1 minute readHealth & Safety, Holiday
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It’s Turkey Time

Oh Thanksgiving – time for friends, family, football, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and most importantly – TURKEY!

Although Thanksgiving isn’t until next week, we’re sure those of you who are in charge of this famous dinner centerpiece are madly looking at recipes, making multiple trips to the grocery store, and starting your prep cooking.

Did you know that the average number of house fires DOUBLES on Thanksgiving Day – cooking is the leading culprit of these fires…so you may not want to try and channel your inner Paula Dean, unless you’ve trained her well.  One of the largest incidents of these home fires stems from the growing trend to deep fry turkeys.  Deep frying seems like a good option because: 1) it takes a lot less time to cook the turkey than baking it and 2) you have a better chance of having a beautifully moist turkey; and if you’ve eaten your fair share of over-baked turkey, you may want to convert to the fryer.

To help you, our good friends at the Department of Homeland Security have some good advice for those attempting to fry turkeys

  1. Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  2. Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  3. Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  4. Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  5. Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  6. To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  7. Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  8. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  9. The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  10. Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.


For the more visual learners, here is a video from State Farm of what can happen if you do not follow the proper guidelines for frying your turkey:

State Farm Turkey Explosion