Turkey Fryer Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.  And turkey deep fryers are responsible for many of those fires.  The NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.

If you do use an outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryer, here as some safety tips.

  • Make sure to strictly follow the manufacturer’s directions for using the turkey fryer.
  • If possible, purchase a fryer with temperature controls.  If the temperature is not monitored on a turkey fryer, oil can overflow and cause a fire.
  • Set up the fryer outside, away from decks, garages, and other flammable materials.
  • Choose a smaller turkey for frying.  A bird that’s eight to 10 pounds is best.  Small to medium turkeys work best for frying, as big turkeys can cause overflow.
  • Only fry a completely thawed and dried turkey or a fresh turkey.  Water from a thawing frozen turkey can cause oil to overflow and start a fire.
  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil.  Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  • Skip the stuffing when frying turkey.  Avoid water-based marinades.
  • Do not overfill the fryer.  Overfilling the fryer can cause hot oil to overflow, which can lead to fire and burns.
  • Never leave the turkey fryer unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.  If a fire does start, remember never to throw water on a grease fire.
  • Fryers heat up very quickly.  Use oven mitts and caution when handling the fryer to avoid burns from handles and the lid.  An apron and safety goggles provide protection from oil splatters.
  • Raise and lower the turkey slowly in and out of the fryer to avoid oil splatters and spills.
  • Opt for an oil-less fryer.  This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.

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