Oven-roasted turkeys are great, but sometimes, you want to bring out the big guns. Impress your family and friends with my Deep Fried Cajun Turkey With a Cajun Creole Injection. This recipe is made with Heath Riles BBQ Cajun Creole Garlic Butter Rub, giving it a hint of Louisiana flavor!
If you’ve never had Deep-Fried Cajun Turkey before, you’re in for a treat! The inside stays moist, while the outside is perfectly crisp. It’s like fried chicken on steroids! Add a buffet of delicious BBQ-inspired side dishes, and you have a holiday meal no one will forget.
Deep Fried Cajun Turkey | Heath Riles BBQ
Deep-frying is an excellent option if you don’t want to spend hours cooking your bird! It’s also extremely safe if you take the necessary precautions. For example, you should never deep-fry a frozen bird and should deep-fry your turkey out in the open, not under a patio or in a garage.
With a bit of caution and minimal time, you’ll have a turkey that rivals any catering business.
- Butter. Butter is a crucial ingredient for turkeys, but it really shines in a homemade injection. Butter keeps the meat moist and the juices where they belong. You can use salted or unsalted butter.
- Extra-virgin olive oil. Adding two types of fat to the injection ensures the ingredients glide into the meat smoothly. Olive oil adds a deep, earthy flavor to the turkey, seeping into the outside skin and giving it that gorgeous golden color we all adore.
- Garlic: A little garlic never hurt anybody! I add fresh garlic cloves to the injection to infuse the mixture with a little zest. Crushing the garlic before adding it to the mix ensures the juices release into the injection.
- Lemon. Every poultry recipe could use a little lemon. Fresh lemon juice brightens up the turkey, giving it a bold flavor. Because the injection is strained, it doesn’t matter if you get lemon seeds in the mixture.
- Fresh herbs. Fresh herbs complement the poultry’s natural flavors. I used a bundle of fresh rosemary and a bundle of fresh sage. You won’t believe how great this bird smells!
- Garlic powder. I love adding multiple notes of garlic to my injections. Garlic powder is simply dehydrated garlic, which tastes milder than fresh varieties.
- Heath Riles BBQ Cajun Creole Garlic Butter Rub. Add a taste of the Big Easy to your life with this delicious rub. It features a blend of garlic, turmeric, onion, peppers, and salt. It’s a great addition to burgers, shrimp, scallops, chicken, turkey, or jambalaya.
- Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub. This is my best-selling AP rub, and it’s easy to see why! It contains a mixture of garlic, salt, and jalapeńos. You can use it on popcorn, beef, pork, poultry, or vegetables. It’s just that good!
- Turkey. This ingredient is flexible, so use your favorite brand. Ensure the turkey is fully thawed before injecting, seasoning, and deep-frying. This keeps you safe and ensures the turkey cooks right!
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the main equipment I used for this recipe. More of my grilling favorites are in the Equipment and Tools section.
- Pellet grill/smoker. I cooked the Cajun Creole Butter Injection on the Traeger Ironwood XL. This pit is incredible because you can use it to grill or smoke. The Traeger Ironwood XL has many excellent features, like a pellet sensor, a super smoke button, and easy transportation.
If you cook large quantities of food, you can’t go wrong with the Traeger Ironwood XL if you cook large quantities of food. It’s roomy without taking up your entire patio and ultra-durable, lasting for years!
- Charcoal. I stoked the pit with Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood Pellets. I love this brand because you get clean smoke with no fillers. It gives the potatoes a rich, deep flavor that tastes authentic. This charcoal burns hot and fast!
The Process for Making Deep Fried Cajun Turkey
You can see a detailed demonstration of this recipe in the video and recipe card. For now, here’s a quick rundown of how I pulled this Deep Fried Cajun Turkey together.
- Fire up the deep fryer. I poured grease into the base of the deep fryer and heated it to 350℉.
- Make the injection. To make the Cajun Creole Injection, I placed the butter, olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, sage, rosemary, garlic powder, Heath Riles BBQ Cajun Creole Garlic Butter Rub, and Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub in a small aluminum pan.
- Smoke and strain. I set the Cajun Creole Injection ingredients on the Traeger Ironwood XL (fired up to your chosen temp) and let them smoke for about 45 minutes. Then, I strained the injection. Be sure to watch the video to see my pro tip for quick, painless straining! Let your injection cool before moving on to the next step.
