Deep-frying your turkey is a way to get juicy, succulent meat in a fraction of the time you'd spend roasting one on Thanksgiving. But if you don't know what you're doing, it can also be a recipe for disaster. Make a wrong move while frying a whole bird and you could end up with a charred lawn—or worse. One of the most dangerous mistakes you can make while frying turkey is attempting to cook it from a frozen state.
In the video below shared by WESH 2 News, firefighters from the Orange County Fire Department in Florida demonstrate what happens when you submerge a frozen turkey in a fryer. As soon as the turkey enters the pot, boiling oil starts to overflow from the top of it. In seconds, the oil ignites and erupts into a ball of flame big enough to burn anyone who happened to be standing nearby.
When ice makes contact with hot oil, it instantly turns to steam. Enough rapidly expanding steam can push oil over the sides of the pot, potentially splashing onto the cook or into the flames beneath the vessel. That's why a turkey should always be fully defrosted before going into a deep fryer.
If you're brave enough to deep-fry your turkey this Thanksgiving, there are some steps you can take to ensure it doesn't end with a visit from the fire department. Always set up your fryer outdoors away from flammable materials and structures and be careful not to overfill it with oil. Before slowly submerging your turkey with the proper equipment, turn off the flame beneath the pot and have a grease-fire extinguisher handy just in case. Here are some more tips for finding success with your bird.
[h/t WESH 2 News]