SFD offers turkey frying safety tips

Turkeys in a cooler at Vowell's Marketplace. (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)
Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, the Starkville Fire Department is offering safety advice on how to properly fry a turkey.

“Don't ever fry a turkey indoors, including inside a garage or on a wooden back porch or deck attached to your home," Fire Marshal Mike McCurdy said.

McCurdy said fryers should only be used outdoors and at least five to 10 feet away from any structure.

McCurdy said to never overfill the fryer with grease, because it can cause the grease to spill out when the turkey is dropped in. Also, follow the manufacturer's instructions for recommended frying temperature.

Frozen turkeys should never be dropped into hot grease and should be completely thawed before frying.

McCurdy said tongs and oven mitts should be used to protect hands from burns when placing turkeys in and out of the hot grease, and loose fitting clothing should be avoided.
"It can make you trip and fall into the fryer," he said.

McCurdy said loose clothing, scarves and long hair can also dip into the hot grease and cause burns.

"We say this with any cooking: stay with it," he said. "Don't drop the turkey in the grease and then go inside."

He said when cooking at any time of the year, avoid distraction and never leave cooking unattended.

McCurdy said to keep any children and pets away from the fryer to keep it from getting knocked over or grease splattered on them, and always have a fire extinguisher nearby because grease fires can’t be extinguished with water.

"And always, if you don't know what you're doing or you're not comfortable, you can always call a caterer," McCurdy said.