15 Tips on How to Fry a Thanksgiving Turkey Safely

Thanksgiving is a special time of the year. It’s a time for family and annual holiday traditions, including some seasonal favorites. It’s also a time when the family may want to help with the food preparation so fire and burn safety is important. With the juiciness of deep frying a turkey, the crispiness of the skin, irresistible flavor, and speed of cooking, turkey frying has become a Thanksgiving tradition for many.

While delicious, turkey frying also has the potential to cause serious injury and damaging fire. If you plan to deep fry your holiday bird this year, be sure you know how to safely use your fryer and how to dispose of your used oil to protect yourself, your guests, and your home.

  1. Keep outdoor fryers outside and off your deck, out of your garage, and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  2. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry before cooking. Ice and water do not mix with hot oil and can cause flare-ups.
  3. Do not operate your outdoor fryer in the rain or snow.
  4. Place your fryer on a level surface and never move it once it is in use.
  5. Leave several feet of space between the tank and the burner when using a propane-fueled burner.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overfilling your pot with oil because the oil can ignite when it contacts the flames of the burner.
  7. Smaller is better in this case. Choose a bird between 8-10 pounds max.
  8. Never leave your fryer unattended.
  9. Watch your temperatures. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire.
  10. Turn the off the burner before lowering the turkey into your heated oil. Once the turkey is submerged, re-ignite the burner.
  11. Wear protective clothing such as goggles or glasses to shield your eyes and large oven or fryer mitts to protect your hands and forearms.
  12. Always keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not use water or a garden hose on a grease fire.
  13. Avoid stuffing your turkey or any water-based marinades.
  14. Always keep children and pets away from your fryer.
  15. Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface, cover it, and let the oil cool overnight before disposing of it.

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