Each year numerous injuries and fires occur as a result of unsafe cooking practices. Frying a turkey can be very dangerous and should be done under very controlled conditions.
Don’t cook beyond your comfort level! Turkey frying is dangerous and can result in injury and property loss.
The majority of reported incidents occurred while the oil was being heated, prior to adding the turkey. For this reason, it is very important consumers monitor the temperature of the oil closely. If any smoke at all is noticed coming from a heating pot of oil, the burner should be turned off immediately because the oil is overheated.
There is a risk of injury resulting from splashing due to the cooking of partially frozen meats. Thoroughly thaw and dry ALL meats before cooking in hot oil. One reported burn incident occurred when partially frozen chicken wings were added to hot oil in a turkey fryer.
Rural/Metro Fire Department Safety Tips:
- Keep fryer in FULL VIEW while burner is on.
- Place fryer in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures.
- Never use IN, ON, or UNDER a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.
- Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
- COVER bare skin when adding or removing food.
- Check the oil temperature frequently.
- If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
- If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water.
For safest operation, Rural/Metro recommends that consumers follow these guidelines as they prepare to use a turkey fryer:
- Make sure there is at least 2 feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner.
- Place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any wind blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.
- Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.
- Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add. If those are not available:
- Place turkey in pot
- Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water
- Remove and dry turkey
- Mark water level. Dump water, dry the pot, and fill with oil to the marked level.
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