How to Deep Fry Your Holiday Turkey Safely

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 @ 06:10 AM

Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us. Many people love deep fried turkey for their holiday meal. Many people want to try  out this national craze, but are afraid due to other peoples’ past mishaps. An outdoor propane turkey fryer need not be such a frightening experience.  With safety awareness and certain precautions taken in advance you can avoid many potentially hazardous conditions.

If you have been researching deep fryers or already own one, this is information that you already have. But, certain things are worth mentioning more than once! Keep in mind that cooking with fire and oil is a serious business.

When cooking with a conventional turkey fryer, overflow and spillage, accidental or not, are usually the main cause of problems. This can happen when your turkey isn’t thawed properly, when water is retained in food, or by hastily lowering food  into the hot oil.

Make sure your fryer is on level, stable, solid ground. That does not mean in your garage. This does not mean your wooden deck or porch that is attached to your home. Keep a safe distance from buildings or materials that could potentially catch fire.

Have a back up location if weather conditions change.

Position the propane where the heat from the fryer blows in the opposite direction.

Make certain that there is at least 2 feet of space between your fryer & gas tank.

Make sure that the hose is not in a place that it will get tripped over.

You want to be sure that the kids and the dog have somewhere else to play. That goes for big kids too. Especially ones that may have not noshed enough and had a beer or two too many.

Make sure you are properly dressed. No shorts and flip flops or bare feet. Wear pants, shoes, and shirts with tight sleeves. No big poufy pirate sleeves..

Use hand protection. Some sort of well insulated gloves. You may want eye protection, against splatter, as well.

Always a have deep fryer thermometer handy to regulate temperature. Not all fryers have one built in.

Have an extra LP tank handy. If you run out because you had a BBQ the weekend before, it’s no one’s fault but your own. The hardware store or LP gas company probably won’t be open Thanksgiving Day.

When you are frying a turkey,  fill the fryer ahead of time with the turkey and water so that the turkey is completely submerged plus an inch or two. Take the bird out and mark your water line. This is your oil fill line. Make sure you thoroughly dry out the fryer before you put the oil in the stock pot. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed, dried, & room temperature before you put it in hot oil.

Use care when lowering food into your fryer. Be slow. Be safe. Turn the burner off if you want to. If the burner is off there is less chance for a burning flare up. The oil IS going to bubble up when you start to lower the food in. Dunk it like a tea bag. Lower & raise once, twice, however many times until the bird is properly settled. Once that’s done, turn the burner back on. Get your temperature back to 350 degrees & maintain that temperature.

A way to avoid some of the potential problems that can arise, is by using a safer fryer like a Cajun fryer or Bayou fryer. With a conventional outdoor cooker, overflow of oil comes out all around the top of the pot and can spill directly onto the flaming burner causing flare ups. With a safer fryer the burner sends super heated air through self contained tubes that run through the oil. This heats the oil  sufficiently enough to deep fry any type of food, including a turkey. Any spillage that may happen would occur in the front of the cooker. The fire burner is only exposed in the rear of the unit, so all spillage would be away from any flame, therefore creating a much safer frying environment. (You still want to take all of the safety precautions). These fryer units come with a rolling caddies, and self aligning stands. Making them portable and easier to stabilize. This opens up a much bigger world of frying possibilities. It’s not just for deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving anymore. Expand your tailgating menu. Make wings for the Superbowl. Fry up some donuts for the church bake sale.Have a fish fry at the firehouse. Bring a fryer to your next pot luck night at the camp ground. Set up shop at the next car show.

Main rules of thumb:


NEVER use water on an oil fire!!! Always have an all purpose fire extinguisher handy just in case.  Should something occur with fire out of hand, call the fire department. Don’t try to be a hero.

Always remember that your fryer oil is going to remain hot for hours after you shut the burner off. So again make sure the kids, big kids included, and the dog have somewhere safe to play.

Have a great and safe Turkey Day and holiday season.

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2 Responses to “How to Deep Fry Your Holiday Turkey Safely”

  1. seo says:

    Excellent indeed. I have been looking for this information.

  2. wigelnyatt says:

    Great. Hope we were of some service to you.

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