November 25, 2002
Deep-fried turkey safety tips
From the Office of the State Fire Marshal
The process of deep frying a turkey requires preparation and precaution. The instructions provided with the cooking-pot should be read carefully before attempting to deep-fry a turkey. This is critical in order to prevent a serious fire or burn injury.
The National Turkey Federation and the Turkey Information Exchange offer these safety tips:
1. Prepare in advance and use proper equipment
¥ Use a specially designed outdoor cooker/deep fryer with a perforated basket insert. The cooking pot should have a capacity of 10-gallons or more, stand three feet high and be hooked up to a propane gas cylinder.
The propane cylinder must be separated by a minimum of 2 feet from the fryer. Remember it is important to read and follow the manufacturer's directions and safety instructions that come with the cooker.
¥ Place the fryer on a flat and level surface.
¥ Be aware of your clothing around the hot oil, which can spatter, and the open flame, which could ignite clothing. Roll sleeves up and tuck away loose clothing.
¥ Be sure you are strong enough to lower the turkey into and lift it from 350-degree oil safely.
2. Keep heated items (hot oil and the propane cooker) away from anything that can burn.
¥ The entire area for at least 10-feet in all directions must be fireproof. Never deep-fry a turkey indoors, in garage, on a porch, on a deck, or in any other structure attached to a building.
¥ Keep children and pets away from the cooking area. Never leave the hot oil unattended.
¥ The deep-fryer unit should be positioned so any wind will direct the heat away from the gas cylinder, people, and structures.
3. Watch what you heat and cook.
¥ Deep fryers must all be attended during cooking. Never use a frozen turkey, the ice crystals can cause it to "explode" when it comes in contact with the hot oil.
¥ Oil should not be allowed to go over 350-degrees; oil can ignite at 375-degrees. Allow oil to cool completely before disposing or storing.
¥ Never cover the deep fryer, this could cause over heating, or boiling-over or the hot oil.
¥ Should a fire start, clear all people from the area and call 911 immediately.