It's that wonderful time of year again where family and friends get together and watch football and eat a lot of turkey. And when it comes to the turkey there are several ways of cooking it; there's the safe way and then there's the dangerous way.

The dangerous way of cooking the turkey is deep frying it.

Food Bank Hands Out Turkeys Ahead Of Thanksgiving
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The Don'ts of Deep Frying a Turkey

The first thing not to do is to put the turkey in the grease while still frozen or partially frozen. And I know that may sound like common sense to most people. But because there is a big lack of that nowadays let me break down why you don't put frozen turkeys in hot grease.

Why Grease and Ice Don't Mix

It comes down to the big temperature difference or in simple terms hot and cold do not get along. When frying a turkey your grease is boiling at 375° degrees Fahrenheit and anything frozen is below or at 32° degrees Fahrenheit. So when the extreme heat meets the extreme cold is when the chaos pursuits.

Fire Department Demonstrates The Dangers Of Deep-Frying Turkeys
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The Aftermath

Here is the order of events that will occur if you still decide to put a frozen turkey in the hot oil.

  1. The ice turns into water which will overflow your pot of hot oil
  2. The water and oil will try mix together which will cause a powerful reaction
  3. A explosion will occur and the oil will catch on fire
  4. The flaming oil will overflow from the pot spreading everywhere

And all of that will occur in half a second. Which leads me to my last point. What to do when the fire breaks out.

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Fire Control

  1. Call the fire department
  2. Do NOT ADD WATER. This will only spread the fire instead of putting it out
  3. Try to cover the pot with the metal lid and turn off the heat source
  4. Use baking soda or salt to put out the flames
  5. If the baking soda or salt does not put out the fire then use a class k fire extinguisher as these are wet chemical extinguishers. You can also use a class b fire extinguisher as it dry chemicals. NEVER USE A CLASS A FIRE EXTINGUISHER. A class a fire extinguisher is a water base fire extinguisher which will only spread the fire instead of putting it out.


So as long as you don't put a frozen turkey in hot oil you will be fine. But if you do accidently put a partially frozen turkey in the deep fryer just have everything ready to put out the fire quickly. Also always cook outside and never in the house or garage.

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