How To Prevent Fried Turkey Fires

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family, enjoy great food — and not burn down the neighborhood. As the popularity of deep-frying turkeys for Thanksgiving has risen, so have the instances of Thanksgiving turkey fires. Turkey fires can cause a lot of damage, and not just to your menu. Grease cooking fires can cause serious injuries and damage to your home. To avoid this hazard, it is important that you follow precise safety rules when deep frying turkeys this holiday. This quick guide will provide some safety tips for deep frying turkey.

Easy On the Oil

There is a little physics involved in turkey frying, and if you keep that in mind, you might avoid a catastrophe. Some oil will be displaced when you place the turkey into the oil. The bigger the turkey, the greater the amount of displaced oil. When oil is displaced, it has to go somewhere. If you have overfilled your turkey fryer with oil, then the displaced oil is going over the top and into your heat source, resulting in, you guessed it, a big ol’ turkey fire.

To avoid this, you should carefully read the fryer’s instructions on how much oil to use. You can also fill the pot with water beforehand, dunk your turkey into the water and see how much water is displaced. You can then determine how much oil needs to go in to safely fry the turkey.

Avoid a Cold Bird

If you plan to fry a turkey this Thanksgiving, be sure the bird is completely thawed. A frozen turkey or even a partially thawed bird, when dropped into hot grease, will cause oil to pop and spatter. This can cause serious injuries to you or anyone standing around. Your turkey will need at least three days to thaw in the fridge.

Slow and Steady

Cooking a turkey isn’t a race, so take your time when lowering the turkey into the oil. This will cut down on the chances of hot oil splashing onto someone or into the heat source, causing a fire.

Turkey Frying: An Outdoor Activity

It is extremely important that you place the turkey fryer in a safe location. Do not fry a turkey indoors. Do not fry a turkey in your garage. The turkey fryer should be placed outdoors safely away from any and all buildings. If a fire starts, you do not want surrounding buildings catching fire too. Keeping the turkey fryer outdoors and away from wooden structures will cut down on the chances of serious structure fires.

Stay Put

Frying a turkey is a commitment; if you take on that commitment, you need to see it through. You should never leave a turkey fryer alone, not even for a little bit. This is even more serious of an issue if there are pets or small children around, which there usually are on Thanksgiving.

Be Prepared

Do not attempt to fry a turkey unless you have a fire extinguisher nearby. You cannot put water on a grease fire. You will need a fire extinguisher if a fire breaks out. Keep it nearby if you are deep-frying a turkey on Thanksgiving. 

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