- Inject the turkey. I removed the turkey from its packaging and took out any giblets and debris. I also trimmed any loose skin that would affect its appearance. Then, I patted it down, laid it on a foil-lined baking sheet, and started injecting it in a grid pattern. I rubbed any excess injection into the bird’s skin, which will create an extra-crisp texture.
- Add seasoning. I prefer to season my turkey, so I added a light dusting of Heath Riles BBQ Cajun Creole Garlic Butter Rub. This step is unnecessary if you don’t plan on eating the skin. You do you!
- Deep fry. I placed the Cajun Turkey on a vertical-roasting stand and tucked the wings in. I slowly lowered the bird into the oil and let it fry for 42 minutes. Keep in mind that your frying time will vary based on the size of your bird. I usually set aside about 3 ½- 4 minutes PER pound of turkey. The turkey is done when it reaches the 160℉-165℉ range. Check it early, just in case the bird finishes faster than expected.
- Cool and serve. I carefully removed the turkey from the grease and set it on a foil-lined cooking sheet to dry and cool. Now, the only thing left is to dig in!
The Deep Fried Cajun Turkey was perfectly crisp on the outside, with a hint of NOLA flavor! The inside was moist and dripping with our Cajun Creole Butter Injection. This is definitely a turkey for the books!
Serving Suggestions for Deep Fried Cajun Turkey With a Cajun Creole Injection
Every Deep Fried Cajun Turkey needs a good side dish! Try one of these recipes on for size.
- Loaded Jalapeño Popper Potato Salad. This cool potato salad is an excellent contrast to hot turkey. It features a rich, creamy dressing that tastes just like jalapeño poppers. It’s mild enough that anyone can enjoy it, even the kids.
- Timberline Apple Dump Cake. This tasty dump cake includes all the best fall flavors, including caramel and apples. It’s easy to make and really shines when you add a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.
- Green Bean Casserole. This green bean casserole is an excellent mix of traditional flavors with a BBQ twist! It smokes to perfection, giving it the perfect crispy topping.
You can store leftover turkey in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 4 months.
Equipment and ToolsTraeger Ironwood XL, Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood pellets, disposable cutting board, cooling rack, Heath Riles Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves, foil, ThermoWorks meat thermometer, sheet pan, deep fryer, vertical roasting stand.
Deep Fried Cajun Turkey With a Cajun Creole Injection
Oven-roasted turkeys are great, but sometimes, you want to bring out the big guns. Impress your family and friends with my Deep Fried Cajun Turkey With a Cajun Creole Injection. This recipe is made withHeath Riles BBQ Cajun Creole Garlic Butter Rub, giving it a hint of Louisiana flavor!
1 heaping tablespoon Heath Riles BBQ Cajun Creole Garlic Butter Rub
1-2 teaspoons Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub
2 sticks butter
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lemon, juiced
1 bundle fresh sage
1 bundle fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 turkey, thawed and patted down
Pour grease into the base of the deep fryer and heat it to 350℉.
To make the Cajun Creole Injection, place the butter, olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, sage, rosemary, garlic powder, Heath Riles BBQ Cajun Creole Garlic Butter Rub, and Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeńo Rub in a small aluminum pan.
Set the Cajun Creole Injection ingredients on the Traeger Ironwood XL (fired up to your chosen temperature) and let them smoke for about 45 minutes.
Strain the injection and let it cool before moving on to the next step.
Remove the turkey from its packaging and take out any giblets and debris, trimming any loose skin
Pat the bird down, lay it on a foil-lined baking sheet, and inject it in a grid pattern.
If desired, add a light dusting of Heath Riles BBQ Cajun Creole Garlic Butter Rub.
Place the Cajun Turkey on a vertical roasting stand and tuck the wings in.
Lower the bird into the oil and let it fry for 42 minutes. Keep in mind that your frying time will vary based on the size of your bird. I usually set aside about 3 ½- 4 minutes PER pound of turkey. The turkey is done when it reaches the 160℉-165℉ range. Check it early, just in case the bird cooks faster than expected.
Lift the turkey out of the grease, then set it on a foil-lined cooking sheet to dry off and cool. Enjoy!