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Why do deep-fried turkeys cause so many accidents?

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hotcoals

Guest
Every Thanksgiving around here, there is at least one report of someone either getting injured or burning their house down while trying to deep-fry the turkey. Honestly, I can't see ever trying this as I don't think it would be very good, but apparently it's popular. But why so many accidents?
 
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sheepdad

Guest
Mostly because people are in a hurry and don't make sure the turkey is dry and totally thawed. Water will make a fryer filled with hot grease literally erupt into a fiery turkplosion.
 
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ber4

Guest
I have had deep fried turkey but I have never actually deep fried one. I have however tossed chicken wings into my fryer. They must have had too much ice on them. The grease bubbled up and went everywhere! It was such a mess!
 
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BBQueen

Guest
It is because people don't follow directions. They put the turkey in wet, or worse yet frozen. They let the grease get too hot. They leave the fryer unattended. There are a ton of things that can go wrong.
 

jason

Nec timeo, nec sperno
I think there are a number of factors like mentioned above. Turkey not thawed, it is wet, too much oil in the pot, leaving it unattended. However I do think around the Holidays there is one key factor. I hate to say it because it can be fun but I think alcohol plays the biggest part.

If I'm deep frying I make sure I've not had too much to drink and I am close to the fryer at all times to keep an eye on it. I make sure my food is thawed and dry. I make sure not to have too much oil. I will even put the turkey in then add water so I know how much oil I will need. Then take it all out and dry it well before adding the right amount of oil. I also do it outside, away from the house, and am ready with dirty or something else to put out the fire if needed.
 
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grillqueen79

Guest
I think Jason hit the nail on the head to be honest. As soon as I saw the thread title I immediately thought alcohol. I am sure that the turkey not being thawed properly, not being dry enough, and having the oil too hot cause some of the accidents, but I'll bet alcohol causes most of them.
 
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Briquet

Guest
Jason has it right. Alcohol has a lot to do with it, along with the other factors mentioned. Personally I've never had deep-fried turkey. It sounds pretty good but we'd have to buy a large deep fryer so I don't think we'll be having it any time soon.
 
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Hilt

Guest
It comes down to safety and many people think they can skip steps. The craziest stories I have heard when it comes down to this are rushing and drinking. Or both at the same time. You can fry things, people do it all of the time but you can not rush something like this and you can not toss being safe out the window either.
 
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hotcoals

Guest
The turkey explosion sounds like the most logical explanation - although I'm sure alcohol contributes to a number of the accidents. I've had boil-overs with my indoor fryer from frozen foods having ice crystals so I understand this. A lot of people don't know how to tell if a turkey is fully thawed, even when preparing one for the oven.
 
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Ben

Guest
When I lived in Texas for a short time, our neighbors were heavy drinkers. They also had a back patio with a roof that hungover to cover for grilling. Well, one Thanksgiving they decided they were going to try frying a turkey. Guess what they lit on fire? Yup, their patio roof! I'm not into deep frying at home, for understandable reasons.
 
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talbot

Guest
I have heard of that a lot too, Ben. People just have an "it won't happen to me" mentality, and with this particular method, that mentality can be extremely dangerous. I haven't tried this, partially because that seems like a lot of money just to buy the fryer and oil, not to mention having to store it for the other 364 days a year.
 
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Briquet

Guest
The turkey explosion sounds like the most logical explanation - although I'm sure alcohol contributes to a number of the accidents. I've had boil-overs with my indoor fryer from frozen foods having ice crystals so I understand this. A lot of people don't know how to tell if a turkey is fully thawed, even when preparing one for the oven.


Yes, improper thawing and frying don't mix. Although I really don't deep-fry, I've run into similar issues when pan frying. Luckily it never boiled over but it came pretty close a couple times.
 
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prey

Guest
Turkey is a more special recipe, shall we call it. It isn't your regular french fries to be fried in the frying pan with lots of oil, but one to be made by one which has dexterity and overall knowledge in the culinary arts. I wouldn't touch it whatsoever, I'm too much of a scaredy cat. My girlfriend or my mom usually deal with these more complicated recipes.
 
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Ellyn

Guest
Are people deep-frying whole turkeys? I think that's a bit mental. If it's a whole turkey, why not just oven-roast and baste? If deep frying, why not just chop the turkey up into parts? Both are lower-risk ways of going about it that still result in something delicious.
 

Cappy

Active Member
I don't consider my self a pro but I've fried hundreds of turkeys. Usta do it for the church. I 100% guarantee every accident was that an accident done by someone that did not take the time to learn and had no common sense. There are many variables, but when done right it will be one of the best turkeys you have ever eaten. done in less than an hour too. So buy 8-12 lbrs cook several so kids can all have a drumstick. BUT PLEASE befre you try this read watch learn and feel free to ask me.:yo:
 
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NuRoy

Guest
I know I'm harsh, but I think the root of all these accidents is good old human stupidity usually combined with copious amounts of alcohol. Gallons of boiling oil is dangerous and we need to treat it with respect. No kids/horsing around near the fryer. No operating the fryer while under the influence. Following these two rules would prevent 99% of accidents .
 
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JillyBilly

Guest
I agree, it's because of stupidity. And alcohol. Alcohol, turkey and a deep fryer do not mix. I had my first deep fried turkey maybe three years ago on Thanksgiving. I was not happy that our hosts were cooking it in the way I was accustomed to on Thanksgiving, but I swear, that was the best taking turkey, to this day, I've ever had.
 
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ber4

Guest
Stupidity would be my first choice. I bet a lot of people put a frozen turkey in the deep fryer. Sometimes I think people put too much oil in the fryer too. I don't like deep fried turkey!
 
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Burg14

Guest
I think alcohol has a lot to do with accidents! I've had a couple of friends that have been burnt because they were intoxicated and they were careless. Silly if you ask me.
 
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evelynmcgregor

Guest
A lot of times people put to much oil in the pot over the fire. When the turkey is added to the boiling hot oil, the mositure in the turkey causes the oil to boil over into the flame and presto!! Instant bonfire!! And anyone who is close to the flame,,, ie the person who put the turkey into the oil, ,,, becomes a flame.
 
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