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    Houston, TX 77040
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Frying Turkeys for Thanksgiving? Read These Tips First!

By Ashley Western, ACSR, MSM RMI, Commercial Business Development Manager | Nov 14, 2012

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  With the beautiful weather we have been experiencing lately, you might be tempted to do some outdoor cooking, a la frying of turkeys. 

If you have never fried a turkey before, please read this article!  Thousands of families have watched their homes go up in flames, due to costly mistakes in the frying process.  Here are a few safety tips to consider:

  1. NEVER fry a turkey indoors!  The frying of turkeys requires way too much cooking oil to be done indoors.
  2. Make sure your burner is solidly based.  It presents a inherent danger for spilling, if your fryer is not sturdy.
  3. Get a frying pot that is deeper than you need.  This helps with managing the oil burn risk.
  4. Block off the cooking space to any pets or kids.  The oil is extremely hot, and can be a large risk for burns.
  5. Know how much oil will fit into your pot.  The oil bubbles up several inches when the turkey is placed in it.  Make sure your pot has enough room by testing it with the turkey plus half the pot full of water. You need at least 6-8 inches beyond that amount in your pot, as the oil will bubble up several inches when you place the turkey in the fryer.
  6. Limit the size of the turkey to 8-10 pounds. A good rule of thumb is 8-10 pound turkey should fit safely in a 34 quart pot.
  7. Turn off the gas when adding the turkey to the pot. If the oil spills over when you add in the turkey, having an open flame around can really start a large fire, causing your Thanksgiving to go up in flames.
  8. Wear sturdy oven mitts when you add the turkey to the pot. Make sure you lower the turkey slowly into the pot. The slower you lower it, the less likely you’ll be to have spillage.
  9. The National Turkey Federation (Yep, that’s a thing!) recommends 24 hours of thawing per every 5 pounds of turkey before frying. If the turkey has residual water in it before frying, it could cause the oil to bubble when the water hits the oil, causing a dangerous spill.
  10. Use a turkey thermometer. If the oil gets too hot, you’ll burn your turkey and possibly other items. If the oil overheats, it could combust.
  11. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy in case items 1-10 don’t work out for you.