Fried Turkey Brined in Cayenne and Brown Sugar
- Ready In:
- 3 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups Dijon mustard
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt, plus
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 gallons cold water
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 head garlic, separated into cloves and crushed
- 1 (12 lb) whole turkey
- peanut oil (about 4-5 gallons depending on your fryer) or vegetable oil (about 4-5 gallons depending on your fryer)
- In a whole-turkey-size stockpot, whisk brown sugar, mustard, salt and cayenne.
- Gradually whisk in water, and then add thyme and garlic.
- Add turkey, cover and brine in refrigerator for 35 hours.
- If you cannot fit the pot in your refrigerator, you can place it in an ice chest or other container (keep an eye on your ice).
- Bring the oil to 375° in your turkey fryer - this can take up to an hour.
- Remove turkey from brine and pat it dry inside and out with paper towels.
- If your family or guests are salt-sensitive wash the turkey thoroughly then pat until it is dry as you can get it with paper towels.
- Transfer the turkey to a frying basket, breast side up.
- Lower into oil and fry for 3 minutes per pound, 36 minutes.
- Lift the basket out of the fryer and drain the turkey on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet or pan for about 15 minutes.
- Carve and serve.
- Take extra care with the hot oil - Any hotter than 375F and you risk it catching fire.
Join The Conversation
This made the absolute best Thanksgiving Turkey I have ever had!!!! I'm drooling thinking about it still. If you can even imagine (it's the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and I'm considering making another one while all the stuff for deep frying is still out. The only thing I changed is I added more salt to the brine probably closer to 1-1 1/4 cups just because every other brine recipe I've made had so much more salt in it. This will be the only way I cook my whole turkey from now on. Thanks for an exceptional recipe!