Turkey Fryers- Not Worth the Risk

Deep frying turkeys make crispy on the outside and juicy goodness on the inside but is one of the leading causes for Thanksgiving to be the leading holiday for home fires.

Did you know Thanksgiving is the leading holiday of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment?

Outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers cook up juicy turkeys in the fraction of the time it takes to roast one in an indoor oven.  However, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discourages the residential use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers because they pose an enormous risk of injury.  Outdoor fryers heat gallons of cooking oil to very high temperatures to cook the turkey.   The risk of this oil being spilled is significant, and the injuries resulting can be severe:

  • The fryers are often bumped or tipped over when the turkey is put in or taken out, presenting a greater risk for the oil to splash or spill.  Outdoor fryers that come with a stand pose the greatest risk of tipping.
  • The oil is heated to such a high temperature for frying that the vapors could ignite, resulting in a fire.
  • If you use a turkey fryer during rain or snow conditions, the risk of injury is increased.  When rain or snow hits the hot oil, the oil can splash or turn to steam, which can cause burns.
  • Numerous fires have ignited when fryers were moved indoors or into a garage to keep the appliance out of the rain.
  • Moving the turkey from the fryer to a serving plate presents another chance of contact with hot oil.
  • Turkeys that are not completely thawed may cause the oil to splash, which can cause burns, but is also one of the number one ways the fire starts and quickly spreads to exposures.


New Lenox Fire Protection District wants all residents to be aware of the risk of injury associated with turkey fryers.  For your own safety , use the oil-free models or refrain from using them altogether.  Visit our facebook page to watch a demostration on what can go wrong with turkey fryers and how quickly the fire spreads.

We wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Vance Johnson November 13, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I think home ovens can be dangerous,too. they can leak gas and explode. That's why we only microwave our turkey. It taste is a bit rubbery, but it's safe.
Langlois Insurance Agency November 14, 2012 at 11:01 PM
This is a great article! Thank you for sharing this information. As an insurance professional, I had recently posted this great quote from the NFPA on our website, "NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil. These turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures, and units currently available for home use pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property. NFPA urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers, and restaurants for the preparation of the dish, or consider a new type of “oil-less” turkey fryer." Sincerely, Matt Langlois Langlois Insurance Agency www.langloisinsurance.com


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