At Protect America, our home state is Texas, where we live and work to protect homes and families across North America. Texas, unfortunately, also happens to be the leading state for grease- and cooking-related accidents on Thanksgiving day.
Deep frying turkeys is probably the most dangerous and most common of these accidents. It’s just so easy for so many things to go wrong. Most people who want to deep fry their turkeys are looking for a bird with crispy skin and juicy meat. However, this tradition can be more risky than you might think. All of those rumors about turkey fires exploding into flames are far from fiction.
So why do these accidents occur? (And what do they look like?)
Most turkey fryers don’t offer you too much control over the temperature of the oil. The oil can easily rise up to extremely high temperatures if you aren’t paying close attention to a thermometer. At around 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the oil will start to smoke and then burst into flames. You need to check on your oil container the temperature limit for your oil.
A really great way to avoid this situation is to not deep fry your turkey.
Too Much Oil
No matter what temperature your oil is, if you overfill the pot with oil, it will overflow when the turkey is added to it. The oil will naturally flow out of the pot and down into the flames. What happens next is pretty obvious. The oil causes the fire to burst into catastrophic flames. You need to make sure that you have the right amount of oil before you put the turkey in. A good way to determine this is to put your turkey in the pot and fill it up with water until it’s almost full. Then, take the turkey out and mark the water level on the inside of the pot. You will need to fill the oil up to that line when you are ready to fry the turkey.
Alternatively, prepare your turkey in any other way other than deep frying it.
Frozen turkeys contain a lot of water and moisture. When they come into contact with the hot oil, the water in the turkey will cause the oil to splatter all over the place. Oil and water don’t mix, after all. This can cause burns on the people around the fryer as well as cause a fryer fire (this shouldn’t be a surprise at this point). Depending on the size of your turkey, it could require up to four days in the refrigerator for your turkey to thaw properly. Plan ahead.
For a better way to spend your time, stress, and resources, consider staying as far away from your turkey fryer this entire season.
Frying Indoors Creates a Death Trap
If you are still considering frying your turkey at this point, please do not do so indoors. Obviously, a fryer fire could burn cause your property (as well as your loved ones) to catch on fire. Your turkey fryer should only be turned on in a well ventilated area away from the house and away from flammable materials. Pay attention to the weather. If it’s raining or snowing while you are frying, the rain or snow will cause splatters when they fall into the pot.
Just don’t do it.
There are so many other ways to prepare a turkey that can give you a juicy and tasty bird without serious fire hazards that damage your property and potentially your loved ones.
Before you go, here’s one more video for the road. An extra no-no would be using a homemade turkey fryer.
In all seriousness, stay safe and have a warm and happy Thanksgiving. Celebrate with food and family, and let’s be humble and grateful for everything we have. Good luck and thank you to our entire Protect America Family.