How to Not Blow Yourself Up When Frying a Turkey
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and for many of us that means it’s turkey time. There are many beautiful ways to prepare a bird, dressing it just so. But for all you adrenaline junkies, there is but one way to cook a turkey: Deep fry it. Turkey frying produces a bird that’s juicy on the inside, golden and crispy on the outside, and it comes complete with a significantly elevated danger level. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, fryers result in 1000 emergency fire calls every year and $15 million worth of damage.
So we reached out to the U.S. Fire Administration—a division of FEMA—to find out what we should and shouldn’t do when it comes to deep-frying a bird.
DO: Thaw the bird out completely
Yes, it will take a while, especially if you need a turkey big enough to feed all your sister’s kids, but even a partially frozen bird can cause oil to splatter when it’s put in the pot.
DO: Watch the turkey fry
Unattended pots can tip over and then you’ll have 300+ degree oil spilled all over your yard.
DO: Use a fryer with a thermostat control
Without a thermostat, fryers can overheat the oil to the point of starting a fire.
DON'T: Let any of the oil touch the burner
Even a tiny bit can ignite and much more than your turkey ablaze.
DON'T: Touch the sides of the pot
They’re dangerously hot. So are the handles and lid.
DON'T: Think you’re too cool for a fire extinguisher
You aren’t. You got your cranberry sauce out of a can. You aren’t that cool. And remember: You should never use water to put out a grease fire. It actually makes the fire spread.