Shocking video shows what can go wrong when deep-frying a turkey

Consumer safety authorities have shared a terrifying video of turkeys engulfed in flames in an effort to raise awareness about the risks of frying during the holiday season.

Footage posted to social media by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows three large turkeys being lowered into large frying pans.

Seconds after the turkeys hit the oil, the flames begin to spread. Porches and surrounding areas are quickly set on fire.

Photos of a turkey on fire
Split view of a turkey on fire. The video has been viewed more than 3 million times in one day.
USCPSC

In one particularly terrifying scene, a turkey is lowered into an indoor roasting pan and the fire quickly spreads to the ceiling and over the walls.

The video is titled, “Cook the turkey, not your house.” It was shared on November 23rd and has since been viewed over 3 million times. The post has more than 73,000 likes.

The U.S. Fire Department, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says an average of 2,300 fires were reported in residential buildings on Thanksgiving Day each year from 2017 to 2019. This is more than double the average number on other days of the year.

The agency added, “These fires are estimated to cause an average of five deaths, 25 injuries, and $26 million in property loss annually.”

Cooking “was by far the leading cause of all fires on Thanksgiving Day in residential buildings,” according to the U.S. Fire Department.

To avoid accidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued the following advisory: “If you bake your turkey this year, make sure it is thawed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using your fryer. Bake a turkey only outside and away from your house. Never use turkey fryers in the garage or on the porch.”

The National Fire Protection Association also pointed out that cooking was the leading cause of residential fires and injuries in residential fires between 2015 and 2019.

It said: “Cooking caused 49 percent of reported home fires, 20 percent of reported home fire deaths and 42 percent of home fire injuries. Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.”

If the flaming turkey videos have put you off hitting the deep fryer this Thanksgiving, there are other options.

Air fryers have exploded in popularity in recent years, and some chefs say they can even cook your Thanksgiving main.

Jenna Moran, a former chef who now runs a recipe website, told earlier News Week: “Personally, I think air frying a turkey is a great way to cook one of our favorite birds.

“Air fryers are not only more economical than traditional frying, they are also a healthier way to make your family favorites. The lack of oil required for cooking is clearly a big reason why it is healthier.”

Moran added that she wouldn’t advise people to deep fry turkeys: “First off, the meat can get very dry and overcooked, so unless you’re a deep fry professional, it’s not the best route to take.”

“If you like a lot of spices on and in the turkey, chances are the heat required for frying will burn the spices, sometimes creating a very bitter taste. If you’re not a regular fryer, you can also use a huge fires pose danger.With the amount of oil and heat required for the bird, the chances of spillage are high, so make sure you do it in a safe environment.

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