How to safely deep fry a turkey

KNOXVILLE (WATE) — You can’t have a Thanksgiving feast without a turkey, and many people choose to deep fry it. Cooking it can be dangerous if not done the right way. Fire officials in Tennessee demonstrated the proper way to deep fry a turkey.

The demonstration used a frozen turkey and a non-frozen turkey. Putting one into the fryer will give you a nice fried meal, but the using the other one could cause serious harm.

Fire inspector Colin Cumesty began by putting a non-frozen turkey in three gallons of peanut oil at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. He said that there should be no flames or oil spraying.

The story is quite different, he said, when the turkey is still frozen when it goes into the deep fryer.

“The ice starts to melt and that water turns to steam. It causes the oil from inside of the pot to come out from over the sides,” Cumesty said.

As the steam is unable to escape, pressure builds until the pot can’t hold it anymore, at which point the hot oil comes pouring out of the pot. Worse, explosions can occur as pressure builds.

“You need to stop that burning process immediately. You need to take off any affected clothing,” Cumesty said.

Fire officials advised homeowners to deep fry their turkey at least 20 feet away from their home and to put their fryer on a flat, level surface. They also said to avoid putting it on wood or using it in a garage.

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