Air Fryer Whole Turkey — Introducing the centerpiece of your next feast – the Air Fryer Roasted Turkey. This recipe will show you how to achieve a succulent and perfectly cooked turkey right in your air fryer. Say goodbye to the oven and hello to a faster, more flavorful turkey dinner!
If you want to cook your Thanksgiving Dinner in your air fryer, you’re in luck. Today, we will show you how to cook a juicy turkey in your air fryer!
Can You Cook A Whole Turkey In Air Fryer?
Yes, you can cook a whole turkey in an air fryer, but it’s important to note that the size of the turkey and the capacity of your air fryer will determine if this is feasible. Smaller turkeys or turkey parts like bone-in turkey breasts or legs can be cooked in most air fryers. However, a large whole turkey may not fit in standard-sized air fryers.
If you have a small turkey that can fit, air frying can be a fantastic way to cook it. It can result in a juicy, flavorful bird with golden buttery skin. Just ensure that the turkey fits comfortably in your air fryer basket and that you follow a suitable recipe and cooking instructions for the size of your turkey and your specific air fryer model.
Ingredients Needed For Roasting Whole Turkey In Air Fryer
Roasting a whole turkey in an air fryer requires a carefully selected list of ingredients to ensure a flavorful and well-seasoned bird. Here are the ingredients needed–
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Turkey: The star of the show, choose a turkey that fits comfortably in your air fryer, typically around 10-12 pounds for standard-sized air fryers.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil helps to coat the turkey, allowing the seasoning to stick and promoting crispiness.
- Salt and Pepper: These basic seasonings enhance the turkey’s natural flavor.
- Herbs and Spices: A mix of herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, and garlic powder can be used to season the turkey, adding depth and aroma.
- Optional Marinade or Brine: If desired, prepare a marinade or brine with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar to infuse additional flavors.
- Optional Stuffing: If you prefer a stuffed turkey, you can prepare your favorite stuffing mix.
- Optional Vegetables: Carrots, onions, celery, and other vegetables can be added for extra flavor and to create a bed for the turkey.
- Butter or Olive oil: A light butter or cooking spray coating on the turkey’s skin can help achieve a golden, crispy finish.
Combined with proper seasoning and cooking techniques, these ingredients will result in a delicious air-fried turkey.
How To Roast A Turkey In Air Fryer
Roasting a whole turkey in an air fryer can be a delicious and efficient way to prepare this classic dish. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
Prepare the Turkey: Thaw the turkey if it’s frozen and remove any giblets or neck from the cavity. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
Season the Turkey: Rub it inside and out with olive oil, ensuring it’s evenly coated. Season the turkey generously with salt, pepper, and herbs and spices. You can also use a marinade or brine at this stage.
Optional Stuffing: If you want to stuff the turkey, prepare your favorite stuffing mix and stuff it into the cavity. Be sure not to overfill, as the stuffing will expand during cooking.
Preheat the Air Fryer to 350°F (180°C) using air fryer mode. Make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the turkey with space around it.
Prepare the Turkey for Roasting: Place the turkey in the basket or on a rack, breast side up. Add optional vegetables to the basket or tray to create a flavorful bed.
Air Fry Turkey: Cook the turkey in the preheated air fryer for about 25 minutes per pound at 350°F (180°C). So, a 10-pound turkey will take approximately 4 to 4.5 hours.
Baste and Monitor: During air frying, you can baste the turkey with melted butter or cooking spray every hour to ensure it stays moist and develops golden, crispy skin. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the turkey. Reads 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
Rest and Carve: Carefully remove the turkey from the air fryer once it reaches the desired temperature. Allow it to rest for about 15-20 minutes before carving. This helps redistribute the juices and keeps the turkey moist.
Carve and Serve: Carve the turkey as usual and serve it with your favorite side dishes.
Pro Tips For Cooking Whole Turkey In Air Fryer
Air Fryer turkey can yield fantastic results, but it requires careful attention to ensure it’s perfectly cooked. Here are some pro tips to help you achieve the best outcome:
- Choose the Right Size Turkey: Ensure that your air fryer can accommodate the size of the turkey you plan to cook. Most air fryers are suitable for turkeys between 10 to 12 pounds.
