Deep Fried Turkey: How to Have Fun, and Avoid Fires and Other Mishaps
Seems like every year more people deep fry their Thanksgiving turkeys. I love deep-fried turkey. The frying part can be pretty dangerous though, and we are always saddened to learn of insurance claims filed as a result. Either someone is seriously injured, or a house burns down. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), nearly 4,300 fires occur on Thanksgiving causing 15 deaths and almost $27 million in property damage, many of them due to deep frying accidents.
The number one rule of turkey frying? Deep fry turkeys outside, completely away from buildings and materials that can burn.
Number two? Always keep animals and children away from the fryer so they don't get burned and don't accidentally knock the fryer over.
Guideline for How Much Oil to Use When Deep Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey
Most deep fried turkey recipes call for peanut, corn or canola oil, but they don't tell you how much oil is necessary. By the way, using too much oil, is an easy way to start a fire - when the turkey goes in the fryer, oil spills over and catches fire. Here is a simple way to figure out how much oil to use:
~ Place the turkey in pot
~ Fill with water until there's 1/2" over the top of the turkey
~ Remove and dry your turkey (a wet turkey can cause oil to splatter latter)
~ Mark the water level. Dump water, dry the pot, and fill with oil to the marked level
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that most turkey frying accidents occur while the oil is being heated, prior to even adding the turkey. This means we must be extra careful when heating the oil. If you see any smoke at all, turn the fryer off. Sorry, but starting over is preferred over starting a fire, right?
Safety First - Burning Down the House is not a Thanksgiving Memory you Want to Create
Here are some safety tips from the CPSC for making your own delicious deep fried Thanksgiving turkey, without burning your house down:
~ NEVER leave a fryer unattended
~ Put your turkey fryer in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures
~ Never use your fryer IN, ON, or UNDER a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire
~ Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil.
~ Center the pot over the burner on the cooker
~ Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter and avoid burns
~ COVER bare skin when adding or removing food
~ Check the oil temperature frequently
~ If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
~ If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water.
To make sure your home is properly protected from flaming birds this Thanksgiving, check your homeowner's insurance policy. Looking to switch policies and save on your premium? Give us a call or click for a no-obligation, updated homeowners insurance quote.