes.  I was planning to host 15lb for Thanksgiving dinner and unable to have my oven repaired before Thanksgiving. After some research for alternatives to using a propane deep fryer (I wrote an article about different methods to prepare a turkey without an oven, that article can be found here) I decided to Deep Fry my Turkey using an indoor electric deep fryer. My guests were thrilled and so was I with the outcome.  

I have always wanted to deep fry a turkey, when I researched it traditional methods of deep frying turkey they were very unsafe.  Hot bubbling oil, an open flame, and a propane tank in close proximity can be a recipe for disaster. I avoided deep frying a turkey because of the hazards associated. Since I was in a pinch, I decided to search for safe methods of Deep Frying a turkey and came across the Masterbuilt  Butterball XL fryer.

Benefits of the Masterbuilt Butterball XL fryer

Safety is the major benefit of the Masterbuilt Butterball XL fryer. There is a lid to keep the hot boiling oil inside of the deep fryer. The magnetic power cord provides additional safety, if anyone accidently snags the cord, the fryer filled with oil WILL NOT tumble over, instead the power cord detaches from the unit and it powers off.

Another benefit of the Masterbuilt Butterball XL fryer is that it can be used indoors. I would never leave the deep fryer unattended, but during the cooking process I did not have to babysit the fryer. I was free to prepare other dishes while my turkey cooked in the fryer.

Setting up the Masterbuilt Butterball XL Electric Deep Fryer

Setting up the Masterbuilt Butterball XL Electric Deep Fryer took less than 10 minutes.  There are five major components the outer shell, the basin that holds oil, the mesh basket that holds the turkey, the control panel and the magnetic power called. It also comes with two accessories, a spout to help with draining oil. A hook to lift the mesh turkey basket out of the oil.

Frying A Turkey in the Masterbuilt Butterball XL electric Deep Fryer

Seasoning the Turkey Before loading it into the Deep Fryer

I cleaned the deep fryer prior to its first use. I let Turkey sit out on the counter for about an hour prior to cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.  I used paper towel to dry the turkey and  then seasoned the skin, cut a small slit under the skin near the breast to season underneath the skin as well. I planned to inject the turkey with marinade, but I skipped this step because I could not find my flavor injector.  I filled the fryer with peanut oil to the max line and allowed it to warm up to 375F.

The user manual also recommends soaking the turkey in warm water prior to deep frying to remove any ice pockets. I skipped this step because I purchased a fresh (never frozen) turkey and was fairly confident that my turkey was ice crystal free.

Once the oil was hot, I loaded the turkey into the turkey basket that was included. My husband put on the heat resistant gloves that he uses for the outdoor grill, and slowly lowered the Turkey in to the oil. Once the turkey was in the oil, I closed the lid and set a timer for 35 minutes. I stayed in the kitchen while the turkey cooked. I cleaned up a little and worked on some dishes on the stove.

When the 35 minutes was up, my husband used the included hook to lift the turkey out of the hot oil. I let it rest on the side of the deep fryer for about 15 minutes to let the oil drain off from the Turkey. When the Turkey came out of the oil it was beautiful, golden brown with crispy skin.

How much oil does a Masterbuilt ButterBall XL Turkey Fryer use?

3 Gallons of Peanut Oil for Frying a Turkey

To fill the oil to the max line of the deep fryer I used most of a 3-gallon container of peanut oil.  The manual says it uses 2.75 gallons of oil to fill to the max line and that is about as much as I used.

How long does it take to deep fry turkey in a Butterball fryer?

I used the recommendation in user manual and cooked my Turkey for 3.5 minutes per pound at 375F. For my 10lb Turkey that was 35 minutes of cooking. Cooking time for a small 8lb Turkey is 28 minutes, and cooking for the largest size Turkey (20lbs) that the Butterball XL Turkey Fryer can accommodate is 70 minutes. The table below gives recommended cook times for varying sized turkeys.

Weight lb Cooking Time
8 28
9 32
10 35
11 39
12 42
13 46
14 49
15 53
16 56
17 60
18 63
19 67
20 70

Can you Reuse Peanut Oil After Frying a Turkey?

Yes, I was able to reuse the Peanut Oil After Deep Frying a Tukey. After frying the turkey, the oil was still pretty clean. Since the turkey is not dipped in flour, there was very little debris floating in the oil after the Turkey was done.

The 3 gallon container of  peanut oil that I used to fry my Turkey cost around $25 and I wanted to get  as much use possible. On thanksgiving after I fried my turkey, I fried salmon cakes in my deep fryer and they were delicious. The day after Thanksgiving, I used the peanut oil to fry a batch of chicken wings. They also turned out delicious. After I fried the chicken, I discarded the peanut oil. The oil started to become discolored, and I used flour to batter the chicken, which left a lot of debris in the oil after I was finished frying the chicken.  

Cleaning Up After Using the Masterbuilt Butterball XL Turkey Fryer

The day of Thanksgiving I let the oil sit in the fryer. There was minimal oil splatter, so I just used a paper towel and a kitchen cleaner to clean up around the deep fryer.  The fryer has a drain spout that makes it easier to drain the oil. I drained the oil into the same 3 gallon container that it came in.

The components (with the exception of the outer shell and the control panel) of the Masterbuilt Butterball xl deep fryer are dishwasher safe, but I washed them by hand. I let them soak in dish detergent for a few hours to really cut through the grease. Then I used a sponge and more dish detergent to really get them clean. I guess technically the components of the fryer could fit in the dishwasher, but for my dishwasher, it would occupy the entire load.

Mimi D.

Mimi D is the creator of Dream Plan Smile. An NYC native, she is a wife and mom with a passion for crafting. She holds a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Project Management. In her current role as a working wife and mom, she is getting a crash course in budgeting, planning, & organization.

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