5 Safety Tips for Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate traditions and gather with families and friends! Turkey is an iconic main course for this holiday, and is well loved. In recent years, deep-frying a turkey has become a tradition for many families! This is because it’s a faster method than traditional oven baking and basting. Not to mention, it leads to a tender and juicy bird.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving leads to more house fires than any other day of the year. Taking proper precautions is key to cooking safely this holiday season. Check out this in-depth turkey frying guide from the poultry-pros over at Butterball for step by step cooking instructions. Use our guide below to fry safely!


Keep your oil at appropriate frying temperature.

A thermometer is a must for frying! Oil thats overheated will splatter more than usual. Since fried turkeys are usually cooked over an open flame, any amount of spilled oil creates a huge fire risk. If you own a deep fryer large enough to accommodate your bird, follow its heating instructions closely.


Don’t overfill the pot or fryer with oil.

It’s better to not have enough oil to start than to have too much. After all, it’s much easier to add more oil to the pot than it is to take out boiling oil if you have too much! To test your oil level, try lowering the turkey in before you start heating the oil. If it overflows or comes close to the brim, reduce the amount of oil you’re using. Alternately, you can always use a bigger pot! If you’re using a deep fryer, never fill it over the maximum fill line.


Take appropriate safety precautions for yourself and others.

Frying foods inevitably leads to some splattering. Keep your skin protected! Use oven mitts, long sleeved shirts, safety glasses, and tie your hair back. There’s no such thing as being overly cautious when it comes to cooking with hot oil. You should also make sure all pets are secured away, and that children are kept a safe distance from the cooking station as well. The oil will stay hot for several hours after you finish your turkey. Make sure that kids and pets are kept away from the hot oil the entire time!


Use your deep fryer in an open area.

Only use your deep fryer in an open space, and on a flat surface. First degree burns happen at only 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ll be frying your turkey at nearly 3x that temperature. Before you heat the oil, check and make sure that your fryer is secure. It shouldn’t wobble or wiggle at all! If you’ll be cooking outdoors with a propane flame and a pot, set up your station in an open area. Stay away from ALL structures. This means wooden patios, decks, trees, plants, garages etc. Idaho gets chilly this time of year, but it’s imperative that you keep oil and flame a safe distance from anything flammable.


Oil and water do NOT mix — keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

Don’t operate your deep fryer in the rain or snow. If the weather doesn’t permit you to fry outdoors, plan on baking your turkey the old fashioned way. It’s far safer than trying to operate an open flame fryer inside your home. If your countertop fryer isn’t big enough for a whole bird (most won’t be) you can still fry in small batches! Break down the bird, fry the smaller portions, then keep them in the oven so they stay warm till serving time. It’s less attractive than placing an entire fried turkey on the table, but it’s also much safer if you’re frying indoors.

In the event of an oil fire, DO NOT attempt to pour water to douse the flames. Use a proper fire extinguisher, or smother the flames if it is safe to do so. Call emergency services if the fire gets out of control.



While Thanksgiving Day  is a wonderful day to share with friends and family, this holiday is also unfortunately responsible for more fires than any other day of the year. According to the National Fire Protection Association deep-fryer fires are responsible for the destruction of roughly 1,000 homes per year, and more than $15-million in property damage. It’s well worth the time to safely and appropriately cook your bird!

While the team at Elite Restoration does handle fire and smoke damage restoration, we’d really prefer that you NOT need to call us to clean up your home after the holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Elite Restoration. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!