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How to use a turkey fryer safely — top tips for festive frying

Turkey fryer cooking outdoors
Turkey fryer cooking outdoors (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Holiday season is almost here, and a good time to use the best turkey fryers for your festive feasts. But, before deep frying your Thanksgiving treats, it’s important to know how to use a turkey fryer safely. 

Outdoor turkey fryers deal with large quantities of oil, so you have to take every safety precaution to avoid accidents. Not only can they cause potential fires, but can cause injury or harm if not used correctly. 

So before you set up your turkey fryer this holiday season, follow these top safety tips to keep your family and home safe.

How to use a turkey fryer safely 

Stay outdoors and away from the home — When setting up your turkey fryer, it’s recommended to set it up at least 10 feet away from your home. Also keep away from trees or any wooden structure that will be potential fire hazards. 

Always place on flat, concrete ground  — You should always place your outdoor turkey fryer on a flat, solid, nonflammable surface. Never place your turkey fryer on decking or inside an open garage to avoid any fires. Once it’s stable, avoid moving your turkey fryer during use. 

Turkey fryer outdoors

Turkey fryer outdoors (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Keep an eye on the weather — Never use a turkey fryer in the rain, snow or any bad weather condition. 

Never overfill your fryer with oil— Ensure that you don’t overfill the fryer with oil as this can be dangerous if it spills over. It’s recommended to do a test run with water in the pot to submerge your turkey. This will determine how much oil you would need so it won’t overflow.

Turkey fryer boiling

Turkey fryer boiling (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Make sure to use a thawed and dry turkey — Always ensure that your turkey is completely thawed and dry before cooking. If your turkey is still frozen, the extra water will cause the oil to furiously bubble and spill over. Once oil spills into the burner, this will cause a fire. 

Wear protective clothing/equipment — Ensure you wear protective clothing such as heat-resistant gloves that covers your arms, and safety goggles to protect you from hot oil splatter. 

Turkey in fryer basket

Turkey in fryer basket (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Monitor the oil temperature — Always monitor the temperature controls to avoid any oil overheating and causing a fire. There are some turkey fryers that have a timer or auto-shut function, but many fryers do not have a thermostat. Take caution when touching the lid or handle of a turkey fryer as these can get very hot. 

Turn off burner before lowering the turkey into the oil — When you’re lowering your turkey into the fryer, make sure the burner is off. Only switch it on once the turkey is fully submerged in the cooking oil. This will avoid any hot oil spillages or splatter. 

Turkey fryer temperature

Turkey fryer temperature (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Never leave a turkey fryer unattended — Always keep a close eye on your turkey fryer, and never leave it unattended during cooking.

Have fire precautions ready at all times — Be prepared at all times with a “ABC" or grease-rated fire extinguisher in the case of a fire. Never use water or a garden hose when putting out fires related to turkey fryers.

Always leave the oil to cool overnight before disposing — Once you’ve finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner and place on the ground. Cover and let the oil cool down throughout the night before disposing. 

Thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving turkey (Image credit: Shutterstock)

What comes in your turkey fryer kit?

Typically, a traditional turkey fryer kit will consist of a burner, large stock pot with lid, a poultry holder, a lifter to safely remove your poultry from the oil and a thermometer. There are kits that include other accessories such as an extra pot or heat-resistant gloves, but you can purchase these separately. 

You will also need a propane burner with a hose that connects to a propane gas tank, and gauge for regulating the flame.

Things could get messy after you've cooked your turkey, so here's how to remove common Thanksgiving Day stains quickly and easily

Cynthia Lawrence

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 


Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.


With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!