Deep Frying your Turkey this Thanksgiving? Here are some safety tips!

How on earth is is the middle of November already? The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us folks. If your family is like mine you are busy buying and making gifts for the upcoming gift giving season. No matter which religion your family celebrates the time for joy is right around the corner.

Up first is Thanksgiving. I know several years ago we took to deep frying our turkey out side in the garage. Which consists of the family’s men gathering around a turkey fryer reading a meat thermometer trying not to burn down the house. Believe me we have had a few close calls. However, over the years we have gotten much better at it.

If you are new to the art of deep frying the turkey or if you would just like some safety tips here are some good ones..

  1. Place the Deep Fryer on Level Flat Ground- The oil must be even and steady at all times to ensure safety. Do not move it once it is in use! (Leave 2 feet between the tank and burner if using a propane-powered fryer.)
  2. Stay away from the House- Set up the Turkey Fryer more than 10 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. NEVER LEAVE IT UNATTENDED! Keep the fryer off of wooden decks, out of garages, and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  3. Watch the weather- Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  4. Choose a smaller turkey for frying- a bird that’s 8-10 lbs is best; pass on turkeys over 12 lbs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overfilling.
  5. Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  6. Skip the stuffing when frying turkey (or prepare separately in the oven) and avoid water-based marinades.
  7. Use a Thawed and Dry Turkey- Make sure your Turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.
  8. Monitor the Temperature- Use caution when touching the turkey fryer. The lid and handle can become very hot and can cause burns. Also, be sure to keep track of the oil’s temp as many fryers do not have their own thermostats. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off, cooking oil that is heated beyond it;s smoke point can catch fire.
  9. Be prepared- Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites. Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms.
  10. Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner and place it on a level surface. Cover it and let the oil cool overnight before disposing of the oil.

An alternative option would be to go for an oil-less fryer which uses infrared heat to cook the turkey instead of oil. Whatever you do. Be safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends!

And just for fun I am adding my favorite Deep Fried Turkey Recipe Complements of Paula Deen and the Food Network

1 (10-pound) turkey
2 tablespoons House seasoning, recipe follows
2 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub
3 to 5 gallons peanut oil
Cooks Note: To measure the amount of oil needed to fry the turkey, place turkey in fryer, add water to top of turkey, remove the turkey and the water line will indicate how much oil will be needed to fry your turkey. Having too much oil can cause a fire. The pot should not be more than 3/4 full or the oil could overflow when the turkey is added.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Wash bird inside and out, and allow to drain. Rub turkey all over with House Seasoning. Coat turkey with dry rub. Allow the bird to sit until it reaches room temperature.
Heat peanut oil in a turkey fryer or a very, very large stockpot to 350 degrees F. Lower turkey into hot oil, very carefully, making sure it is fully submerged. Fry turkey for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes per bird. Remove turkey from oil and drain on paper towels.
Serve with favorite Thanksgiving sides and salads.
House Seasoning:
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen


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