CCFD Offers Safety Tips for Frying Thanksgiving Turkey

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Corpus Christi Fire Department (CCFD) would like to remind residents about the dangers of using turkey fryers when preparing holiday meals. Tests have shown that the fryers have a high risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling hot oil, all of which can lead to fires, burns and other injuries.

The CCFD offers these tips to help reduce the risks associated with cooking with turkey fryers:

• Read and follow all instructions that come with your fryer.

• Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors, placed on a level surface, and located a safe distance from buildings and other material that can burn.

• Do not use a turkey fryer on a wooden deck, wooden surface or in a garage.

• Never leave the fryer unattended.

• Carefully monitor the oil temperature to avoid overheating. If the oil continues to increase in temperature, it could catch fire.

• Only deep fry smaller turkeys—up to 12 pounds.

• Use oils with high smoke points such as peanut, canola and safflower. If considering using peanut oil, make sure none of your guests have a peanut allergy.

• To determine how much oil you’ll need, put the turkey in the basket and place it in the pot. Add water until it reaches one to two inches above the turkey. Lift the turkey out and use a ruler to measure the distance from the water to the top of the fryer. This will be the amount of oil you should use. Pour out the water, and be sure to dry the fryer completely before filling the pot with oil.

• It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to heat the oil, depending on several factors, including the outdoor temperature, wind, and weather.

• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels before placing it in the fryer to keep the hot oil from spattering and popping.

• Be sure to lower the turkey VERY SLOWLY into the hot oil.

• You should maintain an oil temp of 350ºF. At that temperature, fry the turkey for three to four minutes per pound. For a 10–12-pound turkey, the cooking time is approximately 35 to 42 minutes.

• Do not allow children or pets near the fryer when in use or hours after use while the oil is hot and dangerous.

• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles.

• Always keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use an all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call 911 for help.

For more information, please contact the Corpus Christi Fire Department at 826-3900.