Deep fried turkey has become a very popular main dish for Thanksgiving dinner. Deep-frying has even been hailed by some celebrity chefs as one of the best ways to prepare a turkey.

There are two primary reasons to deep fry a turkey. The first is that deep-frying creates a crisp skin on the outside, but the inside stays moist. This is a feat that many cooks find it difficult to accomplish in the over. Deep-frying your turkey is also faster than roasting. A large turkey that would take three or four hours to roast in the oven can be deep fried in about 45 minutes.

But, before you decide that a deep fried turkey is going to be your Thanksgiving main course, there are some things you should know. Deep-frying a turkey is dangerous, and it’s important to take precautions before you start the process. Every single Thanksgiving in the US, someone manages to burn their house down with a deep fried turkey gone terribly wrong.

1. You need a turkey fryer. Nothing you currently have will do the job.
2. Fry the turkey outside; not in the house or garage. If you have a fire, it will be much easier to contain outside.
3. Don’t overfill the fryer with oil. You don’t want the hot oil to spill out when you add the turkey.
4. Be sure the turkey is dry to the touch when you submerge it into the hot oil. A wet turkey will cause the hot oil to splatter.
5. Fry your turkey at no higher than 350°F. At 375°F, the oil can ignite.
6. Be sure to have items nearby to contain a grease fire quickly, should one ignite. A fire extinguisher or large container of baking soda is a good idea.