How to Legally (and Safely) Deep Fry a Turkey

by LegalFix
Posted: November 24, 2022
food poisoning

Right now, turkey is at the top of many people’s minds. While roasting is the most common method, deep frying your Thanksgiving turkey is becoming more common. Before you jump on the fried turkey bandwagon, however, it’s important to know what you’re doing. There could even be potential legal issues if you do things wrong! But having the correct information will help ensure the safety of you and those around you—and prevent you from getting into legal trouble. 

The Pros and Cons of Deep Frying a Turkey 

As we mentioned, the traditional method to make a turkey on Thanksgiving is to roast it in the oven. But in recent years, many people have tried to save time by deep frying it. Others love the deep frying method because it produces a juicy bird and crispy skin. But although this method can be tempting, deep frying is finicky and carries far more potential dangers than roasting.

Most people know that carelessness can lead to injury, but many aren’t aware of the legal fallout of their cooking mistakes. Over the years, many people have been injured when attempting to deep fry a turkey. Public service announcements warn aspiring chefs to be careful, but each year, new Thanksgiving-related lawsuits abound. 

What Could Be Illegal About Deep Frying a Turkey?

Although there are no specific laws that make the act of frying a turkey illegal, there are a number of situations that can have legal consequences. As a potentially hazardous activity, sticking to the correct protocols when attempting to deep fry a turkey can protect you from legal trouble. 

The three most common legal issues that people can run into when deep frying a turkey are related to personal injury, food safety, and fire safety. A properly-prepared meal avoids all of these, but any one of them can land you in hot water if not taken seriously. 

Hot oil from your deep fryer can cause serious injury if not handled correctly. This is bad enough news if you burn yourself, but if negligent or irresponsible handling of dangerous heat and cooking tools leads to someone else getting hurt, you could be legally liable for any damages they incur. 

Likewise, fires started by improper cooking can cause property damage, for which you can be taken to court. Even when the turkey has been cooked without incident, incorrectly prepared poultry — especially by a cook unfamiliar with deep frying — can cause severe illness, which, again, can lead to legal repercussions. 

When in doubt, roasting is often a safer, more manageable cooking method with less risk for legal issues.

Know the Law with LegalFix

Whether you want to make sure your Thanksgiving dinner is all above-board or want to learn about any other laws, LegalFix is your go-to source for free legal information. You can find helpful articles and use the free search and information tools to better understand the state and federal laws that affect you. Just visit to find all this content — and check back often for more valuable legal products and services coming soon.