Use Turkey Fryers Outdoors
By Member John Long, Jr.
November 4, 2020

Most house fires are caused by cooking. It is the greatest cause of home fires and home fire injuries. It isn’t surprising that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

Share these cooking tips with your community during November. While they plan their menus, they can also plan for fire safety.

Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking at high temperatures.
Stay home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently. If you leave the kitchen, set a timer to remind you there is food simmering or baking.
Keep children and pets away from the stove. They need to stay at least three feet away.
Wear short or close-fitting sleeves while cooking on the stove.
Keep pan/pot handles turned towards the back of the stove.
Many people like to fry their turkeys. There are several risks you should consider if you use a turkey fryer:

Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot oil across a large area.
An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside. You can test the level of oil needed by filling the pot with water first and dipping the turkey inside to see how much the water rises.
A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter.
Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire.
Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
The pot, lid and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries.
Consider using an electric turkey fryer. They take some of the risks out of cooking. But if you do deep-fry a turkey:

Place the fryer outside, on a flat surface that can’t burn, such as cement.
Place the fryer at least 10 feet from anything that can catch fire. This includes anything overheard like your house eaves or branches.
Keep children and pets at least three feet from the fryer.
Use a fryer with thermostat controls. Without these, the oil can heat to the point of catching fire.
Thaw the turkey completely before cooking it so ice crystals won’t splatter the hot oil.
Use potholders and oven mitts when handling the turkey.
There’s nothing more satisfying than cooking a good meal for the people we love. Make safety a priority in your kitchen, at Thanksgiving, and all year long.