Much to the chagrin of firefighters, the popularity of deep-fried turkeys has grown over the past few years. Each Thanksgiving, emergency room traffic soars with burn victims from deep-fryer accidents. Simply Google “deep frying turkeys gone wrong”, and you’ll find a plethora of Youtube videos illustrating turkey explosions resulting in rapid-fire blazes.
Deep-frying turkeys is so dangerous that the Department of Homeland Security has issued warnings for novice cooks across the country. According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep fryer accidents have caused over 15 million dollars in property damage.
Despite the dangers associated with this Thanksgiving practice, many households choose to deep fry turkeys anyway. Both Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse have successfully deep-fried turkeys and even offered some helpful tips for the practice. What mistakes do people commonly make when deep-frying a turkey?
Failing to Completely Thaw the Turkey
We all know that mixing hot oil with water is a disaster, which is why you never want to drop a moisture-laden frozen turkey into hot oil. Turkeys usually take several days to thaw, so it’s quite common for people to think a turkey is thawed when it’s still partially frozen.
If your turkey isn’t completely thawed, the ice transforms into steam, which reacts with the oil and causes it to boil over the fryer. In the blink of an eye, this chemical reaction causes an explosive fire.
The Oil Temperature Isn’t Monitored
When deep-frying a turkey, your oil should be about 350 degrees, but double check the label for more information. You can also tell if the oil is overheated if it’s smoking, which is always a bad sign. If the oil reaches about 400 degrees, it can catch fire even without the presence of a turkey.
Too Much Oil
Are you unsure of how much oil you will need to deep fry a turkey? You can find out by placing your turkey in a large cooking pot and filling it with water to see how much is needed to cover it. Mark the area with a line to help you determine how much oil you will need.
When people overfill the deep fryer with oil, the pot overflows when the turkey is lowered into it. The oil could spill into the fryer burner, resulting in a deadly fire.
Where Not to Fry a Turkey
Although indoor turkey fryers are available, we don’t recommend using them. With so much risk involved, it’s really not worth it. Use an outdoor fryer only outdoors away from your home and any trees. Do not fry a turkey on a wooden deck or in your garage.
If you decide to deep fry your turkey, exercise utmost caution to avoid any potential catastrophes. Remember you could always roast your turkey in the oven or cook it in your propane grill for equally delicious results with much less risk involved.
To ensure that you have an adequate supply of fuel for your deep fryer, grill, and kitchen appliances, sign up for our automatic propane delivery services in upstate New York. Contact DiSanto Propane today for all your propane services.