Turkey Fryer

Fried turkey for Thanksgiving? Leave it to the pros

Years ago, before I came to NFPA, I had a co-worker who grew excited days before Thanksgiving regaling us with stories about the deep-fried turkey he would make. He'd tell us how moist and flavorful it would be and encouraged us to deep-fry ours too. I never bothered. It sounded like too much work and I always had plans to eat traditionally prepared turkey with all the trimmings at my parents' house.

I had never seen a turkey fryer and didn't know anything about the process of using a substantial amount of cooking oil at a high temperature. I didn't know that the use of the fryers was dangerous and could lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and destruction of property.

NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil. NFPA has taken the position that these fryers are not suitable for safe use even by well-informed and careful consumers. NFPA urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants or consider an “oil-less” turkey fryer.

One day I will try fried turkey. I look forward to its succulence and flavor. When this happens, I'll be seated comfortably in a restaurant, because the task will be left to the chef.

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