Transform Your Turkey Game: Discover if Air Fryer Can Cook a Whole Turkey!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start planning your feast. One dish that always steals the show is a perfectly cooked turkey. Whether you’re cooking for a small gathering or feeding a crowd, an air fryer can be a game-changer for getting that crisp, flavorful skin and juicy meat.

But is it possible to cook a whole turkey in an air fryer? The answer is a resounding yes! With a few simple tips and tricks, you can have a delicious and hassle-free turkey dinner. In this blog post, we’ll give you all the information you need to cook a whole turkey in an air fryer, step-by-step. So get ready to impress your dinner guests with a perfectly cooked and delicious air-fried turkey.


If you’ve been wondering if you can cook a whole turkey in an air fryer, the answer is yes! While it may seem like a daunting task, it is actually quite easy with the right technique. The first step is to choose a turkey that will fit in your air fryer. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to cook a large turkey in a small air fryer, so make sure you choose a bird that’s the right size.

Once you have your turkey, make sure to season it well and truss it so it cooks evenly. Preheat your air fryer and then place the turkey inside, breast-side down. Cook for about 30 minutes, then flip the turkey over and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Cooking a whole turkey in an air fryer can be a quick and easy way to prepare a delicious meal for your family or friends.

Understanding Air Fryers

Air fryers have become a popular kitchen gadget for those who want healthier options for fried food. Essentially, an air fryer is a mini convection oven that uses hot air to cook food instead of oil. This leads to a reduction in fat content and calories in the food being cooked.

It works by circulating hot air around the food, creating a crispy exterior and a tender interior. Air fryers can be used to cook a variety of foods such as chicken wings, French fries, and even desserts. Plus, they are easy to use and clean up compared to traditional fryers.

So, if you want to enjoy delicious fried food without the guilt, an air fryer may be just what you need in your kitchen.

can i cook a whole turkey in an air fryer

Choosing the Right Size Turkey

Choosing the right size turkey is a crucial step in planning your Thanksgiving feast. It can be quite overwhelming to figure out how much meat you should buy, especially if you’re not sure how many people will be attending your dinner. One thing to keep in mind is that you should aim for at least 1 pound of turkey per person.

However, if you want to have leftovers or if you’re serving a particularly hungry group, you may want to increase that to 5 pounds per person. It’s also essential to consider the size of your oven and roasting pan.

A too big turkey might not fit in your roasting pan or oven, and you’ll end up with uncooked parts. Don’t worry if you buy a turkey that’s larger than expected; you can always freeze the leftovers or repurpose them into a new dish. With a little planning and consideration, you can ensure that you have the perfect sized bird for your Thanksgiving celebration.


Can you actually cook a whole turkey in an air fryer? The answer is a resounding yes! It may sound impossible, but an air fryer is actually perfect for cooking a small whole turkey. Just make sure that your turkey is small enough to fit in your air fryer without touching the sides. You can also use a meat thermometer to make sure that the thickest part of the turkey is at an internal temperature of 165°F.

Before cooking your turkey, you should also prepare it by seasoning as desired and ensuring that it is completely thawed. Another important tip is to brush your turkey with oil to help it brown better in the air fryer. With all of these preparation tips in mind, you can easily make a delicious whole turkey in your air fryer.

So, next time someone asks you “Can I cook a whole turkey in an air fryer?” – You now have the answer!

Thawing the Turkey

Thawing the turkey is an essential part of preparing it for your Thanksgiving feast. Whether you’re roasting, smoking, or deep-frying your bird, it’s crucial to give it enough time to defrost properly. The best way to defrost your turkey is in the fridge.

Plan ahead and allow about 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. If you’re running short on time, you can use the cold-water method. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes.

This speeds up the process, but it’s still going to take about 30 minutes per pound. Whatever method you choose, just remember that you don’t want to leave your bird out at room temperature for too long, as this can encourage bacterial growth. So, take the time to thaw your turkey properly, and you’ll have a delicious and safe Thanksgiving meal for you and your loved ones.

Seasoning and Injecting the Turkey

“turkey seasoning and injecting” When it comes to preparing your turkey for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion, seasoning and injecting are essential steps that can take the flavor profile of your bird from ordinary to extraordinary. To begin with, make sure your turkey is thoroughly thawed and cleaned before getting started. For seasoning, you can use a dry rub or a wet marinade, or a combination of both.

Dry rubs can be made from a variety of spices, including salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and herbs. Wet marinades typically consist of oil and acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice, along with seasonings. Once your turkey is seasoned, it’s time to inject it with additional flavor.

Injecting is a great way to ensure that the entire bird is infused with your desired flavors. You can use a specialized injector tool or a large syringe to inject a mixture of broth, butter, herbs, or other liquids directly into the meat. This not only adds moisture but also intensifies the flavor.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your injections like adding teriyaki sauce or BBQ sauce. The injection process should be done evenly, injecting in several locations, including the breast, thighs, and legs. With these simple steps, you’ll have a perfectly seasoned and juicy turkey that is sure to impress your guests.

