Henrich Insurance Group

Texas Deep Fried Turkey: How to Avoid Fires and Other Mishaps on Thanksgiving

A growing Thanksgiving trend is preparing deep fried turkey. Exceptionally popular crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, deep-fried turkeys make a simple and delicious holiday meal.

Home Fires Double at a Thanksgiving

But there are also dangers when you fry a turkey most turkey fryer fires are preventable. This is why it is extremely important to deep fry turkeys outside, away from buildings and materials that can burn. Keep animals and children away from the fryer so they don’t get burned and don’t accidentally knock the fryer over.  Recognizing common mistakes is a critical step in reducing your risk of a fire or potentially fatal burns. Texas is #1 on the top 10 states for grease and cooking-related claims on Thanksgiving Day for the past five years.

In this video, consumer warnings remind people what happens if your not careful when frying a turkey on Thanksgiving.

How much oil?

Most deep fried turkey recipes call for peanut, corn or canola oil—but just how much oil is necessary? Many turkey frying accidents happen when too much cooking oil is used and spills over the pot, catching fire when the turkey is dropped in.

Here is a simple way to figure out how much oil to use:

•Place turkey in pot

•Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water

•Remove and dry turkey (a wet turkey can cause oil to splatter latter)

•Mark 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 vigilant when heating the oil, and turn off the fryer immediately if any smoke appears.

Safety First

Here are some safety tips from HIG-Henrich Insurance Group for making your own delicious deep fried Thanksgiving turkey, without burning your house down:

Tip #1: Fryers should always be used outdoors, on a solid level surface a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials. Fry in an open are AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures.

Tip #2: Never use a fryer IN, ON, or UNDER a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, patio cover, wooden deck, or enclosed space.

Tip #3: 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.

Tip #4: Avoid oil spillover-don’t overfill the pot, turn off flame when lowering the turkey into oil. Raise and lower food slowly to reduce splatter and avoid burns.

Tip #5: Never leave the fryer unattended because, without thermostat controls, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

Tip #6: Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts and wear long sleeves and safety goggles to protect from splatter.

Tip #7: Keep a grease-fire-approved extinguisher close.

Tip #8: Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use as the oil can remain hot for hours.

Tip #9: If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas OFF.

Tip #10: If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water.

Alton Brown with the Food Network has an excellent video posted on Youtube how to safely fry a turkey. It's Worth it to Watch It!

Alton Fried Turkey Part 1 of 3 video
Alton Fried Turkey Part 2 of 3 video
Alton Fried Turkey Part 3 of 3 video


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