1. I use the turkey stand. I have a basket for frying fish/smaller items and for boiling crawfish.
2. No, the fire should not be roaring so big as to come up the sides of the pot. I'm not even sure mine will get that high. I usually have a mix of a blue/yellow flame. I wouldn't worry about that as much as just getting it to stay relatively constant. Build a small wind screen if needed, the wind can really screw with the fire.
3. The bottom of the pot will turn nasty, it's just part of cooking over an open flame.
Make sure that you measure the level of the oil needed with water before you put it in. I usually subtract about an inch-inch and a half because the oil will expand some. Big grease fires aren't fun, so just be careful and enjoy it. Fried turkey is now a staple at my house for the holidays.
-Lazy Bones BBQ
-Custom competition trailer with an offset and a cabinet. And a kettle or two.