Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with 1,600 reported in 2017, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
If choosing to use a turkey fryer, prevent an accidental fire by cooking away from nearby structures, remaining in the vicinity of the cooking, and having safety equipment on hand.
To demonstrate what can go wrong with a turkey fryer, the NFPA performed a live burn:
For a safer Thanksgiving, follow these cooking instructions:
- To start, take the wrapper off turkey, and remove and discard the neck and giblets.
Deep-fry your turkey outside on a flat surface, far away from homes, garages, wooden decks, etc.
- To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered.
- Remove the turkey, allowing the water to drain from the turkey back into the fryer.
- Measure and mark the water line, and use that line as a guide when adding oil to the propane fryer.
- Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
- Add oil to the fryer, based on the water line.
- Preheat oil to 375° F.
- While the oil is heating, prepare your turkey with any seasonings, marinades, or injected flavors.
- When the oil is hot, turn the burner off and slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil.
- Slowly lowering the basket helps prevent the oil from bubbling over. Turn the burner back on.
- Cook the turkey 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
- The turkey is done when the dark meat is at an internal temperature of 180° F and all white meat is at an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.
- When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and place it in a pan to drain.
- Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket.