There’s no doubt about it – deep fried turkey is absolutely amazing. The problem is that the process, if not done carefully and correctly, can also be incredibly dangerous. That said, there are definitely some things you can do to make sure you have an enjoyable and safe experience, and a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
Move the Fryer Away from Your House
Do not set up your fryer anywhere near your home or any other structure on your property. You need to be at least 10 feet away from your house. Problems associated with deep-frying a turkey usually involve the container overheating or tipping. If the container overheats, you could easily have a large fire that spreads to your home before you are able to react. Make sure you put your fryer in an open space and on a flat surface. Never put the fryer in the garage, a carport, on a wooden deck, screened in porch, or anywhere that is even partially enclosed or attached to your home. Never use the fryer in your kitchen.
Keep Children, Pets, and Crowds Away from Your Cooking Area
Create a safe zone around the fryer and do not let anyone in it. The greatest danger of the frying mechanism is that it could be tipped over. If this happens, you will have anywhere from 2-3 gallons of scalding hot oil spreading very quickly over a large surface. Children and pets playing in or near the cooking area, may accidentally bump into the structure, tip it and cause serious injury to themselves and others, as well as a fire. The safest option is to keep all activities and everyone away from the fryer, except the chef.
Don’t Overfill the Fryer
Make sure that you read all directions completely before you begin. Fill the fryer only to the fill line. You never want to over-fill the fryer. If you do, it may spill over the sides when you add the turkey. This can lead to a serious burn risk for you and a potential fire hazard if any if the spilled oil comes in contact with your propane burner. Always make sure the turkey is completely defrosted before placing it in the oil.
Protect Your Body
Make sure you, the chef, are wearing protective gear. You’ll need to wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt. Safety goggles will protect your eyes from splatters and heavy-duty, insulated oven mitts will help you to more easily handle the fryer itself.
Make sure you are prepared for an accidental fire before you begin cooking. This is unfortunately the most common accident found with turkey fryers. Have an all-purpose fire extinguisher at the cooking site and know how to operate it. Make sure you have a phone handy, and that someone else at the house is watching the cooking site as well for back-up. Never leave the fryer and cooking site unattended. Call 911 immediately if there is a fire.
Follow these simple safety tips and enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving!