Deep frying a turkey is an exciting and delicious alternative to the traditional roasted holiday main dish. When preparing a fried turkey, safety precautions must be made to prevent injury and property damage. Common mistakes can cause spilling/splashed oil, fryer to tip over, and oil overheating. These can lead to dangerous conditions and result in burns, fires and other injuries. Follow these simple tips to ensure a safe and delicious holiday feast!
1. CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST
Before you whip out your fryer, make sure you’ve checked the weather forecast! You should never operate a fryer in the rain or snow, so it's best to be prepared with back-up plan for roasting your bird if the weather foils your turkey frying plans.
2. PREPARE YOUR SPACE
You should never fry your turkey indoors, on the deck, or in the garage. You’ll want to keep children and pets away from the turkey fryer, and also ensure that you maintain a safe distance from your home, trees, sheds, or other structures. There’s a significant 5 foot radius of splatter and you should have an 8 foot radius covered to protect concrete from acquiring permanent oil stains. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand just in case and wear long pants, long sleeves and closed-toed shoes. Also, be sure to use a long oven mitt.
3. THAW IT OUT
Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you fry it. Putting a partially frozen or frozen turkey in a hot fryer can cause the oil to spill, and can even cause a fire. To thaw your turkey from frozen, you need to plan a full 24 hours of refrigerator thawing for every four to five pounds. Keep in mind it can take several days to thaw! If you marinate or inject flavor into your turkey, you'll get the best flavor by letting it marinate for 1-2 days before cooking. Never stuff a turkey you plan to fry.
4. TURN IT OFF
Oil quality matters. When cooking, you’ll want to use a good-quality oil that has a high smoke point, such as peanut or safflower oil. When it comes to fire safety, smoke point is important. When frying at temperatures around 350°F, you want to make sure the oil isn’t easily ignitable, which could potentially start a fire. Make sure when filling the fryer, you leave plenty of room at the top to prevent accidental spills and overfilling.
After you heat your oil to 350 degrees, just before you lower your turkey into the oil, make sure you turn your burner off! Once you’ve completely lowered your turkey into the oil, it's safe to turn the burner back on.
Remember, the oil inside the fryer can remain hot for several hours after being used, so make certain children and pets do not play close to or go near the fryer for hours after you've finished cooking.
5. EYE IT UP
A deep fried turkey can be a total game changer in the flavor department. It will never be dry... and we hear, once you've had a deep fried turkey there's no going back! Seriously, though. Never leave your fryer unattended. A vat of boiling oil should be take very seriously and all precautions should be taken to ensure that the turkey fry is done with safety in mind.
Happy Turkey Day from your friends at AmeriGas!