Here at SMW, we love turkey, and we love Thanksgiving. And though oven roasting is an endorsed technique, we are not without affection for the savory, oil-filled repast that you can get from deep-frying your holiday turkey. It’s delicious!
It’s also, however, incredibly dangerous. Do you doubt us? We have seen the damage first-hand – and it’s not pretty.
Think of a giant fireball erupting from a steel pot. Now imagine that fireball exploding at the base of your highly flammable wooden deck. Your imagination can do the rest.
If you don’t believe us, just ask the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the international nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. According to the NFPA, deep-frying your turkey is “not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.”
Of course, many homeowners do it anyway. They set up their fryer, pour in peanut oil, and crank up the heat to dangerously high levels – usually directly beneath a flammable part of their home. This can result in serious property damage – more than $15 million every year, based on NFPA estimates.
We don’t want to be killjoys. We greatly appreciate the crispy skin and sealed-in flavor of the fried turkey – not to mention the quick prep time. So, we wanted to give you some tips that will guide you, in the event that you, too, want to fry your turkey this Thanksgiving.
1. Thaw it! You must – MUST!! – completely thaw your turkey before putting it in the fryer.
2. Move it. Don’t even think of lighting that fire inside or even very near to the house. All frying must take place outside at a safe distance away from homes, decks, or any other structures.
3. Extinguish it. Immediately prior to the actual deep-frying, be sure to take a moment and turn off the flames to your fire source. In other words, the flame – propane-fueled or otherwise – should not be lit when the turkey goes into the oil, lest ye want to light yerself!
4. Limit it. You only need enough oil to submerge the turkey – don’t overfill the fryer with too much oil. Scorching hot oil spilling over the sides of the pot can lead to serious problems.
Truth be told, we might just do a little fry-up at SMW this Thanksgiving. If you’re thinking about doing so, follow these tips and you won’t have to deal with insurance claims over the holidays.