WATCH: Firefighters share important tips about deep-frying frozen Thanksgiving turkeys

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Fire departments throughout the country are reminding the public that Thanksgiving turkeys destined for deep-frying should be completely thawed and dried before they’re submerged in vats of boiling oil.

Failing to do so will result in a fiery explosion that can cause serious harm to Thanksgiving cooks and bystanders, according to experts.

The dangerous chemical reaction between water and oil has been documented by fire safety and prevention professionals for years, and 2022 is no exception.

Dr. Kristine Nolin, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Richmond, explained, “The reason frozen turkeys explode, at its core, has to do with differences in density.”

She continued, “There is a difference in density between oil and water and differences in the density of water between its solid, liquid and gas states. When these density differences interact in just the right way, you get an explosion.”

The Colorado Springs (Colorado) Fire Department Public Information Office tweeted, “Frying your turkey this year? Here are some tips: -NEVER fry a turkey inside your home or garage. -Do not overfill your fryer with oil. -Always ensure your turkey is completely thawed before frying.”

The Stafford County Fire & Rescue in Virginia reposted a video from 2021 titled, “Avoiding Turkey Fryer Fires.”


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) tweeted, “@NFPA joins @USCPSC to demonstrate the fire dangers of turkey fryers in this live burn. NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers that use cooking oil. Consider purchasing an infrared fryer, air fryer, or electric turkey fryer.”

“Thanksgiving is by far the leading day of the year for US home cooking fires. In fact, 3 to 4 times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day as a typical day of the year! Learn why – and how to minimize those risks.”

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