Deep frying a turkey is dangerous. This is probably the riskiest method there is for making your family Thanksgiving dinner. Looking around the internet for turkey frying tips, you’ll see that most articles on the subject are not written by cooks, but by fire marshals. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) says that frying a turkey is not worth the risks. So, frankly, the best piece of advice to give to people who want to want to deep fry their Thanksgiving is turkey is “don’t!”
Still, though, some people take risks for their food. And they’re okay with that. If you insist on deep frying your turkey, you’ll need some advice. Frankly, you’ll need advice beyond the scope of this article, and you should check out the NFPA’s site, as well as those of your local fire department. Nonetheless, here are a few tips to avoid disaster when frying a turkey.
Buy a Store-Prepared Turkey
Good news! You can buy a deep fried turkey from the store! This will get you that deep fried bird flavor you need, and you won’t have to put you and your family at risk. Problem solved. A store bought turkey will also allow you to spend more time with your friends and family. Let someone else take the risk.
Keep it Outside
Your turkey should be fried outside, and at least 10 feet away from the house. This will not prevent the turkey from catching fire, but it will help keep that fire away from your house. Keep your family, pets, and neighbors away from the turkey. Never leave it alone. This perilous poultry is your responsibility, and you need to keep your eye on it.
Get the Right Turkey
Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and completely dried out, or completely fresh. Talk to your local meat market employee for advice. The meat market counter is a great source of information. The butchers make meat their livelihood. They’ll have the knowledge to ensure your holiday is as safe as can it can be with a deep fried turkey.
Watch the Temperature
Once again, do not take your eye off the turkey. One thing you can do to keep on top of this task is to monitor the turkey’s temperature constantly. Any spikes in heat could suggest problems. So watch out. And be careful when touching the turkey. The extreme temperatures are a burn hazard. Wear gloves and keep your distance.
Have Your Firefighter Kit Ready
Deep frying turkeys causes fires. You’ll need to prepare yourself. Have a fire extinguisher at hand. Keep flammable materials away from the turkey. Buckets of water, too. Make sure you’ll be able to unplug anything that needs to be unplugged quickly. Additionally, make sure you’ve got a burn kit. Residential fires are one of the most common types of fires, and deep fried turkeys are very common causes of residential fires. A first aid kit is key. And make sure you’ve got a phone handy, in case you need to dial 911.