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How to Safely Deep Fry a Turkey

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As it approaches, you may be thinking about cooking the family’s bird in a non-traditional way. Deep fried turkeys have become all the rage in the past several years and are tasty for sure.

Unfortunately, cooking the Thanksgiving “bird” in a fryer as opposed to an oven has caused quite a number of accidents across the country. If you will be deep frying your turkey this year, do so with these safety tips in mind.

Even if you follow every safety tip, deep frying a turkey can be dangerous! Do so at your own risk.

Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

1. Set Up the Fryer in an Open Space

You wouldn’t grill right next to your house. Many people won’t even grill on their decks if they are using charcoal. Deep frying a turkey is no different. In fact, deep frying a turkey should be done even farther from the house and any structures in your yard. If possible, set up the fryer on a flat patch of dirt.

2. Prepare the Setup Correctly

If you are using a propane-fueled fryer, leave at least 2 feet of space between the fryer and the propane tank. This will help to ensure that the propane tank won’t explode if something goes awry with the fryer.

3. Use the Right Oil

If you aren’t experienced with deep-frying (or with cooking in general), you may not know that different oils have different smoking points. When an oil reaches its smoking point, it can make your food taste terrible — and can be dangerous. For deep-frying, be sure to use an oil with a high smoking point, such as canola or peanut.

4. Thaw Your Turkey

This cannot be said enough, and it is often one of the first questions that people ask. Ice and water will mix into the hot oil and cause bursts of flames or flare ups, which can lead to an explosion. Thaw the turkey completely before it meets oil. For info about proper methods for thawing your turkey, consult the packaging on your turkey.

5. Submerge the Turkey Carefully

Just before you put the turkey in the fryer, turn off the machine’s burner. If oil spills or pops over the edges, it won’t land on an open flame. Turn the burner back on after the turkey has been safely submerged.

6. Don’t Overfill Your Pot

Your fryer’s instruction manual should tell you how much oil you can safely put in the fryer. While you are at it, consider choosing a smaller turkey. Smaller turkeys are more manageable when it comes to deep frying. Look for a turkey that weighs between 8 and 10 pounds. Remember, you can always fry two turkeys if you are worried about preparing enough food.

7. Don’t Fry a Fancy Turkey

Don’t stuff the turkey or use any type of water-based marinades. Make your stuffing separately and, if you like, rub a bit of marinade over the turkey after it is done or drizzle it with your favorite sauce.

8. Dress for the Occasion

Safety equipment should be worn and kept nearby at all times. Wear eye goggles to protect your eyes and safety gloves to protect your hands and arms. Keep a fire extinguisher on the ground nearby in case something catches fire.

9. Keep Interested Parties Away from the Fryer

Keep children and pets away from the fryer. It’s a good idea to keep everyone away from the fryer, as a matter of fact. However, an adult should ALWAYS be by the fryer when it’s turned on, even if there’s nothing in it yet.

What to Do If Something Goes Wrong

Though following these safety tips should prevent most mishaps, frying anything in hot oil can be dangerous. There may be a pocket of water in the turkey that causes the oil to pop, or a strong gust of wind may topple an unstable pot.

If something goes wrong while frying the turkey, follow these steps to minimize the damage:

1. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

A fire caused by hot oil should never be doused with water. That will only exacerbate the issue. Keep an ABC-rated fire extinguisher on hand to put out any flames that may occur from oil spilling from the pot.

2. Don’t Leave It Unattended

If you get injured by the oil, don’t leave the fryer unattended to treat your wounds. Make sure there’s another adult nearby at all times who can take over and watch the fryer in case you need to suddenly leave for any reason.

3. Treat Any Burns Immediately

If you get burned by hot oil, run the affected area under cool water immediately, then wash with mild soap and water. Antibiotic ointments should be used to prevent infection, and cool compresses can help relieve pain and swelling. If the burn seems severe, seek medical attention immediately.

Have the Number for a Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney on Hand This Holiday Season

Deep frying a turkey has become a holiday tradition for some, and deep frying will be a new activity for many this year. If you plan on trying your hand at this cooking method, follow the steps above to be sure that you do so as safely as possible.

If you or a loved one are injured in North Carolina this holiday season through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and more. Reach out to our team of experienced Charlotte personal injury attorneys and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Our office can be reached at 704-364-3361 and our phones are answered 24 hours per day.

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