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How not to cook a Thanksgiving day turkey

Updated on November 17, 2015

Thanksgiving day just wouldn't be the same without a big juicy Thanksgiving day turkey on the dinner table. This holiday goes all the way back to the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, and this tradition has continued up until today. The turkey has been prepared and cooked in the same manner for countless generations. However recently in just the last ten years or so, some folks have decided to cook their Thanksgiving day turkeys in a totally different manner.

Today there has been a craze for deep frying foods. Just about any food out there can be deep fried these days. It doesn't matter if it's a twinky or a pickle, if it'll fit into a deep fryer, then somebody somewhere has tried deep frying it at some point. Visit this hub sometime to see some of the craziest deep fried foods that are out there anywhere - America's weird wild & wacky fair foods

The Thanksgiving day turkey is no different, however this has certainly presented some very interesting challenges when it comes to deep frying. One of the first things people need to do is use a little common sense when they are deep frying a Thanksgiving day turkey. Otherwise there can be some disastrous consequences.

It's very important to read all of the directions BEFORE you start deep frying your Thanksgiving day turkey. It's way too late to start reading them after something goes wrong in the cooking process. It might take a few minutes to read through the directions, but it may save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.

To start with this is definitely an outside activity. That means totally outside, not in a kitchen, garage, or gazebo. Not on a carport, under a shelter, or partially under any shelter, but completely outside and a good distance from all structures. This is a good idea in case something terribly goes wrong. This isn't a perfect world that we live in, and sometimes things do go wrong, and deep frying a turkey is no different.

Another good idea is to not be in a real big hurry, or try to deep fry your turkey at the very last moment. When you are rushed you may forget a critical step like making sure your turkey is completely thawed out and DRY. A turkey with moisture in it or on it can, and will cause a violent reaction when it comes in contact with the hot oil. When this occurs the hot oil runs down the sides of the deep fryer, and onto the burner or flames producing a fire.

A good tip on how much oil to use before you start is to put the turkey while it's still in it's package, into the deep fryer while it's off. Then fill the deep fryer up with water until it just covers the top of the turkey. After you remove the turkey from the deep fryer, mark where the water line is at. Dump the water out, and now you know where exactly where to fill your oil up to in your deep fryer. Using the right amount of oil is important, because oil is expensive, and this way you'll have just enough oil where you won't waste any, or not have enough.

A co-worker of mine failed to completely thaw out his turkey before deep frying it. The turkey shot thirty feet up into the air, and he caught all of the dry leaves in the back yard on fire. Luckily no one was hurt, and the fire was away from any buildings. We may be able to laugh about it now, but it certainly wasn't the least bit funny to my co-worker when it was happening.

This certainly wasn't the only incident where things went wrong while deep frying a turkey. As the Thanksgiving day holiday comes around once again, then so will more deep fryer accidents. There's always an increase in deep fryer accidents involving turkeys around Thanksgiving time. According to an Insurance commercial, over two million people last year chose to deep fry their turkeys. Out of all of them, fifteen of those ended up in a house fire. The insurance companies highly discourage any cooking of Thanksgiving day turkeys in deep fryers, however that's about all of the power that they have. There's one thing that's for sure, and that is people are going to do what they want to do. So if you chose to deep fry your turkey this year, then please just be very careful. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Have you ever deep fried a turkey?

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If so, have you ever had any mishaps while deep frying a turkey?

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5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of this Hub


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    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      The Stages Of ME 5 years ago

      I enjoyed this hub funny and yet informative in the area of safety at the same time. A very interesting topic. Thanks for the safety tips and the humor as well. Blessings to you:)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I always wanted to deep fry a turkey but was deterred by the many harmful accidents of others. You provide a stellar and detailed step-by-step instruction. I know I should laugh, but the image of your friends turkey as it sailed by a neighbors window was hilarious.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      They do deep-fried Mars Bars in Glasgow, so deep-frying turkeys can't be that far-fetched!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      i just do NOT understand the deep frying of turkeys - it CAN'T possibly be better than one cooked in the oven - and is horribly unhealthy too! If that's not enough - there's a chance you could set your house on fire! LOL...Happy Thanksgiving ya - AWESOME pic - who could resist checking in? great work!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      For the uninitiated hoping to deep fry a turkey this year for the first time, this is a great hub. Actually I think it should be included with all new turkey fryers.

      My son deep fried a turkey a few years back but he is "Mr. Careful" all directions, did everything by the book, and everything turned out fine. Personally, I've never had a problem with cooking a turkey in the oven and I think I'll just keep doing it.

      PS - LOVED the photo!

      Voted this up and interesting.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      A great hub so thank you for sharing.I vote up and share.


    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Every deep-fried turkey I have tried in the past tasted dry and yucky. I think I would stick to the turkey in the oven method. They even have turkey in oven bags you can get now to they don't dry out when cooking. I have heard many scary stories of things gone wrong during a turkey deep-fry and TheHoleStory your coworker's story is very scary indeed. This is a great hub and great advice for this time of year and always in the future. Voted up and awesome, interesting.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      This reads like something out of The Simpsons! I suppose the fire Brigade is on high alert (Black-Red) on Thanksgiving, like we have here on Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes). It's more than the Guy that goes up in smoke! Interesting concept of deep-frying your neighbour (or is it 'Hubby' - Is there a call for crispy-fried husbands in the States these days? Let's hope it doesn't 'catch' on here, like your neighbour's leaf pile). A jolly five-minute read for dark autumn (fall) evenings!

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hey TheHoleStory, I could've written how not to cook, because i can't. My husband is so kind, he said it is customary in his country to throw up after a good meal. Lol! This is a wonderful hub with great info, i really appreciate your hard work. Voted up and awesome!

    • justgrace1776 profile image

      justgrace1776 5 years ago

      Best Thanksgiving Advice. Ever.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      My brother learned how to do this a few years back and will probably never again roast a turkey. He and his family thoroughly love the deep fried alternative!

      Thanks for sharing this very interesting article. Voted up and then some...and socially shared!

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 5 years ago from Texas

      I think I'll safely cook my turkey in the oven. For forever! Thanks for the information!

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      Your co-worker had a terrible accident and that would make anyone a little afraid to deep fry a turkey. Make sure you thaw it out before frying.