Cajun Deep Fried Whole Turkey

Aug 25, 2010Recipes, Turkey Frying

The best way to season your turkey, or any other large piece of meat, is with an injector and a spicy sauce (recipe for sauce below). Use at least 1/2 oz. of sauce per pound of turkey (1 oz per pound is what we use), making sure to inject the sauce deeply and evenly. You should also season the turkey inside and out with seasoning such as salt, black pepper, cayenne or red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery salt(Tony’s Chachers Creole seasoning works well). Much of the seasoning applied to the outside of the turkey will wash off during cooking, so don’t be conservative when applying seasoning. We usually try to season the turkey the night before our cookout, this seems to allow the seasoning to work better.

Preheat your cooking oil to 325 degrees F. Dry turkey with paper towels both inside and out to reduce the danger of splashing oil. Place the turkey on turkey frying stand, breast down, and lower the stand slowly and carefully into the hot oil. We have found by partially dipping the turkey in the oil and lifting it out several times helps remove the excess water and reduce splashing oil. We usually cook smaller turkeys (10#-12# or less) about four minutes per pound and larger birds about five minutes per pound. Make sure that the bird is completely submerged in oil.

Basting/Injecting Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 Quart of water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 oz. pepper sauce(La red hot)
  • 3 oz. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 oz. garlic juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. onion juice
  • 1 teaspoon meat tenderizer


Mix all ingredients in sauce pan and bring to a boil, let simmer for at least 15 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. This sauce may be used on meat, poultry, or wild game.

You may adjust above seasoning to taste by adding different spices or varying amounts. Any left over sauce may be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator. Some cooks substitute other liquids instead of water. Some of the liquids substituted for water are beer, Coke, Dr Pepper, and fruit juice(apple, pineapple, cranberry, etc.).

  • Some people find the 1/2 cup of salt in the above recipe is too much for their taste.
  • When seasoning fowl, puncture skin as few times as possible.
  • When seasoning large cuts of meat always inject from the top so the sauce won’t leak out. If you feel it necessary to inject from the side, always angle needle downward.

Apple-Brined Turkey Sandwich with Celery Root and Apples in Creamy Mustard Dressing


  • 1 gal. Water
  • 2 ½ cups Salt
  • 2 qt. Cider
  • 4 qt. Apple juice
  • 2 cups Brown sugar
  • 8 ea. Cinnamon stick
  • ½ oz. Peppercorns
  • 10 ea. Cloves
  • Bay leaves and thyme to taste
  • 2 ea. Onions, peeled and cut in large pieces
  • 2 ea. Apples, cut in large pieces


Bring the water, cider, and apple juice to a boil; add the salt and brown sugar. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes; skim any foam off the top. Add the remaining ingredients and chill over ice or in a sink with cold water to 40°F to 45°F. Add the turkey to the brine and let rest overnight. Agitate in the morning to speed up the brining process. Brine for 1 to 2 days. Rinse with water and dry for at least 2 hours. Deep-fry the turkey according to directions.

© 2011 The Culinary Institute of America. Recipe developed by The Culinary Institute of America as an industry service to The Peanut Institute.

Sambo’s Turbo Injection Liquid


  • 2 oz onion juice
  • 2 oz garlic juice
  • 6 oz grape fruit juice (optional) orange juice, pineapple juice, or apple juice)
  • 2 oz worchestershire (Lea & Perkins white wine)
  • 16 oz white wine (Sauterne, Rhrine, etc.)


Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use. This sauce will keep for several weeks if refrigerated.

Instructions for Deep Fat Fried Turkey


You will need a 36 to 40 quart pot & lid, either a basket or turkey frying stand, a 12″ propane cooker (at least 100,000 BTU), a long stem thermometer, 35 pounds peanut oil or 50 pounds shortening, spice injector & sauce, and a ten or twelve pound turkey.

Thoroughly thaw turkey and rinse with cold water. After you pat turkey with paper towels to dry you need to inject the sauce. Use 1 oz sauce per pound of turkey. Inject about 2 oz in each breast, 1 oz in each thigh, and 1 oz in each drumstick. Sprinkle seasoning (either Sambo’s secret seasoning or Tony’s Chachers Creole seasoning) inside and outside of turkey to taste(approximately 1 teaspoon per pound).

Place seasoned turkey in plastic bag and seal. Refrigerate at least over night (24 hours is better).

When you are ready to fry a turkey put enough oil in pot to completely cover turkey and preheat to 325 degrees F. Remove turkey from bag and place either in basket (backside down) or on a turkey frying stand (breast down). Insert turkey in oil slowly and carefully and then remove. Do this 3 or four times. This does two things; first it “seals” the turkey and secondly it boils out the excess moisture and prevents the oil from boiling over. Cook the turkey about 4 minutes per pound.

Remove, let cool, and enjoy.

Remember, once you have set everything up, it is very easy to cook several turkeys. You may want to cook several and freeze them for later or invite friends to provide a turkey and make it a social event