AFD gives advice on deep-frying turkey for Thanksgiving Day

Whether you're roasting it or frying it, a turkey is a Thanksgiving Day classic.

If you plan on frying your turkey this year, you may be at a higher risk of starting a fire.

The Austin Fire Department showed just how easily deep-frying a turkey can accidentally start a fire.

"There will be a lot more call volume for the Austin Fire Department on Thanksgiving," said Lt. Kevin Glover, with the Austin Fire Department.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 24: Participants are seen deep frying turkey on November 24, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

For fire departments all over the country, Thanksgiving Day is busier than normal.

"Every year, Thanksgiving has three times as many fires in the U.S. than any other day," said Glover.

The Austin Fire Department recommends following a few guidelines if you're deep-frying a turkey, including thawing the turkey out for up to three days.

Also, check that the oil level in the pot is not overfilled. You can do that with a dry run using water.

And keep the fryer out in the open and away from structures.

"With our demonstration today you'll see the flames are going to go up three stories high," said Glover.

Fire crews said it's also important to have eyes on the turkey at all times.

"With children around, you want to have a barrier around where you're frying and with the turkey also, anytime you have it, it needs to be attended to for the entire time," said Glover.


A grease fire can happen just as easily in the kitchen, too.

"If you have the lid, and you can place it on safely, that's the quickest, easiest way to stop that pan," said Glover.

A fire extinguisher should remain nearby, and if you don't have one, baking soda can also help put out a grease fire.

"When you put water into that oil, it just displaces the hot oil," said Glover.

Maybe one of the most important things fire officials said you can do is to plan out your deep-frying turkey steps before the big day.

You might just be thankful you did.

"Just with a little planning, you can have a great holiday, but if you skip some steps along the way and don't thaw out the turkey or try to cool down the grease too fast with ice, you can cause a number of problems that will ruin thanksgiving for you and your family," said Glover.

Once the turkey is done deep-frying, let the grease cool.

It could take about 24 hours.