Thanksgiving Safety: Avoiding Burn Injuries from Turkey Fryers

It is Thanksgiving time and many families and friends will gather to celebrate the holiday. Part of this holiday tradition is, of course, eating a turkey dinner. One of the ways to cook a turkey is with a turkey fryer, which can lead to fires and hot oil burns. In fact, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers. Using a turkey fryer involves risks, which include second and third-degree burns to the body and injuries to the eyes as a result of the hot oil that can splash and spill from the fryer. Adding to the potential dangers of using a turkey fryer are defects in the fryer such as a spout that leaks oil or an unsteady or inadequately secure fryer.

Cooking a turkey with a turkey fryer involves using the fryer outdoors and clear of the house, any other buildings, any type of decking and away from children. The cooking instructions generally involve adding oil to the fryer, preheating the oil, turning the burner off, placing a thawed and dry turkey into the fryer basket, slowly lowering the basket into the fryer and slowly turning the burner back on. The turkey is to be cooked around three to four minutes per pound. The turkey is then slowly lifted from the fryer when it is done cooking. In order to drain the turkey, it should be placed on paper towels or in a pan. The turkey is to sit for approximately 20 minutes before it is taken out of the basket for carving.

It is always important to exercise care and caution when using a turkey fryer, including using newer fryers with secure tops in order to avoid oil spills, and wearing protective clothing. If you, a friend, or a loved one, has been injured by a turkey fryer, it is important to immediately seek medical treatment.

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