Posts Tagged ‘deep fried turkey’

Safety Tips When Deep Frying a Turkey

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

deep fried turkeyThe candy stash has been decimated and Halloween is just a frightful memory. The holiday season is officially upon us and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Whether you’re serving mashed potatoes or candied yams, green bean casserole or creamed corn, one thing’s almost certain—there will be turkey! In fact, turkey is the main attraction on nearly 88% of Americans’ Thanksgiving tables, according to a survey by the National Turkey Federation (NTF). The NTF—the agency that has presented our President with a live turkey to pardon since 1947—also reports that more than 226 million turkeys were consumed in the U.S. in 2010. On Thanksgiving Day alone, an estimated 46 million of those turkeys were gobbled up! With turkey gaining such popularity, we’ve become more creative in our preparations, most recently trying our hand at the southern tradition of deep-fried turkey.

Deep frying: dangerously delicious

Golden brown and crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, fried turkey is undeniably delicious and takes hours less than oven roasting. But deep frying can be risky business. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), nearly 4,300 fires occur on Thanksgiving—most of them due to deep-frying accidents. So before plunging your bird into a pot of hot oil, check out these deep-frying tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be sure your holiday feast goes off without a hitch (or a call to your local fire department):
  • Completely thaw (USDA recommends 24 hours for every 4-5 lbs.) and dry turkey before submerging in fryer, as partially frozen or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter
  • Place fryer in an open area away from all walls, fences, or other structures (especially wooden decks)
  • Never use a fryer in, on or under a garage, breezeway, carport or porch; towards the end of a driveway is safest
  • Raise and lower the turkey into the fryer slowly to reduce splatter and avoid burns
  • Keep the fryer in full view while the burner is on
  • Protect bare skin by wearing long gloves when handling a hot turkey
  • Make sure there is at least two feet of space between the liquid propane tank and the fire burner
Smaller turkeys (8-10 lbs.) and turkey parts are best for frying. In addition to the obvious safety concerns of lowering and lifting a big turkey into a vat of boiling oil, larger birds take longer to fry and can be under cooked on the inside while their skin is easily over cooked. If a bigger turkey is needed to feed your brood, detach the dark meat from the breast and fry the sections separately.

Oil’s well that ends well

Just how much oil do you need to deep fry a turkey? Use too much, and the oil will spill over the pot as the turkey is dropped in, easily igniting a fire. Many fryers feature a fill line indicating the suitable level of oil to add to the pot. If not, follow these steps from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
  • Place the turkey in an empty fryer
  • Fill the fryer with water until the level is ½ inch above submerged turkey
  • Remove and dry the turkey
  • Mark the water level after the turkey has been taken out and dump the water
  • Dry the pot and refill with oil to the marked level
Speaking of oil, most deep-fryer accidents occur prior to cooking the turkey, while the oil is being heated. For this reason, it is very important to monitor the temperature of the oil closely. If any smoke at all is noticed rising from a heating pot of oil, the burner should be turned off immediately because the oil is overheated and flames are not far behind. If a fire does occur despite all of your precautions, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to extinguish the flames with water; oil and water do not mix and the situation will only worsen. If time allows, grab your fire extinguisher (kept handy nearby) and douse the blaze while the fire crew makes its way to you. Keep in mind, though, that fryer fires can become unmanageable within minutes—if in doubt, relocate your family to safety and leave the firefighting to the pros. The aftermath of a fire is a frightening time, but it is important that emergency services to remove soot and contain odors begin immediately. Contact a local restoration company that is fully insured, licensed and bonded, and who will work with you and your insurance adjuster to determine which of your belongings can be cleaned and which need to be inventoried for replacement. When selecting a restoration company, your checklist should include someone who can:
  • Minimize the existing damage
  • Stabilize and secure the structure
  • Perform emergency water damage mitigation services, if needed
  • Remove soot and contain odor
  • Pack out salvageable contents, if necessary
  • Clean, deodorize and restore salvageable structures and contents
  • Perform necessary structural repairs
By following these guidelines mixed with a helping of common sense, a delectable turkey is the only thing you’ll be frying this Thanksgiving holiday. Bon appetit! LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in the complete repair of fire, smoke, wind, water and vandalism damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit or call 1-888-874-7066. Download your free home disaster planning eBook  



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