Brined Brown Sugar Deep Fried Turkey

  • recipe image cover





Turkey brined in a sweet and tangy mixture of brown sugar, Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper.
Recipe courtesy of Butterball, LLC.
For more mouth-watering recipes, visit

Use only oils with high smoke points, such as peanut, canola or safflower oil.

To determine the correct amount of oil, place the turkey in the pot before adding seasoning and add water until turkey is covered. Take turkey out of the water before marking the oil level. Measure the amount of water and use a corresponding amount of oil. Dry the pot thoroughly of all water.

To prevent burns from the splattering oil wear oven mitts/gloves, long sleeves, heavy shoes and even glasses.

It is wise to have two people lowering and raising the turkey.

Stay with the cooker at all times as the heat must be regulated to maintain 350 degrees F. If the temperature drops to 340 degrees F or below, oil will begin to seep into the turkey.


3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1½ cups Dijon-style mustard
¼ cup salt
2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 gal. cold water
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and crushed
3 gal. peanut oil for frying
1 (10 - 12 lb.) Butterball® Whole Turkey, thawed if frozen


Combine brown sugar, mustard, salt and cayenne pepper in large non-metallic container. Gradually whisk in the water, thyme and garlic.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Discard or refrigerate for another use. You can use the turkey lifter while in the brine mixture only. (Do not use in the fryer.)
Place turkey in brine mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oil to 400°F.
Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Place turkey, breast side up, in basket. Slowly lower basket into hot oil, being cautious of splattering oil.
Maintain oil temperature at about 350°F. Fry turkey for 3½ to 4 minutes per pound. Remove from oil to check doneness. Insert an instant-read thermometer into thickest part of the breast, not touching bone. Temperature should read 170°F. Insert thermometer into thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone. Temperature should be 180°F.
Remove turkey from hot oil and drain on paper towels. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.