Cook Safely by Following These Tips for Gas-Fired Turkey Fryers and Outdoor Cookers
Winter is almost here and with it cooler temperatures, football tailgate parties, and of course family dinners with many Americans preparing for a traditional Thanksgiving turkey feast. According to the US Department of Agriculture over 45 million turkeys are consumed at Thanksgiving each year and deep frying your turkey in an outdoor cooker or turkey fryer is now quite popular. Before attempting to cook these moist, tasty and crispy delights, users should be aware that the use of outdoor gas appliances may pose a risk of fire or injury if not used carefully and by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
CSA Group, a leading public safety organization and testing and certification provider for gas-fired products, offers users of turkey fryers the following safety tips to help make your cookout a success:
Before You Begin
- Read and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be aware of all warnings.
- When purchasing a turkey fryer, make sure it carries the mark of an accredited certification agency, such as the CSA Certification Star indicating that it meets applicable national standards.
- To avoid overheating of the liquid propane cylinder, ensure it is located as far away as practical (depending on the length of hose provided) from the fryer burner. Situate the fuel tank and fryer so that any wind will blow the heat from the fryer away from the tank.
- Turkey fryers should only be used outdoors and at least 10 feet from structures – including garages, carports and overhangs – vehicles, and combustible materials.
- Always use a turkey fryer on a level, stable, non-combustible surface, and never on a wooden deck or any structure that can catch fire. Be sure to use only the pot that came with the outdoor cooker and that it is centered directly over the burner.
Turkey Frying Time
- Never cook a partially or fully frozen turkey! A frozen turkey can cause the oil to splatter and boil over, posing a potential risk of fire and burn injuries. Prior to cooking, turkeys should be thawed in a refrigerator at least 24 hours for every five pounds of bird.
- Dry the turkey before putting it in the oil. Pay special attention to drying the cavity of the bird as it has the greatest potential for water or ice to accumulate. Avoid marinades that may react with the hot fryer oil.
- When filling the pot with oil, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and never over-fill the turkey fryer. This can cause the oil to overflow posing a potential risk of ignition from the burner flame.
- Never heat the oil above 400°F and always use the thermometer supplied with the turkey fryer to measure the oil temperature. Check oil temperature frequently. If the oil begins to smoke, turn gas to ‘off’.
- Use well-insulated oven mitts when touching a pot lid, handles or when adding or removing food to prevent the risk of burn injuries.
- Slowly lower the turkey into hot oil with caution, being careful to avoid any overflow.
- Never leave a turkey fryer unattended.
- Young children and pets should be kept away from the area where turkey fryers are being used, even after use.
- If any portion of the turkey fryer catches fire, do not attempt to extinguish or fight the fire. Immediately remove all people from the vicinity of the turkey fryer, and contact the fire department or 9-1-1. Do not attempt to extinguish fire with water!
Calling It A Day
- Never move the pot or drain the oil from the pot until the oil has cooled to a temperature of 115°F or less.
About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.
Manager, Corporate Affairs