Turkey Fryer Hazards

THE LATEST TREND IN COOKING A TURKEY is deep frying. However, if you don't take precautions, you may end up with an injury or fire. Deep fryers can be dangerous because:

  • Many units easily tip over, spilling the five gallons of hot oil within the cooking pot.
  • If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner/flames causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
  • Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too, may result in an extensive fire.
  • With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

Important Safety Information

If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips.

  • Purchase a factory-built unit, do not use homemade fryers.
  • Use the fryer outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Place the fryer a safe distance from buildings and combustible materials.
  • Do not use the fryer on a deck, in the garage, or other combustible surface.
  • Ensure that the unit is on a flat, dry surface.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Keep all pets and children away from the fryer before, during, and after use - it can remain hot for several hours.
  • Do not overfill the fryer with oil.
  • Use leather gloves or pot holders when touching the unit or lid.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before placing it into hot oil.
  • Place the turkey in the oil slowly; this may take up to a minute depending on size.
  • Keep a multipurpose (ABC) fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire.
  • Never use water to extinguish a turkey fryer fire; oil and water do not mix.
  • If a fire occurs, clear the area and call 911.

Worth The Risk?

Underwriters Laboratories considers turkey fryers to be dangerous to use presenting numerous safety hazards to consumers. Based on their test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with the trusted UL Mark.

View Underwriters Laboratories Turkey Fire Demonstration video.

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