(FOX40.COM) – Dunking a turkey in a deep fryer may sound tasty, but fire protection officials say it’s also risky.
“Deep frying turkeys present significant fire hazards that make it way too dangerous to be done safely,” said the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on their website.
Deep-fried turkey is a tradition from the South and has gained popularity over the years. Many famous chefs use it as a quick method of cooking a flavorful bird, however, some may not realize that deep-frying a turkey is dangerous, even for those who have been using fryers for years.
NFPA warned about some of the dangers.
Dangers of deep-frying Turkey
•Turkey fryers tip easily and spill their content, which causes oil to ignite.
•Overfilling the fryer is common. The oil spills out of the pot when the turkey is placed in the fryer and engulfs the whole unit in flames.
•With no thermostat controls, the oil is prone to overheating to the point of combustion.
•The handles and lid get extremely hot which can cause severe burns.
•Deep fryers are designed for outdoor use so rain or snow can fall on the unit which can splatter and cause the oil to convert the water to scalding steam.
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District demonstrated how easy it is for deep-frying a turkey can turn into a full-fledged fire within seconds of contact. They too, advise against it.
Deep-frying safety tips
Despite the hazards, fire officials offered some safety tips for anyone who insists on using a turkey fryer.
•Ensure the turkey is completely thawed to prevent a fire or explosion hazard.
•Always use the fryer outdoors on a flat surface, safely away from structures, wooden decks, and covered patios.
•Have the correct kind of fire extinguisher nearby and ready to use.
•To ensure the right amount of oil is used, place a thawed turkey in the fry pot and add enough water to cover the bird by ½”. Remove the turkey and mark the water level. Dump the water and thoroughly dry the pot and turkey. Fill the pot with oil to the marked level.
•Do not leave the fryer unattended. Monitor the temperature of the oil with a thermometer to prevent the oil from overheating and catching fire. If the oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the gas off.
•Raise and lower the turkey slowly to prevent oil splatter, burns, and fire.
•Use your safety tools such as oven mitts, gloves, and safety goggles.
•Stand upwind of the propane tank and fryer so heat blows away from you.