There’s no getting around it: Frying a turkey is dangerous. Many scenarios can cause the fryer and anything around it to catch fire. Because the risk of accidents and user error is so great, the National Fire Protection Association actually discourages the use of turkey fryers. Some state and local fire agencies warn against frying turkeys at all. It’s no coincidence that cooking fires are the number one cause of residential fires in America, and that Thanksgiving is the peak day for those fires nationwide. While exact statistics are hard to come by, grease fires contribute significantly to those figures.
We conducted our turkey fryer review with the help of the Lexington (Kentucky) Fire Department (LFD), which fries several hundred turkeys for charity every Thanksgiving with Double H BBQ, a local barbecue joint. But you don’t need to be in with the fire department to fry a turkey in your own backyard. With the following advice from the LFD, Double H BBQ proprietor Ernie Hanley, and national safety groups, you too can have a perfect bird without endangering yourself or your loved ones.