Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

Learn the proper safety tips and precautions for deep frying a turkey this holiday season with Restoration 1

By Michael Cocita at Shutterstock

It seems like we hear horror stories about turkey frying that went wrong every holiday season. These stories wind up with fire damage and property loss. You want a perfectly-cooked bird. You deserve that delicious fried turkey. You also deserve to keep your home fire damage-free. Here’s how to get the best of both worlds.

Thanksgiving Fires — The Facts

According to FEMA, an estimated 2,400 residential fires are reported annually on Thanksgiving Day. These fires lead to an estimated five deaths, 25 injuries and over $19 million in property damage, and 76.5% of these fires stem from cooking.

Regarding turkey frying, the problem stems from attempting to deep fry a frozen turkey. It’s the number one rule — never cook a frozen turkey. There are countless reports and records of frozen turkeys erupting in a ball of flames when dunked into the deep fryer.

The same goes for deep frying a turkey indoors, on a wooden deck or surrounded by wooden blocks/logs for stability. Any flammable objects must remain well away from the fryer.

The Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey

Here are a few common dangers when deep-frying a turkey.

  • The fryer may tip over, spilling hot cooking oil everywhere.
  • An overfilled fryer or frozen turkey will cause the oil to overflow.
  • A small amount of oil connecting with the burner may lead to a fire.
  • Ignoring thermostat controls can lead to overheating and combustion.
  • The sides, lid and handles of the pot grow increasingly hotter.

Safety Tips for Deep-Frying a Turkey

Like all things, frying a turkey can and should be done right. Therefore, learning the basic safety tips for cooking a turkey can reduce the chance of a dangerous fire.

  • Do not use a fryer on a wooden deck, inside of a garage or under a patio cover.
  • Fryers should remain outdoors, on a level surface, safely away from flammable objects.
  • Do not overfill the fryer with cooking oil.
  • Do not leave the fryer unattended, without thermostat controls, for fear of fire.
  • Never allow children or pets near the fryer.
  • Use insulated potholders or oven mitts while wearing long sleeves and goggles to protect against oil splatter.
  • Fully thaw the turkey before it goes into the fryer.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Even on Thanksgiving Day, your local Restoration 1 is here to help with 24-hour fire damage restoration. When it comes to our beloved community, we don’t take holidays. Give us a call now!