Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon and Pecan Glaze

Fried turkey makes quick work of cooking a turkey with delicious results; this one even better with an out of this world honey, bourbon, and pecan glaze.

Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon, and Pecan Sauce Whole on a Platter with Carrots

As much as I love to experiment with new recipes for almost any occasion, this Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon and Pecan Glaze is a keeper, one that I will most definitely make again.

I had no intention of spending the entire day in the kitchen preparing a big meal either for Christmas this year. We’re fine with a more relaxed day and I’ve often prepared this Honey Roasted Lamb Salad or just a simple ham for our Christmas ‘feast.’

But this year, I wanted something different for Christmas so thought I would do a ‘trial’ and fry a turkey. It was almost too easy; it was most definitely delish! I had received this Masterbuilt Indoor Turkey Fryer from the folks at Masterbuilt and I was anxious to try it out. Yes, I said indoor.

My only previous experience with fried turkey was several years ago when my family went with friends to visit their relatives that lived near Pikes Peak. They had a propane fryer and it was positioned far from the house at the end of a driveway to avoid the dreaded incidence of ‘burning the house down.’

Knowing that each year several people lose their homes when deciding to fry turkey I naturally had some anxiety. There was no need; this unit has everything contained inside an electric model that eliminates the worry about flames meeting oil and house meeting doom.

The optimum size for a turkey for this unit is about 12 pounds. I was lucky to score a couple of fresh turkeys this year and since I did not have to wait days for them to thaw, I decided to brine the turkey the night before I planned to fry it.

I came up with my own take using these two brines from Jenn Cuisine and The Pioneer Woman; mine was a combination of all apple cider per Jenn and some additional herbs and spices ala Ree. I had never brined a turkey before but was game to try and must say the combination of brining and frying was easy and the results were fabulous.

I used a small cooler for the overnight brining since my fridge does not have the room. Making sure it was thoroughly clean, I dumped several inches of ice in the bottom of the cooler followed by the turkey and then more ice to cover. I poured the cooled brine on top of the ice and put the cooler in the garage. It was perfect; that there was still some ice the next morning assured me it has stayed cool enough and a simple rinse and dry and it was ready to go.

Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon, and Pecan Sauce Sliced on a Platter

The frying part? Easy beyond belief. I used peanut oil for the fryer; it’s the one recommended by Masterbuilt. Once the oil was hot, the turkey is immersed in it and voila…a finished turkey in 44 minutes. Let me repeat that. FORTY-FOUR MINUTES!!!

Though it was juicy and succulent, I decided to make a glaze that John McLemore, the owner of Masterbuilt, includes in his book, ‘Dadgum That’s Good‘ with recipes for not just fried turkey but barbecue, smoking, grilling, boiling and steaming. It was not your standard Thanksgiving seasonings and I liked that; I don’t like to replicate the flavors from one holiday to the next.

The glaze with roasted pecans in honey was SO good and yes, true to form I might have put a nip of bourbon in there. I do have a reputation to keep you know and it did seem perfect for a Christmas turkey. Fried and boozy…oh yes! You don’t have to fry a turkey to try it either; it would be a fabulous addition to a baked turkey or ham.

I’ll be serving it with some Cosmopolitan Cranberry Sauce and simple baked sweet potatoes seasoned with Sage and Caramelized Shallots Compound Butter. Easy and yum it is!

See that pretty serving platter? My Grandma Lizette Bathe gave that to me many, many years ago. She was in her 90’s and starting to show signs of Alzheimer’s and I think she must have known that plans were in the works to move her into a care facility.

When we were kids, my Grandma and Grandpa lived about 45 minutes from us so we just saw them irregularly. When I was 22 I moved into a small single bedroom home that was just minutes from her (my Grandfather died many years before she did) and that turned out to be the best move ever. I would visit her every Sunday afternoon and sometimes take her out to dinner during the week too.

My Grandma was then and remains for me today the epitome of sweetness; I never heard her lose her temper and she was so very special to me. No matter the time of day, when I walked in her front door it was always the same question, ‘Are you hungry Barbie?’

And she always had something good to eat in her fridge! She insisted that I take this serving platter and a matching gravy boat because she wanted to make sure I had something of hers. I’m so glad she did. I know she would love this turkey…as long as I had a beer for her on the side!

More Thanksgiving Main Courses and Leftovers

Thanksgiving doesn't have to mean turkey; I've made chicken and pork dishes that are just as wonderful and everyone loves!

