Rock Talk

How to Avoid These Devastating Turkey Fryer Mistakes

Last updated on November 20, 2020 at 03:48 pm

Deep-fried turkeys have gained a lot of popularity in recent years because of their juicy, flavorful meat, extra-crispy skin and lightning-fast cooking time. However, because gallons of boiling-hot oil are involved, improper frying techniques could lead to severe burns and even house fires.

And while safely frying a turkey doesn’t typically include your home insurance company, accidents do happen. With a little preparation, a helping of caution and a dash of know-how, you can be a safer cook this holiday season.

In the past, Plymouth Rock Assurance has handled claims from fires caused by exploding turkeys or other fryer-related accidents. These kinds of claims typically involve frozen turkeys dipped into deep fryers or having too much oil in the fryer to begin with. Both can lead to massive flash fires.

Occasionally, our claims representatives handle situations where a turkey is being fried inside of a garage or other enclosed space. This is something you’ll want to put on your “never do this” list, as it can put others in danger.

Being too close to your home or even inside your garage while cooking can compound accidents or mishaps. That’s because there will be more than just fire, smoke and soot damage to your home — there will also be water damage from dousing the fire, which can sometimes lead to mold issues.

Safely frying a turkey starts with … safety! Be sure you know how to properly use your fryer and review the safety instructions that came with it. Here’s a helpful list of what you should do:

  • Completely defrost your turkey and remove excess liquids before frying it.
  • Cook your bird outside, on a flat surface and in an open area away from structures or combustible items.
  • Be sure the weather is ideal – no rain or snow.
  • Be wary of overfilling your fryer with oil.
  • Use extra caution when lowering or raising your turkey from the pot.
  • Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times.

Please keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list of safety precautions. If you’re not comfortable using a turkey fryer, consider using a different cooking method.

Help others learn from your experience — what other tips do you have for safely frying a turkey?

7 thoughts on “How to Avoid These Devastating Turkey Fryer Mistakes

  1. Before frying put the turkey in the fryer and fill it with water to an inch above, then remove the turkey and measure the amount of water. Now put that amount of your favorite cooking oil in the fryer dry and prepare the turkey for the best turkey ever. Note how much oil was used and tape it to the fryer stand. Next fry adjust for turkey weight always less oil for a bigger turkey.

    1. Peanut oil is the best oil to use. It cooks at a higher temp and does saturate your food. Use a bigger and wider pot . I use three to five gal

  2. Use a long gas line between the tank/regulator & the burner and position the gas tank as far away as possible from the burner. Cover the gas line to prevent a trip hazard.
    This will allow quick access to the gas regulator to shut the valve in the event of an oil fire.

  3. Also best to use 2 people on each end of a broom handle or other similar rod so you are not directly above the fryer. Lower the bird SLOWLY into the oil, lifting it up a little and pausing if the boiling gets too violent. Continue to ease it down until submerged.

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