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Safety Tips When Deep Frying A Turkey

author
James Smith
• Sunday, 26 June, 2022
• 8 min read

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Contents

Michael Julazadeh is the chief fire Marshall for the city of Charleston in South Carolina. He shares additional safety tips for deepfryingturkey on the fire department’s website.

If severe bodily injury and property damage from flammable cooking oil and an open flame is not enough to deter you from ultimate kitchen dominance with a perfectly moist and tender deep -fried turkey, then please follow the guidance below provided by the U.S. Fire Administration (USA) 1 : Turkey fryers should always be used a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials outdoors.

Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use. Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.

Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter. Deepfryingturkey is a popular and absolutely delicious way to prepare the Thanksgiving turkey.

deep turkey safety frying fried fry safely cooking
(Source: pinterest.com)

Follow these tips, our recipe for safety, so you can enjoy your turkey without incident. Tip #1: Wear protective gear in case oil splatters.

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. And never attempt to cook a frozen turkey as the excess moisture will cause the oil to boil violently and possibly start a fire.

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.

*Fryers should always be used outdoors, on a solid level surface a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials. *Never use a fryer on a wooden deck, under a patio cover, in a garage or enclosed space.

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(Source: restorationmasterfinder.com)

*Never leave the fryer unattended because, without thermostat controls, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire. *Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts and wear long sleeves and safety goggles to protect from splatter.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s no doubt that you have already started putting together a grocery list for the perfect holiday dinner. While sides like green bean casserole and stuffing are a must for any Thanksgiving menu, Turkey is still the obvious star of the table, but not all are prepared the same.

Many turkeys have ice pockets in the cavity from refrigeration or freezing so place your turkey in a warm water bath to even out the temperature of the meat and get rid of any ice pockets. Water plus oil equals fire so make sure your turkey is really dry before you fry it.

Check out our safety tips to make sure your turkey is the only thing that gets fried this year! The fryer is a hot cauldron of boiling oil, so you want to keep your little ones and furry friends as far away as possible to avoid any accidents.

Have a buddy who can watch the fryer while you go inside for breaks to ensure nothing falls over in the wind or catches fire while you are away. Deep frying a turkey can be a fun, safe, and delicious way to cook a large bird.

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(Source: www.cnet.com)

A forgotten turkey, or one that’s been accidentally left in the freezer until it’s too late, poses a multitude of problems for hungry mouths on Thanksgiving Day itself. Unlike the traditional oven-roasting, where heated air externally cooks whatever you put into the oven from the outside, deep fryers work by submerging your food into an extremely hot liquid: oil.

The way around this is to set up a large pot full of oil in a well-ventilated area (such as outside), where you can put a heating element of substantial power (i.e., a gas-powered device) underneath it. Heat the oil to a very high temperature, drop your pre-season or pre-brined food into it, and let the deep fryer do the work.

Deep frying a fully thawed turkey can be safely done so long as the proper precautions are taken ... with your setup. AFP via Getty ImagesThis will work just fine so long as you take three basic safety precautions.

Make sure the setup is stable: on level ground, away from other flammable materials, and preferably set up outdoors to avoid any potential mishaps. Clearly, if you are going to have an open flame or an extremely hot heating surface, putting a flammable material like cooking oil directly onto it is a near-certain way to start a grease fire, so ensuring that it doesn’t overflow is critical.

But what surprises many is that simply putting a frozen turkey into the oil, all on its own, can create an enormous danger. A man is carefully putting a large turkey in a deep fryer to cook for Thanksgiving.

safety turkey deep frying
(Source: www.youtube.com)

A completely or even a partially frozen turkey, if immersed in a deep fryer, will almost certainly lead to a messy and very dangerous situation. The instant the turkey hits the oil, the solid ice has to begin melting before it can become water.

But turkeys, like most animals without air trapped inside their bodies, are denser than oil, meaning that they’ll sink. Because of how much more volume air takes up than water (or ice), this steam will rapidly expand: a near-guarantee to push oil over the sides of the fryer, and onto the flames or heating element below.

This type of disaster is unfortunately common in the United States, although with proper education and behavior, it's entirely avoidable. Mediates Group via Getty ImagesFrom a physics perspective, it’s all but inevitable that catastrophe will ensue.

Once the first splashes of oil go over the side, a fraction of these small droplets will unavoidably land on or near the heating element/open flame. With large amounts of fire, a nearby propane tank, and a vat full of flammable (or potentially even combustible) oil on hand, this can quickly become a house-threatening, life-threatening, or even neighborhood-threatening inferno.

Even if you take all the proper precautions, it’s very smart to keep a fire extinguisher nearby for easy access, just in case you need it. You might think you’ll be fine so long as your turkey is partially defrosted: if there are no ice crystals on the outside.

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(Source: www.nourishinteractive.com)

Getty Images you want a deep-fried turkey, then, but you don’t want to risk spilling oil over the sides and starting a fire, what’s your best bet? First, you should absolutely make sure your turkey is entirely defrosted beforehand: 24 hours in the refrigerator for every 4 to 5 pounds of weight is completely sufficient.

Set up your deep fryer on level ground, outdoors, on concrete/pavement, and away from any potentially flammable materials. And, at last, lower the turkey steadily and slowly into the oil, not by directly holding it with your hands, but by using a mechanism that won’t require you to put your body at risk like a metal hook or a fryer-basket insert.

And yes, you can safely deep-fry an entire thawed turkey so long as you follow the proper procedure. You may want to consider protecting your eyes as well, as tiny drops of super heated oil can cause burns and scars that last a lifetime.

That means learning the simple lesson that I hope no one feels the need to repeat for themselves: never deep-fry a frozen turkey.

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