How to Deep Fry a Cajun Turkey: A Delicious and Festive Recipe

This Thanksgiving, try something different with this Deep-Fried Turkey recipe! This method will show you how to make deep-fried turkey using a simple rub and injectable liquid.

It’s almost time to talk about Thanksgiving—just a few weeks away—and how to make a juicy bird. Every American family has a preferred way to cook Thanksgiving turkey.

My Mom has always oven baked her turkey. My husband’s family smokes their birds. And my small family? We’re big fans of deep-frying turkeys, and we’ve started a new tradition with this Deep Fried Cajun Turkey recipe.

In order to help you make your own Thanksgiving masterpiece, I’m going to share with you a recipe for Deep Fried Cajun Turkey as well as some basic tips and tricks for frying whole turkeys!

Are you looking for a unique and flavorful way to cook your Thanksgiving turkey this year? Look no further than this Cajun deep-fried turkey recipe! This method is sure to impress your guests with its crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat

What You’ll Need:

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 cups butter
    • 7 fluid ounces beer
    • ¼ cup onion juice
    • ¼ cup garlic juice
    • ¼ cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
    • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 (12-pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
    • 3 gallons peanut oil for frying, or as needed
  • Equipment:
    • Large saucepan
    • Marinade-injecting syringe or turkey baster with an injector tip
    • Large plastic bag
    • Turkey deep-fryer
    • Instant-read thermometer
    • Serving platter


  1. Prepare the Marinade:

    • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
    • Add the beer, onion juice, garlic juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
    • Mix until the marinade is well blended.
  2. Marinate the Turkey:

    • Use a marinade-injecting syringe or turkey baster with an injector tip to inject the marinade into the turkey, including the legs, back, wings, thighs, and breasts.
    • Place the turkey in a large plastic bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours to overnight.
  3. Prepare the Fryer:

    • When it’s time to fry, remove the turkey from the bag and place it into the cooking basket.
    • Measure the amount of oil needed by lowering the turkey into the fryer and filling it with enough oil to cover it.
    • Remove the turkey and set it aside.
    • Heat the oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
  4. Fry the Turkey:

    • Return the turkey to the cooking basket and lower it slowly into the hot oil using the hanging device that comes with turkey deep-fryers.
    • The turkey should be completely submerged in hot oil.
    • Cook for 36 minutes or 3 minutes per pound of turkey.
    • An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  5. Rest and Serve:

    • Turn off the flame and slowly remove the turkey from the oil, making sure all of the oil drains out of the cavity.
    • Allow the turkey to rest on a serving platter before carving, about 20 minutes.


  • The injector and instructions for frying came with our fryer, which was good because the original recipe didn’t explain all the nuances of frying a turkey. It is well worth the learning process, though.
  • You can place the turkey in an oven bag to marinate; do not use a kitchen trash bag.
  • We strain the peanut oil after it cools and pour it back into the containers (I buy it in gallon jugs). It will keep nicely in a cool place, under 40 degrees F (4 degrees C), or in the refrigerator until needed again.

Additional Resources:

Enjoy your delicious and festive Cajun deep-fried turkey!

How to Choose the Right Turkey

Prior to selecting a whole bird, decide if you want to purchase a fresh or frozen turkey. And, that choice largely depends on when you need it!.

Fresh birds have limited availability, typically just the two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. So, if you’re making a Christmas turkey, frozen will be your only choice.

Frozen turkeys are available year round, but you will need to allow several days for defrosting. I chose a 17-pound frozen turkey and put it in the refrigerator three days before cooking to defrost.

Dry Brines vs. Wet Brines and Injections

I prefer a dry brine or rub for my whole turkeys. It’s not entirely safe to submerge a large bird in a brine water bath for several days, and it takes a lot of time, especially for very large birds.

In addition to a dry rub, I inject my turkey with a yummy injection fluid.

Fried Turkey


What not to do when frying a turkey?

Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before it is placed in a fryer. Never leave the fryer unattended because, without thermostat controls, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire. Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use as the oil can remain hot for hours.

Should I inject my turkey before frying?

I recommend injecting the turkey the night before you plan to fry, but it can be done as soon as one hour in advance. I’ve found that the flavor is more intense if you allow it to set overnight in the fridge.

How to get crispy skin when deep frying turkey?

So, What’s the Best Way to Get Crispy Turkey Skin? By far, the crispiest skin came from dry-brining the turkey with a mixture of kosher salt, black pepper, and baking powder, and then letting it rest uncovered in the fridge after being rubbed with the brine mixture.

Do you rinse a turkey before frying?

According to a study by the food safety experts at the USDA, washing or rinsing raw turkey can put you at risk of foodborne illness. There’s only one time you should wash a raw turkey, and that is after brining. Otherwise, do not wash a turkey before cooking.

How do you fry a Turkey in a frying pan?

Prepare turkey by removing neck and giblets from cavity, then patting dry with paper towels. Prepare fryer by adding peanut oil and heating until the oil temperature reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Inject turkey with cajun injection fluid, about one ounce of injection for each pound of turkey.

How do you make a Cajun Turkey injection?

Make the Cajun turkey injection. Combine all the ingredients for the Cajun turkey injection in a small saucepan. Simmer together over medium heat for 5 minutes to soften all of the herbs and spices. Pour the butter mixture into a narrow vessel (like a cup or liquid measuring cup) with the 1/2 cup chicken stock and stir to combine.

How do you fry a Turkey in a crock pot?

Prepare fryer by adding peanut oil and heating until the oil temperature reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Inject turkey with cajun injection fluid, about one ounce of injection for each pound of turkey. Pat turkey skin dry, then thoroughly coat the outside of the turkey and inside of the turkey cavity with cajun spice rub.

How do you cook a fried turkey without oil?

The best cajun fried turkey recipe made without oil in an infrared oil-less fryer and cooked to crispy perfection that is healthier for you. Cajun Seasoning Blend (Slap Ya Momma, Tony Chachere’s, etc.) Cajun Injectable Marinade (Tony Chachere’s Cajun Butter Marinade) If buying frozen, allow the turkey to fully defrost.

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