Ah! Nothing says Thanksgiving like a turkey cooked in the deep fryer. The quick cooking sears the juice inside and makes cooking a turkey a snap, in no time at all. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, you should really consider the dangers associated with cooking a bird with this method. There are some dangers to consider before heating the oil and dropping in the bird.
First of all, the oil needs to be at an appropriate level before heating it to cooking temperature. If the oil level is too high, the oil will spill over the side of the pan when the turkey is lowered into the oil, causing the oil to start on fire.
Second, be sure that the oil is up to temperture before lowering the bird into the oil. You'll need a long-probed thermometer that clips on the side of the pan and follw the recommended cooking temperture and time.
Third, be sure that the turkey is properly thawed out and free of any water before lowering the bird in the hot oil. A frozen bird will make the oil shoot out like a volcano and the bird will come flying out with it, which will once again start a fire.
Fourth, always lower the turkey slowly into the hot oil, giving the oil a chance to slowly engulf the bird. Inserting it too quickly will cause the oil to pop and spit out towards you. You certainly don't want hot oil all over your body.
Fifth, Never do the cooking in a garage, building, or any other structure where the roof is only feet from the top of the fryer. If the flames come in contact with the oil, flames can shoot up for many feet, starting things like garage doors and roofs on fire in no time. Strategically place the fryer where there is no danger of a fire.
And lastly, always have the appropriate fire extinguisher on hand and in the area in the event an out-of-control fire does start. Again, spraying water on an oil fire just won't get it.
Here is the full story on turkey fryer safety.