Turkey Fryer Safety Tips

  • Published
  • By 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The latest trend in preparing a Turkey is "deep frying." However, if you don't take precautions, you may end up with an injury or fire. Deep Fryers can be dangerous because:

· Many units easily tip over, spilling the five gallons of hot oil within the cooking pot.
· If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner/flames causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
· With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
· The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.
· To use a turkey fryer you need to request the Incirlik fire prevention (676-6974) to come inspect the area and equipment. All fryers need to be at least 10 feet from all combustible structures.

Deep-fried turkey cooking tips:
· Follow your fryer's instructions.
· Use oils with high smoke points such as peanut, canola and safflower. Peanut oil adds flavor, but it can be a concern if guests have peanut allergies.

Safety tips:
· Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other material that can burn.
· Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or car ports.
· Propane-fired turkey fryers are designed for outdoor use, particularly for Thanksgiving, by which time rain is common in many parts of the country. If rain strikes exposed hot cooking oil, the result can be a splattering of the hot oil or a conversion of the rain to steam, either of which can lead to burns. Use of propane-fired turkey fryers indoors to avoid bad weather is contrary to their design and dangerous in its own right. Also, moving an operating turkey fryer indoors to escape bad weather is extremely risky. Fires have occurred when turkey fryers were used in a garage or barn or under eaves to keep the appliance out of the rain.
· Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
· Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect resulting in a fire.

· Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you don't watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
· Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use, or even after use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours afterwards.
· 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.
· Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don't mix, and water causes oil to spill over, causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
· The National Turkey Federation recommends refrigerator thawing and to allow approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird thawed in the refrigerator.

Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Remember to use your best judgment when attempting to fight a fire. If the fire is manageable, use an all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call 911 for help.