- Thaw the Turkey Completely: If you’re using a frozen turkey, ensure it’s fully thawed before cooking. Follow safe thawing guidelines to prevent any foodborne illnesses.
- Season and Flavor: Season the turkey generously with herbs, spices, and aromatics. A dry rub or marinade can infuse more flavor. For a fragrant profile, consider using fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage.
- Use Oil for Crispy Skin: Rub the turkey with a thin layer of olive oil or melted butter before seasoning. This helps the skin turn golden and crispy during cooking.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Air Fryer: Ensure enough space around the turkey for proper air circulation. If your air fryer is smaller, you might need a smaller turkey or consider spatchcocking (splitting) the turkey for even cooking.
- Baste and Rotate: Basting with melted butter or broth every hour helps keep the turkey moist and adds flavor. Some air fryers may require you to rotate the turkey halfway through the frying time for even browning.
- Rest Before Carving: Allow the cooked turkey to rest for at least 15-20 minutes after removing it from the air fryer. This lets the juices redistribute throughout the roast, ensuring a juicy result.
- Carve Carefully: When carving the turkey, use a sharp knife and carve against the grain. This makes the turkey more tender and more accessible to cut.
- Serve with Gravy: Homemade sauce is a delicious addition to turkey. You can use the pan drippings from the air fryer as a base.
What size turkey can I cook in an air fryer?
The size of the turkey you can cook in an air fryer depends on the capacity of your model. Most air fryers can accommodate turkeys ranging from 10 to 12 pounds. Check your air fryer’s user manual for recommended sizes.
How long does it take to cook a turkey in an air fryer?
Cooking times can vary based on the turkey’s size, air fryer model, and other factors. A general guideline is to cook at 350°F (175°C) for about 20-25 minutes per pound. However, an instant-read thermometer is essential to check the internal temperature for doneness. The turkey is safe to eat when the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C).
Do I need to preheat the air fryer to cook a turkey?
Preheating is recommended for even cooking. Preheat your air fryer for 5-10 minutes at the desired air fryer temperature before placing the turkey inside.
Should I brine the turkey before frying?
Brining is optional but can enhance the turkey’s flavor and juiciness. You can brine the turkey in water, salt, sugar, and spices for several hours or overnight before adding it to your air fryer.
Can I stuff the turkey when cooking in air fryer?
It’s not recommended to stuff a whole turkey when roasting it in an air fryer. Stuffing can affect the turkey’s cooking time and may not reach a safe temperature for consumption. Consider making it separately if you want to serve stuffing with your turkey.
What do I do with the pan drippings from the air fryer?
You can use the pan drippings to make a flavorful sauce. Pour the drippings into a saucepan, add some broth or stock, and thicken with flour or cornstarch to make gravy.
Can I cook a frozen turkey in an air fryer?
It’s best to thaw the turkey completely before cooking it in an air fryer. Cooking from frozen can result in uneven cooking and may not reach the desired internal temperature safely.
How do I season the turkey for air frying?
Season the turkey with your choice of herbs, spices, and aromatics. A simple dry rub or marinade works well. For added flavor, consider using fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage.
Do I need to flip the turkey while air frying?
In most cases, you don’t need to flip the turkey when air frying. However, you may need to rotate it halfway through the cooking time if your air fryer has uneven heat distribution.
What should I do if the skin is getting too dark while cooking?
If the skin is browning too quickly, you can tent it with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning while the turkey continues to cook.
Don’t Forget To Pin!
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Air Fryer Whole Turkey
- 1 turkey bone-in, or small turkey
- 1 cup mayo
- 2 teaspoon ground sage
- 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- In a small mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sage, rosemary, salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Place the meat on the air fryer tray or in the air fryer basket.
- Season the turkey with salt and pepper.
- Rub the mayonnaise/herb mixture all over the turkey.
- Place the turkey (skin side down) into the air fryer, set the temperature to 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, flip the turkey over, and air fry until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. The exact time will depend on your air fryer and how large your breast is.
- Let the turkey rest, for about 10 minutes, before carving.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy!
- Air Fryer