Thanksgiving is historically one of the busiest days for fire fighters and emergency workers. With everyone chopping, dicing, carving and cutting, it’s no wonder that kitchen accidents and fires are so prevalent! With so many people choosing to deep fry their turkey, the likelihood of an accident goes up even more! If you or another family member is planning to deep fry your turkey, here are some tips to keep your celebration a festive one.
Before the Big Day
- Learn about your fryer and the process of deep frying a turkey BEFORE Thanksgiving, especially if you have never fried a turkey.
- Be sure to read all manufacturer instructions and maybe even do a “test run.” With all of the distractions present on Thanksgiving, you don’t want to accidentally skip an important step in the process.
Preparing Your Fryer
- Follow all recommendations from your manufacturer.
- Have protective equipment ready for use, including eye protection and good quality grill mitts. Also have an appropriately rated fire extinguisher within arm’s reach of the fryer.
- Place your outdoor fryer well away from any combustible materials, including trees, storage sheds, and decks (yes, decks!)
- Position your fryer on a level surface and do not move it once it is heating. If you are using a propane fryer, leave at least two feet between the tank and the burner. You may want to wrap the hose in aluminum foil to protect it from hot oil splatters.
- Have a backup plan if the weather is predicted to be bad. Never operate your fryer in rain or snow.
Preparing Your Turkey
- Make sure to buy a turkey that is small enough for your fryer. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations on weight limits for your specific fryer. The maximum size recommended for frying is 16-20 pounds. Since these larger birds will take longer to cook and can be difficult to cook through, consider buying two (or more) smaller ones.
- Defrost your turkey COMPLETELY before trying.
- Be sure the bird is completely dry before immersing it in hot oil. Any left-over moisture will result in popping and splashing hot grease.
When You Are Ready To Fry
- Be sure to allow plenty of time for frying your turkey(s). Rushing can lead to mistakes.
- If you choose to partake in alcoholic beverages, do so AFTER the turkey is done and the fryer has been properly turned off and protected.
- Turn off your fryer before lowering the turkey into the hot grease. Once the turkey is in place, you can turn the fryer back on.
- Do not overfill your fryer.
- Never leave your fryer unattended.
- If your fryer begins smoking at any point, turn it off. Smoke indicated that the oil is too hot.
- Always wear protective equipment when you are frying.
- Keep children and pets well away from the fryer while it is in use.
- When you are finished frying for the day, turn off your equipment. Carefully remove the pot from the burner and place it on a level surface. Let it cool before disposing of the oil. Be sure the pot of oil is out of the way of foot traffic and won’t be accidentally knocked over.