Preheating the Air Fryer

Preheating your air fryer before using it is an important step in the cooking process. Not only does it ensure your food is cooked evenly, but it also helps to prevent sticking. To preheat your air fryer, plug it in and set it to the desired temperature.

Let it heat up for 3-5 minutes before adding your food. It’s similar to preheating an oven, and it’s crucial to do so for the best results. Imagine trying to bake a cake without preheating your oven first – it just wouldn’t work, would it? The same goes for your air fryer.

Preheating gives it time to reach the optimal temperature, so your food cooks quickly and evenly. Remember to always preheat your air fryer for the best cooking experience.

Cooking Time and Temperature

If you are one of those people who enjoy experimenting with new cooking techniques, you may have wondered whether you could cook a whole turkey in your air fryer. While it might seem like a crazy idea, the truth is that it is possible to cook a turkey in an air fryer. However, you need to take into account the cooking time and temperature.

Cooking a whole turkey requires a longer cooking time and a higher temperature than cooking smaller pieces of meat. Therefore, you need to make sure that your air fryer is large enough to fit a whole turkey, and that you do not overcrowd it. The temperature should be set to around 375°F, and you will need to cook the turkey for around 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the bird.

With patience and the right directions, you can achieve a crispy and juicy turkey in your air fryer. Why not give it a try this holiday season?

Recommended Cooking Time and Temperature

Cooking Time and Temperature Cooking time and temperature are the two most important factors when it comes to cooking any dish to perfection. Whether you are cooking meat, vegetables, or baking a cake, it is essential to pay careful attention to the recommended cooking time and temperature. Overcooking or undercooking can ruin the taste and texture of the dish.

The cooking time and temperature for each dish may vary based on the ingredients and the cooking method. For instance, if you are cooking a steak, it is recommended to cook it at a high temperature for a shorter time to prevent overcooking and drying out. On the other hand, if you are cooking a roast beef, you may need to cook it at a lower temperature for a longer time to allow the meat to cook through evenly.

Therefore, it is crucial to follow the instructions closely, use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is safe for consumption, and adjust the cooking time and temperature as needed. By doing this, you can ensure that your dish is cooked perfectly every time, and you’ll be able to enjoy the delicious taste of your cooking.

Monitoring Internal Temperature

Temperature monitoring is crucial when it comes to cooking. The internal temperature of the food determines its safety and quality. Meat, poultry, and seafood must be cooked at high enough temperatures to kill harmful bacteria.

Each type of food has different recommended temperatures to ensure they are fully cooked. For instance, chicken should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F while beef should be cooked at 145°F. With the right cooking temperature, the food will be safe to eat, retain its flavor, and texture.

To monitor the temperature, a meat thermometer is the best tool to use. Insert it into the food’s thickest part, and it will give an accurate reading instantly. So, always make sure to keep an eye on the internal temperature of your food when cooking to ensure a safe and perfectly cooked meal.

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering whether you can cook a whole turkey in an air fryer, the answer is, unfortunately, no. Air fryers are not large enough to accommodate a whole turkey, even the smallest ones. However, you can still use your air fryer to cook a turkey breast or turkey legs and wings.

Simply place them in the air fryer basket and cook them until they are cooked through and golden brown. Be sure to check the internal temperature of the meat with a meat thermometer to ensure it is cooked thoroughly. While cooking a whole turkey in an air fryer may not be possible, it is still a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for many other dishes and snacks, such as crispy fries, chicken wings, and roasted vegetables.

So, while you may not be able to use your air fryer to cook your Thanksgiving turkey, you can still enjoy all the other delicious dishes it makes effortlessly.


While the idea of cooking a whole turkey in an air fryer may seem enticing, it’s important to remember that size does matter. Air fryers are designed to cook small portions quickly and efficiently, and a full-sized turkey may not fit or cook evenly. So unless you want to risk a poultry explosion in your kitchen, stick to traditional methods of turkey preparation.

Remember, sometimes it’s better to stick with tried and true methods of cooking, rather than trying to reinvent the turkey wheel.”


What is an air fryer and how does it work?
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air technology to cook food by circulating hot air around the food. It works by using a fan to circulate the hot air and provide the same crispiness and taste as traditional deep frying.

Can I cook a whole turkey in an air fryer?
Yes, it is possible to cook a whole turkey in an air fryer. However, the size of the air fryer will determine the size of the turkey that can be cooked. Ensure that the turkey fits the air fryer and follow the air fryer manual’s recommended cooking time and temperature.

Do I need to preheat my air fryer before cooking a whole turkey?
Yes, it’s recommended to preheat your air fryer before cooking a whole turkey. Preheating allows the air fryer to reach the right temperature, ensuring that the turkey is cooked properly.

What’s the recommended cooking time for a whole turkey in an air fryer?
The cooking time for a whole turkey in an air fryer may vary based on the size of the turkey and the model of the air fryer. However, on average, it takes about 10-12 minutes per pound to cook a turkey in an air fryer. It’s best to use a meat thermometer to check if the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165°F before serving.

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