Fulton County Fire Rescue Warns of Dangers When Deep Frying Turkey | Print |

Every year more than a thousand fires are started nationwide by deep frying. Most of those fires happen  on Thanksgiving Day in most part because of the popularity of deep-fried turkey. Lured by the promise of moist, sweet turkey meat, the deep fryer has become an increasingly popular way to make Thanksgiving dinner.  The Fulton County Fire Rescue Department (FCFRD) reminds residents that cooking a turkey in a vat of boiling oil does come with its dangers.

“We want our residents to have a fun and safe Thanksgiving holiday,” states Chief Larry Few, Fulton County Fire Rescue Department. “We cannot stress how important it is to be careful not to cause a house fire when deep frying a turkey.”

According to the United Sates Fire Administration (USFA), frying food is the greatest risk of cooking fires. Residents are asked to keep in mind the dangers of deep frying a turkey:

Five dangers of deep frying a turkey:

  1. Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
  2. An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.
  3. Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  4. Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
  5. The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

More deep frying safety tips:

Don’t Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey  Frozen turkeys are full of moisture and we all know how water and hot oil don’t mix well, so make sure your turkey is completely thawed out before trying to fry it. Depending on the size of the turkey it could take up to 3 or 4 days in your refrigerator from solid frozen to ready to go in fryer.  

Don’t Let Oil Get Too Hot  When oil gets around 400-425-degrees it can catch on fire by itself. Steen says to make sure you have a thermometer and are watching the temperature very carefully. If oil starts smoking, it’s too hot. You need to back off, back off the heat. Most oils should stay around 350-degrees; check the label to see what the exact temperature limit is for your oil.  

Don’t Use Too Much Oil  A common, and potentially disastrous mistake people make is putting too much cooking oil in their pot. To determine out how much oil is needed, try putting your turkey in the empty cooking pot, filling it up with enough water to cover it, take the turkey out, and then mark the top of the water line to know how much oil your turkey will need.  

Don’t Deep-Fry Indoors  If something does go wrong, the inside of your home is the last place you want flames shooting up in the air. Do not deep fry in your garage or on your wooden deck. If you’re going to deep fry a turkey this Thanksgiving, do it out in your yard away from anything that’s flammable that could catch on fire. DO NOT attempt to deep-fry a turkey inside your house.

For more home fire safety tips, contact the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department at 404-612-5700. Follow them on Twitter @FCFRD.