While propane turkey fryers are readily available and inexpensive, they can be unsafe, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). They point out that those types of fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures and pose a significant danger. Additionally, the oil remains hot for hours after the unit is turned off.
For those who insist on going deep-fried for the holiday, the number one rule is to never fry a frozen turkey. Make sure it’s thawed, and dry, and that the oil is heated according to manufacturers instructions
Even following the proper safety guidelines, oil can splash all over the place and start a fire which could get out of control. Make sure you have everything you need in case there’s trouble like a fire extinguisher and not a hose.
Other safety tips:
- Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks, in a garage, or on a patio.
- Deep fry the turkey at least 10 feet away from any structure or overhang.
- Make sure the fryer is used on a flat surface to reduce tipping.
- 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 while in use. Even after use, use caution; the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours.
- Do not overfill the fryer.
- Oil and water don’t mix, and water causes oil to spill over, creating a fire or even an explosion hazard.
Thanksgiving is the top day for cooking fires to happen.