While preparing your Thanksgiving turkey in a turkey fryer can be a timeless tradition, it’s important to keep cooking safety measures in mind to protect yourself, your guests and your home. After all, the U.S. Fire Administration states that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
As with any cooking tool, it’s important to take caution when using a turkey fryer, as it can be extremely dangerous. Here are some tips to consider when frying a turkey:
- Stay in the area where you are cooking. Leaving the turkey unattended may cause the fryer to overheat, resulting in a fire.
- Use your turkey fryer on a level surface. Anything that might cause the fryer to tip over may result in a hot oil spill.
- Thaw your turkey before cooking. Water from a still-frozen turkey can cause the oil to bubble or splash over the pot.
- Keep small children and animals away from the fryer while it is in use. There is a great risk that a child or pet could run into the fryer, knocking it down and causing serious injury. A safe distance of three to 10 feet away is recommended.
- Have safety equipment ready. Use oven mitts, goggles and an apron while cooking. Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency, and keep flammable items away from the fryer.
- Keep the turkey frying outdoors. Only use a turkey fryer outside and away from your home. Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a porch.
- Keep some distance between yourself and the fryer as you monitor it—you don’t want to accidentally get splashed with hot oil.