Fried turkey can make a delicious Christmas meal, but frying a turkey can be extremely dangerous if done improperly.
The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office has the following tips to safely fry a turkey:
If frying your own turkey is an absolute must, the following safety measures should be carefully followed:
• Turkey fryers must always be used outdoors and a safe distance from buildings and other flammable materials.
• Never use turkey fryers indoors or on a wooden deck.
• Make sure the fryer is used on a flat surface to prevent accidental tipping.
• Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
• Never let children or pets near the fryer, even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
• To prevent spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
• Turn the fryer burner off before immersing turkey in oil.
• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
• The National Turkey Foundation recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of weight.
Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease or oil fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department by dialing 911.