Well, Brian .... moving away from recipes for batters and back to your problem of "just fried goooo" ... three things jump to mind:
1) Not enough oil (really better if deep fried)
2) Oil not hot enough (needs to be at least about 365-F)
3) Overcrowding the pot (lowers the temp of the oil)
I'm land-locked here in North Central Texas ... so when I get a hankerin' for home-made fried oyesters - I use the ones in the pint tubs, too. The only trick really is having enough oil, having it hot enough, and don't overcrowd the pot. Otherwise, as you have experienced, you just end up with "goo".
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain