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Home » Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey – Can Cause Injury & House Fires
November 5, 2015

Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey – Can Cause Injury & House Fires


In recent years there have been many new spins on how to cook the Thanksgiving turkey.  Among the most popular is the deep frying method – many home chefs agree there’s simply no comparison to an oven-roasted bird.  Turkey fresh from the fryer is moist, with crispy skin and a beautiful color.  The big advantage to this approach over the traditional method is that it cooks much more quickly than a turkey in the oven.

But if you’re not careful, frying a turkey can put a damper on your Thanksgiving celebration it can cause personal injury to the person handling the bird and has been the cause of many house fires.  You’ve no doubt seen videos of people accidentally starting fires in their quest for the perfect bird.  In some cases, families have even lost their homes cuasing many to file a home insurance claim which in turn increases their annual home insurance costs.   With a little common sense and safety planning,  you can safely enjoy a deep fried turkey for your Thanksgiving feast.

Here are some suggestions on how you can cook a great deep-fried turkey — without doing any damage to yourself or your home.

Tips for Deep Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey

  • Find a safe place to cook:  Be sure to set up your fryer at least 10 feet from your home, garage or any other structure. The staging area should be completely level to prevent it from tipping. NEVER set it up on a deck or any other structure that could catch fire easily.
  • Choose a reasonably sized bird:  As yummy as the outcome may be, you don’t want to drop a 20-pound bird in your fryer.  Keep your turkey to 12 pounds or less, make sure it’s completely thawed, dry and unstuffed.
  • Buy the right type of oil:  When preparing the fryer, use an oil with a high smoke point like canola or safflower. Test the displacement with water before you cook to figure out how much you need. (Put the turkey in your fryer and fill with water until it is covered. Remove it then make a mental note of the water line to determine how much oil you’ll need. Dry everything well after completing your test
  • Be extra careful while cooking:  Gently lower the bird into the oil, and then monitor everything as it is cooking. Keep an eye on the oil temperature to prevent it from getting too hot. Timing is important. The turkey should cook for between three and five minutes per pound. Be mindful of kids and pets around the cooking area to keep them from getting too close to the fryer.
  • Be ready for mishaps:  If you’re cautious, odds are you won’t need a fire extinguisher, but you should have one on hand anyway. We recommend a multi-purpose model with dry powder.  If something should go wrong, don’t ever spray water on a fryer fire.  If you don’t have an extinguisher, either cover the oil or dump a large amount of baking soda directly on
Of course, there is one  way to get a deep-fried turkey that will be delicious and not cause any preparation mishaps — Buy one from a professional! The National Fire Protection Association encourages this rather than the typical homeowner try this method.  These days they’re readily available at grocery and specialty stores, and some restaurants are offering them now, too.

The staff at Denver West Insurance Brokers sincerely hope your family has a wonderful, safe holiday season. 

Call us in the new year if you’d like a review of your current home insurance policy to ensure your properly covered in case your deep frying turkey adventure gets out of hand!

We are a local independent insurance broker servicing all of Colorado, Denver, Golden, Lakewood, Littleton, Arvada, Morrison, Wheat Ridge and Evergreen.

(Keep in mind these tips are only suggestions – please cook at your own risk!)

Tags: home insurance, homeowners insurance, just good information

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