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Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey
From Grilling For All Seasons, by Rick Browne

I know this isn't a barbecue or grilling recipe, but folks sure do love to fry up a turkey now and then, especially during the holidays. So read carefully, follow instructions especially regarding the burner and flame, and enjoy! I recommend marinating the turkey for at least a full 24 hours, if not 2 to 3 days before deep frying. I put the turkey in a 30- or 32-quart pot and cook it over a gas flame burner.


kitchen syringe
large fryer (30- to 32-quart) with basket or holder


For the injection marinade:

1 cup Italian dressing (important that it be strained)
1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons seasoned salt

For the Canal Street rub:

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 tablespoon paprika
Dash of nutmeg

10- to 12-pound turkey, defrosted
Peanut oil for deep frying


Mix the marinade ingredients together, then add enough water to make 1 quart of marinade.

Mix the rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove giblets from turkey, wash the bird and pat dry, especially inside the cavity. Using a kitchen syringe, inject the turkey with the marinade in multiple locations in each breast and each thigh/leg. Rub inside cavity and the complete outside of the bird with the seasoning rub. Refrigerate turkey for at least 24 hours, but if you can, place in a plastic garbage bag and seal, then refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.

You need to measure the amount of oil before pouring it into the deep fryer. Place turkey in empty pot, pour in water until turkey is covered by about an inch, then remove turkey and dry it thoroughly. Mark the remaining water level in the pot with a marker or crayon, pour out the water, dry the pot thoroughly, add oil to the mark, and begin heating.

Using a frying thermometer, heat peanut oil in deep fryer to 360F (182C).

Place bird on turkey basket or holder. SHUT OFF FLAME. Slowly lower into the oil, stopping and lifting it slightly as needed to prevent splattering, until the bird is submerged. TURN FLAME BACK ON.

Cook 3 to 4 minutes per pound. DO NOT LEAVE THE POT UNATTENDED WHILE COOKING. When turkey reaches the proper temperature (breast 160F (71C), thigh 175F (80C)), TURN FLAME OFF. Slowly lift the turkey out of the pot and drain it on paper towels. Let the oil in the pot cool down at least an hour before you try to move it.

Let turkey sit for 5 minutes, then carve and enjoy.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10


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