Last updated on November 20, 2020 at 03:48 pm
Deep-fried turkeys have gained a lot of popularity in recent years because of their juicy, flavorful meat, extra-crispy skin and lightning-fast cooking time. However, because gallons of boiling-hot oil are involved, improper frying techniques could lead to severe burns and even house fires.
And while safely frying a turkey doesn’t typically include your home insurance company, accidents do happen. With a little preparation, a helping of caution and a dash of know-how, you can be a safer cook this holiday season.
In the past, Plymouth Rock Assurance has handled claims from fires caused by exploding turkeys or other fryer-related accidents. These kinds of claims typically involve frozen turkeys dipped into deep fryers or having too much oil in the fryer to begin with. Both can lead to massive flash fires.
Occasionally, our claims representatives handle situations where a turkey is being fried inside of a garage or other enclosed space. This is something you’ll want to put on your “never do this” list, as it can put others in danger.
Being too close to your home or even inside your garage while cooking can compound accidents or mishaps. That’s because there will be more than just fire, smoke and soot damage to your home — there will also be water damage from dousing the fire, which can sometimes lead to mold issues.
Safely frying a turkey starts with … safety! Be sure you know how to properly use your fryer and review the safety instructions that came with it. Here’s a helpful list of what you should do:
- Completely defrost your turkey and remove excess liquids before frying it.
- Cook your bird outside, on a flat surface and in an open area away from structures or combustible items.
- Be sure the weather is ideal – no rain or snow.
- Be wary of overfilling your fryer with oil.
- Use extra caution when lowering or raising your turkey from the pot.
- Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times.
Please keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list of safety precautions. If you’re not comfortable using a turkey fryer, consider using a different cooking method.
Help others learn from your experience — what other tips do you have for safely frying a turkey?