Safe Holidays Series: Deep Frying your Turkey

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
en Español

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As we prepare for the holidays, there will be a lot of folks settling down at the dinner table with yummy dishes all surrounding a delicious roasted turkey! But Nowadays, It’s becoming increasingly popular to have our holiday bird fried to be enjoyed with dressing, macaroni and cheese, and cranberry sauce. However, with deep frying turkeys, comes safety issues that can lead to grease fires and home damage. Here are a couple safety tips on deep-frying turkeys provided by PBS and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service:

  • Use a turkey that is no more than 12 pounds for frying.
  • Pick a cooking vessel that is big enough for the turkey to fit in, without the danger of overspilling oil.
  • Determine how much oil to use by measuring with water: Submerge your turkey in water in the vessel to get the accurate amount of oil needed. Make sure the water measured and oil to be used completely cover your turkey by 1 to 2 inches.
  • Keep your turkey frying at least 10 feet away from homes, cars, pets, and children.
  • Place fryer on a flat surface so that it is secure, and does not run the risk of falling and dumping out hot oil.
  • Make sure to COMPLETELY thaw AND dry out your turkey to prevent any moisture from reacting with the high temperature cooking oil.
  • Constantly monitor the temperature of the turkey and the oil, never leaving it unattended. The turkey’s internal temperature should also be checked afterward, making sure it is at a minimum of 165 °F.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand in the case that a grease fire starts.

For more information about frying safety, please visit the references to the article below and have a safe holiday!


PBS – Five Safety Tips for Deep Frying Turkey

USDA – Deep Fat Frying and Food Safety