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The Reason Why You Shouldn’t Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey

With Thanksgiving just ahead of us, we’re thinking about food. Namely, we’re thinking about turkey. And for some odd reason, The November holiday often correlates with an increase in major grease fires. But why?

Around now, you’re probably hearing a few warnings, all centered around the idea of why you should NOT deep-fry a whole, frozen turkey. While personally, we don’t understand why you’d want to deep-fry a whole turkey, frozen or not, it’s a common enough idea for various fire departments and news stations to warn against.

Take this video for example.

With no time at all, the pot of turkey bursts into flames. The obvious response to this is that the fire came from the dramatic overfilling of oil, causing the introduction of the turkey to cause it to spill absolutely everywhere. Sure, if the entire room is soaked in oil, of course it lights on fire.

But there’s more to it than that. That would happen regardless of if the turkey is frozen. It’s that cold component that increases the danger, after all. Allow me to explain.

When things are frozen, they are often coated in ice crystals, and any water inside them is retained fully. When thrown into boiling oil, the ice rapidly melts and then boils, vaporizing while in the oil. The vapor then causes a large amount of bubbling, increasing the surface level of the oil. To put simply: a frozen item is much more likely to overflow than a non-frozen item. I know this personally, having accidentally overflowed my oil fryer after putting frozen french fries in it.

When you consider the massive size of the turkey, and the limited space of a put, this is much more likely to happen to a much more dangerous degree.

So what do we recommend?

Honestly, don’t deep-fry a turkey. Oven bake it. It’s more traditional, tastes just fine, and is much less risky. If you insist on deep-frying it, consider breaking it into pieces first and working through that, instead of frying them all at once. Make sure the container of oil isn’t overfull, either. And regardless of what shape you fry it, make sure it’s properly thawed out and now still frozen.

Be safe this Thanksgiving, everyone.

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