Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey

Cajun Deep Fried Turkey

Deep-frying is the trendy way to cook turkey in record time! Deep-frying makes for exceptionally juicy meat and crispy skin, too!


Cajun Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chiles or ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Cajun Marinade

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  • 1 whole turkey (10 to 12 pounds), thawed if frozen
  • 1 poultry or meat injector
  • 1 turkey deep-fryer, consisting of 40- to 60-quart pot with basket, burner and propane tank
  • 5 gallons peanut, canola or safflower oil


  1. Read the Turkey Deep-Frying Do's and Don'ts (below).
  2. In small bowl, mix all spice rub ingredients until blended; set aside. In shallow glass or plastic bowl, mix all marinade ingredients until salt is dissolved; set aside.
  3. Remove giblets and neck from turkey; rinse turkey well with cold water; pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Take extra care to dry both inside cavities, because water added to hot oil can cause excessive bubbling. To allow for good oil circulation through the cavity, do not tie legs together. Cut off wing tips and tail because they can get caught in the fryer basket. Place turkey in large pan.
  4. Rub inside and outside of turkey with spice rub. Inject marinade into turkey, following directions that came with injector. Cover turkey in pan; place in refrigerator at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
  5. Place outdoor gas burner on level dirt or grassy area. Add oil to cooking pot until about 2/3 full. Clip deep-fry thermometer to edge of pot. At medium-high setting, heat oil to 375 degrees F. (May take 20 to 40 minutes depending on outside temperature, wind and weather conditions.) Place turkey, neck end down, on basket or rack. When deep-fry thermometer reaches 375 degrees F, slowly lower turkey into hot oil. Level of oil will rise due to frothing caused by moisture from turkey but will stabilize in about 1 minute.
  6. Immediately check oil temperature; increase flame so oil temperature is maintained at 350 degrees F. If temperature drops to 340 degrees F or below, oil will begin to seep into turkey.
  7. Fry turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound, or about 35 to 42 minutes for 10- to 12-pound turkey. Stay with fryer at all times because heat may need to be regulated throughout frying.
  8. At minimum frying time, carefully remove turkey to check for doneness. A meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast should read 170 degrees F. If inserted into thigh, it should read 180 degrees F. If necessary, return turkey to oil and continue cooking. When turkey is done, let drain a few minutes.
  9. Remove turkey from rack; place on serving platter. Cover with foil; let stand 20 minutes for easier carving.

Yield: 20 servings

Turkey Deep-Frying Do's and Don'ts

We want your turkey-frying experience to be successful, especially if it's your first time, so we've gathered these important reminders. Please take a moment to read them before getting ready for a great-tasting feast!




For best results when deep-frying, use cooking oils that can withstand high temperatures. Peanut, canola and safflower oils are at the top of the list!

To learn more about deep-frying turkeys, visit National Turkey Federation -

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 335 (Calories from Fat 190 ); Total Fat 21 g (Saturated Fat 5 g); Cholesterol 100 mg; Sodium 800 mg; Total Carbohydrate 0g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 36 g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 10 %

Exchanges: 5 Lean Meat; 1 Fat

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Recipe and photo credit (used with permission): Betty Crocker 2007/TM General Mills