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Why is deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey so dangerous?

Answer: Just ask your local fire department.

Closeup of a cooked turkey in the middle of a table set for Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving is almost here, and fire departments around the U.S. have taken to social media to make sure people know how to safely cook their turkeys. Deep frying the bird may sound delicious, but as it turns out, unless you do it right you could end up burning things down.

Last week, the Nashville, Tenn., fire department released its annual video demonstrating how disastrous it can be if a turkey is deep fried incorrectly. They filled a deep fryer with too much oil, then lowered a completely frozen turkey into it. Within seconds, flames were spilling over the side of the fryer and shooting up into the air above it.

Fire departments in Chicago and Pennsylvania, as well as the National Fire Protection Association, also recently released similar videos, and the results are disastrous in all of them. If you must eat the bird fried, start thawing it days in advance, and be careful not to overfill the fryer. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby and do it outdoors away from trees and structures.

Or you could just make it easier on yourself and use the oven, or even buy the turkey precooked.