Fried turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition. So are fires.

SAFD warns of fiery danger of dropping frozen bird in hot oil

Fried turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition. So are fires.
Fried turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition. So are fires.

SAN ANTONIO – Deep-fried turkey may be a juicy tradition, but it can also send your feast up in flames - or worse.

“Ensure the turkey is completely thawed to prevent a fire or explosion hazard,” the San Antonio Fire Department posted on its Facebook page.

Thanksgiving day is the peak day for cooking fires across the country, and fryers are a common culprit, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

One of the most dangerous mistakes is dunking the bird before it’s thoroughly thawed.

As the SAFD showed in a 2017 demonstration, doing so quickly creates a dangerous fireball.

To cook up a dinner that’s tasty and not tragic, SAFD says follow this advice:

  • Set up in a safe outdoor space at least 10 feet away from the house or structures and not on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure the turkey is thoroughly thawed. Even a partially frozen bird can create an explosive fire.
  • Don’t overfill the fryer with oil. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Raise and lower the turkey slowly to prevent splatter, burns and fire.
  • Have a fire extinguisher in close reach. Do not douse an oil fire with water because it will make it worse.
  • Wear protective gloves and eye wear.
  • Never leave a fire unattended and keep a close watch on children.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.