Here is what our turkey fryer looks like. This isn't ours, of course, but this is exactly what we have.
The thing with the star on the bottom is what you put through your turkey so you can lift it in and out. There is a hook thing over by the leg, you hook it to the hook on the top of the star thing which will be coming out the neck (or butt, I can't remember) and you can lift in and out the turkey. You hook up your gas grill propane tank to the fryer. Then you basically put peanut oil in the fryer (I believe there is a line that tells you how far up to start with but you then have to be careful because larger turkey's will need less oil). You can adjust the flame on the it, you heat it to a certain temperature and put the turkey in and then cook it for the recommended time according to how many pounds your turkey it. This is an OUTDOOR toy only!!! Cause that is a whole lot of hot peanut oil in there. This is probably why this is a Southern thing as it usually isn't so cold here that the guys don't mind sitting outside watching the temperature on it.
I will say that when I first heard about it I thought that there is no way this could taste as good as a turkey cooked in the oven but I can tell you now that a fried turkey is the best turkey I ever had. It is just so moist and good.
This, however, is not a toy that idiots can play with. If you go to Youtube you can see all sorts of videos of turkey frying gone wrong mostly from people putting too much oil in and it overflowing when you put the turkey in and catching on fire. You are better off having too little oil than too much and that turkey needs to be dried off as much as possible before you put it in to prevent the oil from foaming over.
Ok, thanks everyone for giving me the idea for this post. I had no idea that some people had never seen a turkey fryer.