Deep-fried turkey is all the rage this holiday season. Not only is it a relatively quick way to cook a turkey, but it’s also a good way to ensure crispy skin and juicy meat.

Be Aware of the Risks

While deep-fried turkey is becoming more popular, don’t become one of the horror stories. Before you purchase a turkey fryer, be ready to follow the instructions; not doing so is risky. A few of the major risks include third-degree burns, house fires, and injured pets.

Do

  1. Read the instructions on how to use your turkey fryer—don’t try to figure it out on your own. Make sure to follow the instructions provided with your particular fryer.
  2. Learn how to prepare a turkey for deep frying, including removing the innards and any plastic wrap in or around your turkey. Your deep fryer should come with the necessary tools—pot, burner, basket, safety lift hook, and thermometer.
  3. Thaw the turkey completely before frying. Any water or ice on or in the bird will cause the oil to splatter and may result in burns on you or your pets. Remember to check the inside of the turkey for ice. Generally, thawing a turkey in the refrigerator will take about 24 hours for every five pounds. So, if you’ve got a twenty-pound turkey, it will take four to five days for it to thaw in the fridge.
  4. thermometer in pot of oil
  5. Determine how much oil you’ll need for the turkey fryer by using water. Put your turkey in the pot, cover it with water to the fill line, remove the turkey, and mark where the water falls. That’s how much oil you’ll need. Be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut or canola oil, and use paper towels to pat the pot and turkey dry after this process.
  6. Use the correct temperature to fry turkey. If the oil is too hot, it can catch on fire.
  7. Consider creating a pulley system that will allow you to lower the turkey into the oil from afar. This will keep you away from the pot and splashing oil. Remember, the pot is sitting on top of an open flame, so if oil splashes out of the pot, the oil may catch on fire.
  8. Fry the bird outside and away from the house. This will protect your home if something goes wrong.

Don’t

  1. Put the fryer closer than 10 to 20 feet from your home, trees, and bushes. If the fryer catches fire, you want it far away from your home or anything else that could catch on fire.
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  3. Fry a wet or frozen turkey. Any ice or water will cause the oil to pop and splatter, endangering you, your pets, and your home.
  4. Place the fryer on an uneven or wooden surface. You’re dealing with an open flame and a pot full of hot oil, so put it on a flat, non-wooden surface.
  5. Let the oil overheat. If the oil is smoking, it’s overheating and may catch on fire. Now that you know the dangers and how to avoid them, it’s turkey time. If you’re hosting this year and need a little direction, learn more about how to prepare your home for Thanksgiving.