Is it really dangerous to deep fry a turkey?

Is it really dangerous to deep fry a turkey? I’ve heard stories about people burning down their houses because they were trying to deep fry a turkey. Why is that?

Answer #1

Ok when you’re deep frying a turkey you are boiling oil, oil is very very flammable so when something happens and he turkey fryer is overfilled, or knocked over then the oil spills out and catches everything around it on fire. Since most people know it’s dangerous you’d think they’d keep a fire extinguisher around, BUT do they have trhe right kind of extinguisher for an oil fire ? Probably not. I mean a fire extinguisher is a fire extinguisher right ? Wrong

There are 3 types of fire extinguishers, A, B, C and ok well there’s D too but chances are good you won’t have one lying around. Let me tell you this and then i’ll get back to the turkey frying

Class A Extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood and paper. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher refers to the amount of water the fire extinguisher holds and the amount of fire it will extinguish.(Generally represented as an A inside a green triangle. the shape and color may be different, but it will ALWAYS be an A)

Class B Extinguishers should be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil, etc. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher states the approximate number of square feet of a flammable liquid fire that a non-expert person can expect to extinguish.(Generally represented as a B inside a red square. The color and shape may be different but there will ALWAYS be a B)

Class C Extinguishers are suitable for use on electrically energized fires. This class of fire extinguishers does not have a numerical rating. The presence of the letter ?C? indicates that the extinguishing agent is non-conductive.(Generally represented by a C inside a blue circle. While the shape and color may be different there will always be a C)

Class D Extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. There is no picture designator for Class D extinguishers. These extinguishers generally have no rating nor are they given a multi-purpose rating for use on other types of fires

Many extinguishers available today can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one designator, e.g. A-B, B-C, or A-B-C. Make sure that if you have a multi-purpose extinguisher it is properly labeled.

There may also be pictures showing you what the extinguisher IS and is NOT suitable for.

Here’s why using a deep-fryer can be dangerous and can and DOES lead to fully involved house fires: Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil within the cooking pot. If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner/flames causing a fire to engulf the entire unit. Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too, may result in an extensive fire. With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion. The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

Now if you want SAFETY tips on Deep Frying a turkey then here you go:

Always use a fresh or fully thawed turkey. Never lower a frozen or partially thawed turkey into the hot oil as it could boil over.

Be sure to remove the giblets and neck from the interior of the turkey - do not stuff turkeys for deep frying.

Right before you are ready to fry, use paper towels to pat the turkey dry inside and out.

When using a propane cooker, please never fry indoors, near flammable materials, or on a wooden deck!

Pick out a level spot in your yard to set up the equipment to fry the turkey. (It is not a good idea to fry over concrete as the oil can stain the surface, if spilled).

It?s a good idea to use a drip pan under the fryer just in case. New electric cookers, safe for indoor use, are available.

Never leave the fryer unattended.

Keep children and pets away from the hot oil.

Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure that it says that it can be used on a “grease fire.” A hose or water-based extinguisher can make the problem worse by spreading the fire through splatter.

Use the deep-fat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil as you cook. Keep temperature at 350?F . Peanut oil will begin to smoke at 425?F. If oil begins to smoke, reduce heat immediately.

Wear thick gloves or oven mitts and cover arms with a long-sleeve shirt.

Use a cooking oil with a high smoke point. According to the National Turkey Federation, cooking oils with high smoke points should be used when frying turkeys. Peanut oil has the highest smoke point and many Cajun chefs recommend it.

Do not consume alcohol during the cooking process. Proper safety includes waiting until the turkey is fried and drained, and the pot with the oil has been allowed to cool.

Lower turkey into hot oil carefully. The fresh or thawed turkey must be lowered into the hot oil very carefully to avoid oil splashing or spillage. Again, never lower a frozen or partially frozen turkey into the hot oil. It is a good idea to use a catch or drip pan under the turkey fryer in case of accidental spillage or boiling over of oil.

Just for added emphisis here’s a video done by a labrotory with assistance from their local fire dept to show the dangers of turkey frying. I have seen a local dept video where they fried a turkey next to a house scheduled for a controlled burn to be done, the whole side of the house was lit up in seconds. it’s only in MPEG format and is about 13Mb in size

Happy Frying

Answer #2


Answer #3

Dear Steve, There is a step that helps to insure safe turkey deep frying. First fill the pot you’ll be putting the oil in with water. Lower the turkey you’ll be using into it…if it spills over you have too much water. If that would have been oil you’d have a over flow and no doubt a fire. So continue till you have the correct amout of water allowing for a bit of bubbling the oil will do. Mark the pot to that level…do not put more oil in than where the mark is. Sue…good luck

Answer #4

Dangerous!! How would you like it? You turkey burner

Answer #5

To determine the amount of oil by using water, you might want to put the turkey in first then put the water in. Just enough to cover the turkey. Take the turkey out, then mark the height of the water. You can mark it with a pencil on the inside of the pot. Won’t hurt anything. Then when you are ready to cook, fill the pot with oil up to the mark.

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