Every year around the holidays, countless families around the country try their hand at deep frying a turkey. While this tradition may make for a delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, it can also be very dangerous. Without proper safety precautions and planning, deep frying a turkey can cause injuries and fires, which certainly puts a damper on the holiday season. So, don’t ruin the dinner and the day by dangerously deep frying your bird, and follow these safety tips.
Get the right set up, and set it up right.
Frying a turkey is not something that should be done on a homemade setup. To do it safely, buy an actual turkey fryer and read all of the safety guidelines. Putting a giant pot on to of a propane grill isn’t going to do it; if you want to properly fry a turkey, invest in the right equipment. It is also important to set an outside turkey fryer up outside. Keep it away from the building, trees, or anything flammable. Keep the pot level and stable to avoid any oil from splashing out, and make sure no children, pets, or fearless adults get near. It is also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher that works for oil fires nearby. Do not ever let anyone try to put out an oil fire with water or other liquids!
Thaw and dry the turkey completely.
Water and oil don’t mix well, and having ice particles or water droplets on the turkey when lowering it into the oil can cause it to flare up and start fires. The oil can also splash out and burn nearby people, though generally speaking anyone who isn’t helping fry the turkey should steer clear regardless. When drying the turkey, it’s very important to dry every part, as ice can be hidden inside of it and in places people may not think to check. Don’t let anyone wind up in the hospital because of an overlooked chunk of ice!
Turn off the burner when lowering the turkey.
By turning off the burner when lowering the turkey, you can avoid setting any of the oil that splashes out on fire. It can also prevent too much oil from shooting out in the first place. Even still, be very careful and take it slow. Even when you do everything right, there is a chance that something could go wrong. It would also be smart to wear gloves, clothes that cover up most skin, and even goggles or glasses. Because it is so likely that oil could splash out at this stage (and at other stages), it is important to protect your skin and eyes.
Leave the oil to cool afterwards.
After the turkey is cooked, slowly and carefully removed from the oil, and the burner is turned off, leave the oil to cool completely. Just because the turkey is done doesn’t mean there is no more danger. The hot oil left over can take time to cool, and until then it poses a serious burn hazzard. It is best to leave the turkey to cool off as long as possible, or even overnight, to be on the safe side. The oil should then properly be disposed of. Hint: don’t pour it down the drain. The oil can actually be reused a couple of times, or sealed in a container and thrown away.