It's hard to believe that we're only 3 weeks away from Turkey Day, but here we are. It's time to dust off those recipe books, make your lists, and start planning how you're going to cook your turkey.
Here at SERVPRO Franklin, Vance, and Granville Counties, we HIGHLY recommend any method but frying. But we know a fried turkey is a delicious turkey, so we're here with some tips on how to stay safe if your bird will be taking the plunge.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discourages the use of outdoor, gas-fueled turkey fryers, which can lead to devastating burns, destruction of property, and other injuries. Additionally, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the organization that certifies safe products, does not certify these types of fryers with its UL label.
Both organizations discourage the use of open-flame fryers due to the following:
- Turkey fryers tip easily, spilling their contents, and causing oil to ignite.
- Overfilling the fryer is common. The oil spills out of the pot when the turkey is placed in the fryer, engulfing the whole unit in flames.
- With no thermostat controls, the oil is prone to overheating to the combustion point.
- The handles and lid get extremely hot, which can cause severe burns.
- Since the unit is designed for outdoor use, rain or snow can fall on the unit, splattering the oil and converting the water to scalding steam.
Despite these hazards, if you still plan on using a turkey fryer, please follow these safety guidelines:
- Always use the fryer outdoors on a flat surface, safely away from structures, wooden decks, and covered patios. No matter what, DO NOT be tempted to use the fryer in a garage.
- Have the correct kind of fire extinguisher nearby and ready to use.
- To ensure you are using the right amount of oil, place a thawed turkey in the fry pot and add enough water to cover the bird by ½". Remove the turkey and mark the water level. Dump the water and thoroughly dry the pot and turkey. Fill the pot with oil to the marked level.
- Do not leave the fryer unattended. Monitor the temperature of the oil with a thermometer to prevent the oil from overheating and catching fire. If the oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the gas off.
- Ensure the turkey is COMPLETELY THAWED to prevent a fire or explosion hazard.
- Raise and lower the turkey slowly to prevent oil splatter, burns, and fire.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer to prevent tipping, even after the turkey is done. The oil is dangerously hot for hours.
- Use your safety tools: Oven mitts, gloves, and safety goggles.
- Stand upwind of the propane tank and fryer so heat blows away from you.
If your Thanksgiving goes awry, or your turkey ends up more smoked than fried, SERVPRO Franklin, Vance, and Granville Counties is here to help 24/7.
We wish you and your family a safe, happy, and delicious Thanksgiving!