Safety Tips for Frying a Turkey


If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner and frying a turkey, then this blog post is quite valuable to you.

The number one cause of Thanksgiving Day accidents involves frying a turkey. While frying your turkey may result in an outstanding meal, it’s also ripe with danger.

Here are a few tips to keep you and your dinner guests safe while frying a turkey.

  • Always fry a turkey outside.  Never attempt to use a turkey fryer inside of your home, in your garage or even out on a wooden deck or near any combustible surface.  It is advisable to keep the fryer at least 15 feet away from your home.  Make sure you set it up on a dry, level surface.
  • Use a thermometer to keep your oil around 350 degrees.  Oil that gets too hot can release combustible fumes in dangerous levels that can ignite or explode.
  • Always make sure that the turkey is completely thawed and toweled down to remove any additional moisture from the turkey.  Ice or water that comes into contact with the hot oil will cause a flare up.
  • Never operate a turkey fryer if the weather is bad.  High winds, rain or snow means you will have to use an alternative cooking method.
  • Do not overfill the oil basin.  Too much oil will overflow and could possibly ignite from the burners.  It is best to fry a smaller turkey for this reason.  8-10 lb. turkeys work best.  Try to avoid frying a turkey over 12 lbs.  Your turkey fryer should have a max oil level mark located inside the oil basin.
  • It is a good idea to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes and oven mitts to protect your arms and hands from any oil spillage.
  • Turn off the burner before you lower the turkey into pre-heated oil.  Lower the turkey very slowly to avoid flare ups.  There is bound to be a small amount of oil flare up when the fresh turkey hits the hot oil.  Lowering the turkey slowly will help minimize this.  Turn the burners back on after the turkey is fully submerged and oil flare ups are not an issue.
  • Never leave a turkey fryer unattended.  Keep a fire extinguisher close by and keep all children far away from the fryer at all times.
  • Once the cooking is complete be sure to shut off the burners, cover the oil basin and keep it on a level surface to cool.  The oil will remain hot for quite a while so be sure all children and adult guests keep a safe distance.

We hope that these safety tips on frying your Thanksgiving turkey will help you to have a happy holiday and safely assist you in presenting a mouth-watering turkey for your holiday meal.