Hosting Thanksgiving? Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

Homeowner Tips for Safely Frying Turkey

While most people worry about overcooking the Thanksgiving turkey, the real concern should be in the way it is prepared. Deep fried turkey has grown in popularity over the last decade, but the delicious technique comes with a lot of danger. Nationally there will be more than 2,000 fires on Thanksgiving and the source is mostly deep fryers. Here are a few tips to follow to keep you and your family safe while frying your Thanksgiving turkey.

  1. Fry away from the house. Set up the fryer at least 20 feet away from your home, structures and other flammable objects. Never deep fry a turkey inside your home, on a deck, near the garage, under a deck, etc.
  2. Place the fryer on a flat, concrete surface. Keep the fryer as even as possible to prevent any tipping and a grease fire.
  3. Designate an area. Keep children, pets, other family members, and friends away from the frying area. It’s too dangerous for the fryer to be a source of entertainment, and the person frying shouldn’t be distracted during the process.
  4. Dry the turkey. Prior to placing it in the hot oil, be sure the turkey is dry. Any water on the turkey will cause a violent reaction when it hits the hot oil.
  5. Wear long, high-quality, heat-resistant gloves. Hot oil will splatter so be sure your arms are protected. Place a hook into the turkey before lowering it into the oil. It will make it easier to take it out as well.
  6. Use the right amount of oil and turkey. Don’t overdo the oil. Once it starts bubbling it will rise quite a bit, and the addition of a turkey displaces the bubbling oil. It helps to choose a smaller turkey to fry. It’s safer, and will cook better. Crisp on the outside and cooked through on the inside.
  7. Shut off the fuel when adding the turkey. Should fire erupt when placing your turkey to the oil, it’s best to have the propane source underneath turned off. It will prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Just turn it back on once the bird is safely in the oil.
  8. Have a fire extinguisher close by. Should an incident occur grab the extinguisher, place a lid on the fryer to smother the flames, and dial 9-1-1. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
  9. Never leave the fryer unattended. Fires can erupt at any moment. It’s best to keep an eye on the fryer and be prepared.
  10. Cool your oil and recycle it. Norwell Recycling Center is accepting used, liquid cooking oil. Just bring your cooled oil to the center in a container and empty it in a designated receptacle.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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