Make safety the first ingredient when frying a turkey
MELISSA (November 18, 2021) When deep frying a turkey outdoors over a propane-fueled burner, some important safety considerations must be taken into account, according to Melissa Fire Chief Carl Nix.
“Frying the Thanksgiving turkey can add texture and flavor, but cooks need to always think about safety,” he said. “The combination of oil at high temperatures and the large size of the turkey requires care and attention.”
To maintain the highest level of safety when frying a turkey outdoors, consider the following points:
- Outdoor fryers should be kept off decks, out of garages and away from trees and other structures.
- Turkey must be thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water in the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
- Never operate a fryer in the rain or snow.
- Place the fryer on a level surface and avoid moving it once it's in use.
- The fryer pot and burner should be at least two feet away from the propane tank.
- Spilled cooking oil can ignite when it makes contact with the ignited burner.
- Never leave fryers, burners, or tanks unattended.
- Watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
- Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is in, turn the burner on.
- Keep an "ABC" or grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not use water or a garden hose.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
“Deep fried turkeys are gaining in popularity, and with good reason,” said Chief Nix. “However, cooks need to be sure to follow all safety precautions, because even a slight misstep can have tragic consequences.”