Turkey Fire Tips for Your Holiday Meal

Turkey Fire Tips for Your Holiday Meal

3 min.
November 9, 2021

by Noel Barteck

Is there any day(s) of the year when fire departments around the nation are more likely to respond to kitchen or house fires than any other?  The answer is yes.  Statistically Thanksgiving and Christmas have the highest likelihood of these types of fires.  Many people who are not accustomed to cooking, or with limited cooking experience, are more likely to be preparing a meal for family on these two days.  

We all are well aware that the holidays are rapidly approaching and preparing a turkey in a deep fryer has become more and more popular.  In an article from our November/December 2020 Fire Journal some of the dangers of using turkey deep fryers were presented.  We would like to summarize the most important points in this article.  The Boise Idaho Fire Department has produced a YouTube video on how to safely use a turkey fryer.  Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch(?v=W6ZGWAGKUyo to view this video.  It is quite an eye-opener and is only a couple of minutes long.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) they feel turkey fryers that use cooking oil are not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.  There is a large quantity of cooking oil at a high temperature which poses a significant danger, plus the burners that heat the oil can ignite spilled oil.  This can lead to burns, other injuries and loss of property.

If you are going to use a turkey fryer, be sure to follow these safety tips”

Never use a turkey fryer in, or close to, any type of structure.

Place the turkey fryer on a level, non-combustible surface.

Thaw the turkey, never place a frozen turkey in the oil.

Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane powered turkey fryer.

Make sure the oil is between 325 and 350 degrees. Hot oil can ignite.

Don’t overfill the pot with oil. Overflowing oil can start on fire.

The lid for the pot can become extremely hot. Be sure to use tongs or potholders to lift the lid to prevent burns.

Skip the stuffing when frying turkey and avoid water-based marinades.

Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.

Being safe with all your cooking practices during the holiday season can help reduce the amount of property damage, injuries and even deaths from holiday cooking.

This article was orginally reported by