Deep frying a turkey produces amazing flavor and juiciness, but that said, where can you use your turkey fryer? Can you use a turkey fryer indoors? The short answer here is no, a real turkey fryer should never be used indoors. Let’s explain why.
If You Have a Self-Contained Deep Fryer…
Some people will choose to go with a deep fryer, and there are, of course, small kitchen deep fryers that you can purchase for indoor use. These are some which you would normally use to fry onion rings, fries, fish, chicken wings, and everything in between.
On that note, turkeys can be pretty big, so if you plan on using one of these home deep fryers, you need to ensure that you buy one large enough to fit the size of turkey you are planning to make. Other than that, yeah, there is no problem with using an indoor deep fryer right in your kitchen.
Just make sure that if you are using a model which uses a lot of oil, that you leave enough room in the frying basket for the turkey, so when you insert it, the oil does not spill over the top, as this can cause fires and serious injuries.
Other than that, you can use this type of fryer indoor with no problem. However, when it comes down to it, when people talk about turkey fryers, they usually aren’t self-contained mini-deep fryers.
What Exactly is a Turkey Fryer?
If we are not talking about small deep fryers for kitchen use, then what is a turkey fryer? A turkey fryer is generally going to consist of a large stand, complete with a propane burner to produce the heat.
You then place a large pot full of oil on top of that burner, where the turkey then gets inserted into. This is what is generally known as a turkey fryer, and unfortunately no, this is not something that can or should ever be used indoors, something we are going to cover in the following section.
Why You Can’t Use A Turkey Fryer Indoors
It might be a bit inconvenient that turkey fryers can only be used outdoors, but it is for good reason — several reasons actually. Although it’s not exactly convenient to have to dress up in heavy-duty clothing in cold weather to fry a turkey outdoors, it’s undeniable that deep fried turkeys, done right, are some of the best turkeys you will ever eat; it makes it all worth it. That said, why can’t you use your turkey fryer indoors?
Propane and Carbon Monoxide
You are using a propane burner with an open flame to produce the heat required to deep fry the bird. Burning propane releases carbon dioxide and other gases which should not be inhaled.
This is why you also cannot use a propane barbeque indoors, because of the poisonous gasses released; they can end up suffocating you. You should never use large barbeques or gas burners indoors, especially if you don’t have adequate ventilation to suck out the CO2 and replace it with breathable oxygen.
The Open Flame and Oil
The other big reason why you should never use a turkey fryer indoors is due to the fire hazard created by the whole operation. Here you have a propane tank and a burner producing an open flame. If something goes wrong and it falls over, that big open flame by itself is already a fire risk. However, this is only a small part of the equation.
The real risk is having the oil boil over the pot, or just spill in some way, and then making contact with the open flame. Countless gallons of hot oil coming into contact with an open flame is going to result in a massive fire, maybe even an explosion.
There are countless house fires each year in the US caused by this exact thing. Simply put, never use a turkey fryer indoors because there’s a pretty solid chance that you may burn your home to the ground if the someone were to knock over the fryer.
A Note on Lids
On a side note, something else to be aware of here is that when putting a lid on a turkey fryer, always make sure that the lid features proper ventilation. If the lid is not well vented, the oil will get too hot and may boil over, thus also creating a fire.
When all is said and done, if you do it properly and you take your time, deep frying a turkey is perfectly safe. However, you do want to use a turkey fryer outdoors, never indoors, because even if you are being careful, accidents do happen, and an accident involving hot oil and an open flame may spell the end of your house.