See What Happens When a Frozen Turkey Meets a Hot Deep Fryer

Image: Frozen turkey is dropped into deep fryer and creates a large fireball
A frozen turkey bursts into flames after being dropped into a hot deep fryer.GARY CAMERON / Reuters

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By Matthew Nighswander

Maybe you've heard that if you're planning on deep-frying a turkey for Thanksgiving, you should make sure the bird is completely thawed first. Maybe you heard it, but you're pressed for time. (After all, it takes four days to thaw a 16-pound turkey in your refrigerator.) So maybe you're thinking of cutting some corners. What's the worst that can happen?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to show you the worst-case scenario and they staged a fairly elaborate demonstration Tuesday to highlight the hazards of deep-frying a bird that is not completely thawed.

First, a firefighter starts to lower the frozen turkey into the deep-fryer.

Gary Cameron / Reuters

Some pretty serious splattering occurs as the frozen turkey meets the hot oil.


And then there's a huge fireball.

Gary Cameron / Reuters

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

A firefighter, left, attempts to put out a fire after a frozen turkey was dropped into a hot deep fryer at a Consumer Product Safety Commission safety demonstration in Rockville, Maryland, on Nov. 22. Gary Cameron / Reuters