13 Turkey frying safety tips

Thanksgiving fryer safety

We are less than 24 hours away from Thanksgiving! If you’re getting out your turkey frying equipment, this article is for you.

Every year, 4,300 homes are burned down on Thanksgiving around the country from frying turkeys.  When oil heats up past the smoking point it can easily combust – especially when water or ice is present. Here are some fire prevention safety tips to keep you safe this holiday weekend.

17 Helpful Turkey Fryer Tips

Thanksgiving fryer safety
Image courtesy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    1. Have an ABC fire extinguisher in good working condition close by.  

    2. Wear long sleeve shirts, pants, closed toed shoes and thick gloves. Splattering hot oil burns.

    3. Thaw your turkey completely. Ice oxygenates the oil enabling it to combust easily.  

    4. Remove all plastic from the bird.  Ties, thermometers, etc… are often found on frozen turkeys.  You do not want these in the hot oil. 

    5. Make sure there’s a clear opening for the hot oil to escape as you’re pulling the bird out of the oil.  Use your sharp knives to cut an opening around the neck.  

    6. Use the correct tools to lower the turkey into the oil.  Make sure you have these before you get started cooking.  
    7. Do it outside! Not in the garage. Not on the back patio. Keep the fryer away from overhead branches and away from the house or garage.

    8. Ensure the burner and pot have a stable surface to sit on.  Now is the time to move it if it’s shaky, not after the oil is hot.

    9. Properly fill your pot with oil – do not overfill!  A simple way to do this is to put your thawed, prepped turkey on the lowering hook into the pot and fill it with water until there’s about 2 inches of liquid above it.  Remove the turkey and score your pot where the liquid is at, adjust your thermometer’s clip so the tip touches the top of the liquid, or measure out the liquid.  

    10. Dry the turkey before you start your burner.  This gives your turkey some extra time to dry until the oil heats up, and you can give it one more pat down with a towel before cooking it.
    11. Use your thermometer to know when the oil heats up to 325 – 350 degrees. Turn the gas down or off to cool it down.  A metal clip on your thermometer will be very helpful and a safe way to keep your hands away from the hot oil.
    12. Turn off the gas before slowly lowering your bird into the hot oil.  If the oil starts to bubble up, pick the bird back up.  If the oil overflows, the flames will ignite the oil and you’ll have a truck full of hungry fire fighters over for dinner.  

    13. Turn off the gas before lowering your bird into the oil.  We mentioned it twice because it’s that important. 

    14. Lower the turkey into the oil slowly. Using the right tools, wearing the right clothing and having an extra set of hands makes this easy and safe.

    15. Have the pan you’ll place the turkey in close by before pulling the turkey out of the oil.  This is a good time to clear the counter space where you’ll be placing your turkey. 

    16. Turn the flames and gas off before pulling the turkey out slowly.  If you didn’t cut an opening for the oil to leak from inside the bird, it can spill out onto the flames and then fire fighters will show up for dinner.  

    17. Let the oil cool afterwards slowly before disposing of it properly.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and that they make your turkey frying a bit safer this Thanksgiving.  If you missed our earlier posts about driving safety or kitchen safety, we hope you’ll check them out.  

Happy Thanksgiving.  We hope you and everybody in your life has a safe and enjoyable feast.  

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