Before You Fry That Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey FryerPosted at 7 a.m.

Deep-frying turkeys has become an increasingly popular cooking method when preparing holiday feasts. While fried turkey may be a tasty addition to your meal, cooking with deep-fat turkey fryers can be a recipe for disaster.

They have a high risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling hot oil — which can lead to fires, burns and other injuries. So, before you try your hand at deep-frying that turkey, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following safety guidelines including:

  • 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.
  • Completely thaw and dry the turkey before cooking.
  • Never use a turkey fryer in, on or under a garage, breezeway, 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.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn off gas supply.
  • If a fire occurs, call 9-1-1. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

For a safer alternative to deep-frying your bird, consider using an outdoor turkey cooking appliance that does not require oil.

Reprinted from the Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief, Nov. 27 edition, from FEMA

Video: Turkey Fryer Fire Demonstration

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One response to “Before You Fry That Turkey”

  1. John B says :

    If the fryer is placed directly down-wind from the tank (as might be interpreted from your phrasing), in the same air stream, less than a several tank diameters away, then downwind (lee) turbulence produces a relatively slow-moving reservoir of heated air (and droplet spray) to pool between the two, allowing faster (upwind!) heat (and flame) transfer from the fryer to the tank.
    Thermal isolation of the gas tank is best when the breeze blows between the tank & fryer. This crosswind arrangement provides thinner laminar boundary layers & greater total air flow to separate the tank & fryer. It also provides the cook the same protection on the opposite side of the fryer, and even greater protection in the case of a tank fire.
    I further recommend a 45deg (knight’s jump) upwind position for the cook so a tank explosion does not put the cook directly in the line of tank explosion ejecta from the fryer.
    Also a near-by cold water basin & towel is good for immersion cooling of minor oil splatter burns, not to mention hand-washing.