PIN IT! ‘Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon and Pecan Glaze’

Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon, and Pecan Sauce

Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon, and Pecan Sauce

Yield: 8 Servings

Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon and Pecan Glaze

Fried Turkey with Honey, Bourbon, and Pecan Sauce Whole on a Platter with Carrots

Fried turkey is topped with a fabulous pecan, honey and bourbon glaze.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


For the Turkey:

  • Peanut Oil
  • 1 10-12 lb thawed turkey
  • Salt, pepper and/or your favorite seasoning for chicken and turkey

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 4 Tbsp bourbon, optional


To Prepare the Turkey:

  1. Prepare and cook according to manufacturers directions for your appliance making sure it is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.I used peanut oil and an almost 12 pound turkey seasoned very lightly with a spice rub especially for fried poultry.
  2. Once the turkey is fully cooked; allow it to drain in accordance with manufacturer's directions and then let cool for 20-25 minutes.

To Make the Pecan Glaze:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. remove from the oven, let cool and chop coarsely.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the honey and butter. Once combined, stir in the chopped pecans and bourbon if using and cook for 8 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  4. Remove the glaze from the heat and keep warm.
  5. Carve turkey, place on serving plate and pour glaze over the meat, passing the glaze as necessary.


Cook time does not include time for overnight brining. I brined mine for approximately 18 hours.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 296mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 12g

This is a sponsored post for Masterbuilt but all commentary is my own.


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  1. I just purchased a Masterbuilt turkey fryer for this year’s bird. I can’t wait to use it. I’m glad to hear you say it’s incredibly easy to use. Love that glaze too. May have to use it on one of the birds! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I had never tried fried turkey until I met my wife and was invited to her house for Thanksgiving (back in the 90’s). Her father was frying a turkey using the propane open flame method. I was worried the whole time about not hurting anyone’s feelings when I bit into a soggy oily mess of bird. What a shock. Long story short, fried turkey is all I eat now and the thought of getting to cook one indoors…thanks ya’ll!

  3. I too have cooked the turkey with the bag of giblets still inside. It’s not funny until years later.
    Another Thanksgiving, a little cousin came for dinner. Outspoken, as most 4 year olds are, he poked my Dad’s potbelly and said: “You look like you ate the whole turkey!”

  4. First time I bought a turkey, I didn’t realize it needed to thaw for DAYS, so it wasn’t ready in time for Thanksgiving. We just had it a couple days later. Was an informal thanksgiving, so not a big deal. Still funny to think about though!

  5. One year while baking a turkey I drop a pot holder in the oven and it caught fire. Till this day we always double check where all the pot holders are. 🙂

  6. My family always had a deep fried turkey along with a traditional turkey at both thanksgiving and Christmas. I have an outdoor fryer, but it is hard to do in New England in the winter. My wife (who grew up in California) generously agreed to fry a turkey for friends in January. I had to put a stop to that! Who is going to stand out there and watch while standing in a foot of snow? If I had an indoor fryer I could fulfill her obligation.

  7. My first turkey ever, new husband, new mother-in-law ….I thought i had everything about as perfect as I could make it ….until DH started carving the turkey and there was the entire bag of giblets cooked neatly in the cavity. 🙂

  8. My first Thanksgiving being married was a difficult. I had no idea how to make the turkey and it ended up being pink inside and we just went to his moms for thanksgiving. I made a turkey for Christmas and learned to leave the turkey in there for a few more hours and not to always go by what the time says cause my oven at that time wasn’t the best. That Christmas turkey turned out great and never had a problem with turkeys after that.

  9. There are no funny turkey stories. In fact, I have to say that most Thanksgiving birds have been pretty consistent over the years, although looking back, I suppose my mom and grandmother pretty much did them in after starting the roasting at 4 am for a 3 pm dinner!

  10. How about a live turkey story? I was by the huge turkey corral at the farm I work with when I noticed one of the birds had gotten through the fence. It’s rare, but it happens. The bird wasn’t wandering off, it was trying to get back inside with the other 99 turkeys, but it couldn’t figure out how. Feeling bad for this poor, lone turkey I tried to guide him back through the gate. Needless to say, guiding a turkey is pretty fruitless. I did manage to get it inside the corral after about 15 minutes though!

  11. This was my first year hosting Thanksgiving for my family and I was so nervous! I decided to get a fresh organic turkey through my CSA and chose a simple herb and butter preparation. It was delicious and a ton of fun cooking for everyone. I would love to serve up a fried turkey next year!

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