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Holiday Cooking Safety – Frying a Turkey

Most people who enjoy turkey over the holidays will spend several hours prepping and roasting their bird in the oven. However, other less traditional ways of preparing turkey, such as deep-frying, continue to gain popularity. Even though outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers cook turkeys in a fraction of the time it takes to roast one in an indoor oven, the Seattle Fire Department and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discourage the residential use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers.

Outdoor fryers heat up gallons of cooking oil to high temperatures and pose an enormous risk of injury. The risk of this oil being spilled is significant, and the injuries resulting can be severe. This method can pose a hazardous (and sometimes explosive) fire risks. This video from the National Fire Protection Association provides an eye-opening reality about the dangers.

Because of the risks mentioned above, we suggest that deep-fried turkey enthusiasts instead use an electric fryer, air fryer or leave the frying to restaurant professionals. However, if you still choose to deep-fry a turkey, do your homework and take extra caution.

Turkey Frying Safety Tips:

  • Have at least two people involved in the process.
  • If it’s raining or snowing, do not continue. Water in contact with hot grease can cause a boil-over fire.
  • Setup your deep fryer outside and at least 10 feet away from your home. Do not use a covered space such as a garage or awning.
  • Use the correct amount of oil for the size of pot and turkey. Do not over fill.
  • Turkey must be completely thawed and dry. Remember, excess water in contact with hot grease can cause a boil-over fire.
  • If you are using a regular pot, you may determine how much oil to use by setting the turkey in the cool pot and add water until it is completely submerged. Then remove the turkey. The remaining water line is a measurement for how much oil to use. Thoroughly dry the pot and turkey!
  • Turn off the burner before lowering and raising the turkey from the fryer.
  • Use a broom stick and metal hook to slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. This prevents hot oil from splashing directly onto you. Use the same technique to slowly raise and drain the turkey once it’s cooked.
  • It takes approximately three minutes per pound to cook a turkey in peanut oil at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Do not leave the fryer unattended when heating,
  • Always keep children and pets away from the fryer, even after the turkey is done because the oil is dangerously hot for hours.

More helpful information found here:

Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday!