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JckDanls 07

Legendary Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Sep 10, 2011
Tampa area, Florida.
This subject is brought up every year.. I haven't seen anything yet so I will start it... Deep frying a turkey can be disastrous.. Please take all precautions when doing this...

My suggestion has always been to put the turkey in the pot (before any seasoning).. fill the pot with water until turkey is covered by a couple or three inches.... Now take the turkey out of the water and use a piece of tape on the outside of the pot at water level and put a mark on the tape where the water level is (tape can be removed for the next turkey) .... so when ready to cook, fill pot with oil up to this mark... So now you know that the oil won't spill over the sides of the pot when lowering the turkey (very slowly) into the hot oil ...

Others... Please chime in with safety tips for deep frying ...
Yes, JD has it right , however I would like to add a serious warning.

First , do your frying in a place that you don't want damaged ...

Second , heat the oil to about 375*F , then shut off the gas and shut the tank off, why, when you lower that cold and somewhat wet Bird in the oil , it is going to boil big

time. By not killilg the fire , you chance catching yourself on fire , or worse .

Why not 350*F as the directions say , the temp. will be around 350*F after the oil setteles down . You then (after the boil over) re-light the burner.  

Lower the Turkey into the oil very slowly and you'll be safe.

Please , please , don't say "I know how" , and hurt yourself . We on this Forum have the experience and know what will happen .

Now 0once Fried . take a Q-view of it , well take shots of the whole thing (the wife or one of the kids can help , keep them back from the workings... .

Have fun , be safe and as always . . .
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Good tips so far!

Keep a fire extinguisher close by!

As far as flavor and awesomeness, don't brine your turkey if the brine has a bunch of sugar. The skin will burn and be awful!!!
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Great tips so far....

Check oil level by putting turkey in the pot with water.
Place cooker in an area safe from others, buildings and animals.
Fire extinguisher (one for oil and propane fire)
Start with 375° and turn everything off, then add bird into oil very slowly. After things settle relight burner.
Thaw bird completely.
Do not brine due to sugar.

All great tips!

I would like to add.

Wear closed toe shoes and jeans. While adding the bird slowly to the oil there will be splattering. Dont want any burns on the legs. Same reason wear long leather gloves to protect the hands and lower arms. I have seen online someone make a contraption to lower a bird with a pully and a ladder.

Keep your area clear. Make sure all paths too and from the fryer are clear. This includes the audience. People want to see, but they can get in the way and someone could get hurt.

Do not try to fry to big of a bird. If buying a kit look at the instructions and see what they recommend. You need space for the oil to get the convection going, so too big of bird in the pot will not allow. Better to fry 2 small then 1 too big.

Oil temp. As mentioned start at 375°, but you may not get back to that temp. All of the birds I have done I try to keep it at 325° after the first hit of 375°.

Cooking time average is 3 min per pound. You want 165° in the thighs and breast. Allow to rest about 15-20 min before carving. Do not cover with foil or you will loose the crisp skin.

Allow the turkey to sit in the fridge for a day or two uncovered. This will allow the excess water to dry up and will give you less splattering. If wanted you could smoke the bird a couple hours to help this as well and it will give a good flavor to the bird.

When removing, do so slowly as well. The cavity will be full of oil.

Seasoning....avoid sugar and things like herbs on the outside including the cavity. They burn real quick.

Have a plan for proper disposal of the oil.

Do not drink adult beverages until after the cooking is done and things are safe. Too many videos out there of "hold my beer while I do this"

Enjoy and have fun.
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This is a great post, I hope everyone reads it. I like to leave the Turkey in the original wrapper, giblets neck all inside. Fill the pot as stated above. One other thing to do on the fryer hose cover that with foil, the little gas in the hose if the hose burst from hot oil, could be disaster.

Lets everyone be safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving
Charbroil Big Easy Oil less deep fryer works good. Safe and easy to use. Bought mine from costco a few years back. Love it. I do a 25lb turkey every year.
Charbroil Big Easy Oil less deep fryer works good. Safe and easy to use. Bought mine from costco a few years back. Love it. I do a 25lb turkey every year.
That is not a fryer. Has nothing to do with frying.

Set your fryer on a non- combustable surface a good distance from anything you don't want to catch on fire, like your house, barn, shed, dog, wife, fence, whatever.  Then place your turkey in the smoker where it belongs.
The most important points are - 

Absolutely do the water volume test, but then DRY all water residue.

Man o man, stay down from the top of pot a safe distance for initial turkey insertion steam foam overflow.

And DRY your bird best you can in and out.

NO water, certainly no ice.

Long gloves, AND a way to lower turkey without getting surprised by the immediate VERY HOTTT  steam going up.

Stay to the side, NOT directly above.

The initial 5-10 seconds on insertion can be quite dramatic.

And turn off burner when putting in, turn back on after.

SO SO many home fires and injury by stupids from this.

They come from leaving burner on, to high oil, and/or wettt Turkey, combination of stupidity.

Totally safe if done intelligently.

Especially, if you have not done it before, look here - fryer fire statistics

Stay safe,   Marc 
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Last year I bought a  butterball electric turkey fryer. They are made by MB.

It will do a 17 lb bird easily.

Since there is no flame, there is no fire danger.

And since it has a thermostat in it, the oil temp stays steady the whole time.

One of the best investments I have ever made.

Last year I bought a  butterball electric turkey fryer. They are made by MB.

It will do a 17 lb bird easily.

Since there is no flame, there is no fire danger.

And since it has a thermostat in it, the oil temp stays steady the whole time.

One of the best investments I have ever made.

I've had mine for 2 years now. Fried turkey in my garage with no fear!  They are awesome.

I would add just one tip to the list above: DO NOT DRINK AND FRY.

I've been frying turkeys for years now - I've fried over twenty of them. I always thought that those "frying horror stories" were just a bunch of idiots proving Darwin was right. Til last year when I joined the club.

Friends don't let friends drink and fry. I got an early start to the holiday drinking with my brother-in-law last year. I was "slightly over served" and when I was lowering the bird into the oil, I fell over. dropped the bird, caused a big old tidal wave of hot oil and everything started on fire. Luckily no one got hurt - but damn that will sober you up quick. What a mess!

This year, I promise to fry sober.    
Lots of excellent advice already!

Many of you have a swing set or clothesline supports in you back yard. It's a simple thing to rig up a pulley and some aircraft cable with a carabiner to let you lower the turkey into the hot oil from a safe distance.

A lot of turkey frying incidents happen because someone is lowering the turkey by hand, gets splattered with hot oil, drops the turkey as they jump back, and then the oil splashes and splatters out big time as the rest of the turkey falls in all at once.

With a pulley and cable, you can gradually lower the turkey in with ease and safety. Lowering the turkey into the oil slowly lets you observe and judge the steam splattering and keep it to a safe level until the turkey is safely submeged and cooking.

I love deep fried turkey, but rarely do it because the oil is so expensive, and doesn't get used enough to justify the cost. But every time I have done it, it was fantastic.

Dry chemical fire extinguishers work on grease fires. But if you're doing it outside, away from any flammable structures, you won't need to put it out anyhow. Maybe some crispy lawn, but nothing to get too upset about!

If you make your own impromptu support, remember that you will be pulling from the side. Having your turkey-lowering rig tip over while lowering or raising the turkey would be as disastrous as dropping the turkey in. It needs to be sturdy!

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