In a small bowl, add salt, cinnamon, cayenne and cumin and mix to combine. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over high heat, heat 6 cups of water to boiling. Add pecans and bring back to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse under running hot water. Drain completely.
Pour drained nuts into a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and toss to coat the nuts completely with the sugar.
Meanwhile, in a deep-sided skillet or saucepan, heat about 1 inch of canola oil to 350 degrees. (It’s recommended that you use a candy thermometer to make sure that you have the oil at the correct temperature – too hot will burn the nuts, too cool will not cook the nuts quickly enough and you won’t get the crisp texture.)
Once the oil is at 350 degrees, with a slotted spoon (a ‘spider strainer’ like this works really well for this task), carefully add about half of the pecans to the oil (be careful as the wet nuts being added to the oil will splatter up!). Fry about 3 minutes – stirring often.
Note that the pecans will continue to cook after they are taken out of the oil so it’s important to not let them get too browned, otherwise they will end up burned.
With a slotted spoon, remove pecans from the oil and place into a coarse sieve or colander over a bowl to drain. Sprinkle with the salt-spice mixture and keep tossing the pecans so that they don’t stick together as they cool. Transfer the pecans to waxed paper to cool completely. Fry the remaining pecans.
Store cooled nuts in a tightly covered container.