Deep frying turkey is a popular and absolutely delicious way to prepare the Thanksgiving turkey. However, with more cooking fires on Thanksgiving day than any other day of the year, safety is essential. More specific data creates an additional alarm for turkey frying in particular.
- U.S. fire departments respond to more than 1,000 fires each year in which a deep fryer is involved. (State Farm claims data)
- Deep fryer fires result in more than $15 million in property damage each year. (National Fire Protection Association)
5 Safety Tips For Deep Frying Turkey
Follow these tips, our recipe for safety, so you can enjoy your turkey without incident.
Tip #1: Wear protective gear in case oil splatters. The deep fryer can seem a little intimidating when the oil is heated, and there’s usually quite a bit of splattering and bubbling going on from the very high heat needed to cook the turkey. Wear oven mitts and an apron to prevent oil splashes on your skin, and safety glasses in the event oil does splash up into your eyes.
Tip #2: Deep fry in an open, outdoor area. Deep frying a turkey should always happen outside, never inside. Garages, even with the doors open, and wooden decks are off limits. It might be a little frosty and cold on Thanksgiving, but once you’re all decked out in your safety gear and safety glasses, you’ll be warm and cozy. Plus, there won’t be any exploding garages and decks to draw the fire department.
Safety Tip #3: Remember that oil and water, liquid or frozen, don’t mix. Water causes oil to bubble and spill over, which can quickly result in a fire. Instead, stick with turkey-approved marinades and rubs. And never attempt to cook a frozen turkey as the excess moisture will cause the oil to boil violently and possibly start a fire.
Safety Tip #4: Have a fire extinguisher on hand. We don’t mean in the house-under-the-sink; we suggest a few feet away. A medium-sized, ABC dry chemical extinguisher is recommended. If the grease catches on fire, just stay calm and extinguish it. And remember, never throw water on an oil fire (see Tip #3).
Tip #5: Leave the ego at the door, and follow the recipe. You want your Thanksgiving dinner to go off without a hitch, so consult online recipes and recipe books for details on how to fry it up right. When you’ve deep-fried three or four turkeys, then you can start varying the recipe. As a beginner, though, focus on staying safe, preventing a grease fire, and deep frying one delicious bird.
In addition to these tips, be sure to keep bystanders to a minimum when deep frying a turkey, and to never let children near a frying turkey. If you use common sense and follow our recipe for safety as detailed above, you’re not only sure to have a tasty Thanksgiving turkey but one free of a deep-frying horror story as well.
Have you tried deep frying a turkey? Please share your own deep fried turkey safety tips with us by leaving a comment!
The main step in helping to prevent an overflow fire is to know how much oil should be in the fryer pot before putting the turkey in. The method for measuring the oil is as follows: Put the thawed turkey in the empty pot. Add water to about 2″ below the top of the turkey. Make a mark at the water level. Take the turkey out and pour out the water. Dry the inside of the pot and add oil to the mark you made. Fire up the pot, and when it reaches the frying temperature, slowly add the turkey. Using this method of measuring will prevent a serious overflow of hot oil.
Thanks for the excellent tip Big AL!