This Morning: Safety tips when deep frying a turkey


If you’re planning to fry a turkey this Thanksgiving, firefighters say be extra careful.

Putting a still frozen turkey into hot oil can create a dangerous situation.

Within seconds, these firefighters served up a turkey day disaster.

Reminding holiday cooks what not to do when deep frying a turkey.

Firefighters say though deep frying turkey’s has become increasingly popular, this tasty method comes with a few risks.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every year deep fryer fires are responsible for an estimated 5 deaths, 60 injuries, and more than $15 million in property damage.

Reasons why firefighters say you’ll want to keep a few important safety tips in mind if deep frying your bird this holiday.

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s user guide.
  • Always use the portable deep fryer on a flat surface, well away from houses, garages, decks, trees, bushes and other outdoor hazards.
  • Use a portable deep fryer with a gas valve controller.
  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry the turkey prior to putting it in the fryer. Extra water or placing a frozen turkey in the fryer will cause the cooking oil to bubble and spill over.
  • Never leave the portable deep fryer unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from the portable deep fryer. 
  • Allow at least two (2) feet of space between the liquid propane tank and the portable deep fryer burner.
  • ONLY use cooking oil recommended by the deep fryer manufacturer. Do not use cheaper or different types of cooking oil for the portable deep fryer because the cooking oils have different ignition temperatures when heated.
  • Do not overfill the portable deep fryer with cooking oil that can result in the overflow of the cooking oil and a flash fire when immersing the turkey into the cooking oil.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts as the deep fryer lid and handle can become very hot; wear safety goggles to protect eyes from cooking oil splatter.
  • Be careful with marinades. Cooking oil and water do not mix and water causes the cooking oil to spill over, causing a fire or even an explosion hazard during cooking oil boil over.
  • If the cooking oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the propane tank to OFF by closing the propane tank valve.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher (dry-powder) ready at all times. NEVER use water to extinguish a cooking oil or grease fire.

“Every year we have somebody during the holiday who has a fire and it really does hurt their holiday. In fact it really changes their lives instead of just the holiday and so we just want to make sure that people are safe so they can continue enjoying their holidays with their families,” says Delta Township Fire Inspector, Mike Roberts.

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