I've never talked to anyone who didn't love the taste of a deep-fried turkey. However, many people refuse to even try doing it for fear of burning their house down.

Which makes sense to me. I've never eaten anything good enough to make that trade, either.

But, if you've always wanted to go for it, and you've decided that this is the year you'll treat your family and/or friends to the joys of a deep-fried bird, here are a few tips to avoid an up-close-and-personal meeting with the firefighters of the Rockford area:

Courtesy of State Farm:

Turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injury, which is why organizations like Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association advises against using them. If you plan to deep-fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer, and take these precautions to protect yourself, your guests and your home.

 

  • Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  • Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
  • Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  • Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  • Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  • Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep an "ABC" or grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not to use water or a garden hose on a fire related to Turkey Fryers.
  • Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
  • Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.

Click here to read State Farm's full piece on how to deep-fry a turkey safely.

Here's why you should avoid putting a frozen turkey in a turkey fryer: