Each year more than 45 million turkeys are prepared for Thanksgiving holiday feasts. And each year fire fighters are called to at least 1,000 major fires and explosions due to DEEP FRYING TURKEY accidents!! These fires have caused more than $15 MILLION in property damage!
Deep frying a turkey is a cooking fad that took off about 10 years ago; many claim it is the best way to prepare a delicious, juicy turkey. However it is also the MOST dangerous cooking method. People have been known to set themselves and their homes on fire. More cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day. It is an easy time to get distracted and it only takes seconds for a fire to get out of control.
We urge you to keep these tips in mind to help PROTECT your FAMILY and HOME!
Read directions – Take some time before the big day to read ALL instructions on your deep fryer; be fully informed. Make sure you buy a thermostat if your fryer does not have one.
Stability – Fryers can easily tip over. Place your fryer on a flat stable surface, FAR from your home! Do NOT cook your turkey in your garage or on a wooden deck.
Don’t overheat the oil – Always use an accurate thermometer. If the oil overheats it could combust. Best oils to use are peanut, canola, or safflower oil.
Measure – DON’T guess how much oil your fryer will hold (most will hold 5 gallons). Best method is to place your turkey in the empty fryer (turned off!), fill it with water, and then remove the turkey. This will show you how much oil your fryer will hold WITH your turkey in it! Too much oil will overflow and cause a fire.
DRY YOUR TURKEY – This is one of the biggest causes of fryer fires. Why does the fire start and react so violently? Water left on your turkey boils when it hits the hot oil causing steam. Steam expands at a volume 1,700 times greater than water volume. The expanding steam pushes the oil out of the fryer, down the pot and onto the burner assembly where the oil will burst into flames! Be certain your turkey is completely THAWED and as DRY as possible! Dry the cavity of the turkey as well and never stuff a turkey that you will be deep-frying!
Shut off the gas – Always turn off the gas while you lower your turkey into the pot (and when you remove it). Once your turkey is in the pot, you can turn the gas back on. This will help prevent a fire if the oil spills over the sides of the pot.
Don’t get burned – Wear heavy leather gloves. The pot, lid and handles on the fryer will get extremely hot. A typical kitchen hot pad will NOT protect your hands from the high heat of the fryer. The pot and oil will remain hot for several hours after cooking; keep children and pets away from the fryer until cooled.
Go Slow – Lowering your turkey slowly will help prevent from boiling over. It will allow any small amounts of moisture to cook off gradually, as opposed to putting it all in at once.
Stay focused – NEVER leave your turkey fryer unattended, even when pre-heating! Constant adult supervision is highly recommended!
Safety videos such as this one have been released to illustrate the dangers of this cooking trend; reducing property damage claims in the past year. PLEASE pay attention to the cooking directions closely this holiday; don’t let your family and home become one of the horrifying statistics.