People Can't Stop Talking About This Dangerous Turkey Demonstration

Deep-frying turkey is an American tradition. Unfortunately, deep-frying can also cause fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (via FDNY Foundation), these blazes claim five lives, cause 60 injuries, and result in $15 million in property damage each year. You may have heard that you shouldn't deep-fry a frozen turkey, but New Hampshire firefighters took this advice to another level. In a video captioned, "DON'T DO THIS [turkey emoji]," Orange County firefighters demonstrated what happens when a frozen turkey hits a deep fryer (via Facebook).

The video shows a geared-up firefighter lowering a frozen turkey that's suspended from a pole into a hot fryer – think fishing with a bird as the bait. The turkey hits the oil with a puff of steam. Oil spills, flames leap up in seconds, and BOOM. These giant flames demonstrate visually just why frying a frozen turkey is a bad idea. Describing the situation with humor (because obviously no one got hurt here), Facebook user Jeremiah Johnson responded, "and for one split second that turkey became a Phoenix! Thank you fireman for filling that turkeys last wish!"

User Jim Dager had a more serious take on this inferno, writing, "First: The deep fryer had too much oil, to begin with. Second: The turkey should always be thawed and thoroughly dry! And third: The turkey should be lowered in the very hot oil SLOWLY to avoid a dangerous splashover!" But what exactly caused that fiery risk?

Hot oil and frozen turkey are a recipe for disaster

Chemistry professor Christine Nolan explains that one of the big risks of deep-frying a Thanksgiving turkey is the changing states of water (via MarketWatch). A frozen turkey is obviously filled with ice, which gets introduced to super-hot oil. The ice rapidly becomes water and, due to its greater density, sinks below the oil, where it becomes steam. The steam expands tremendously, making it much less dense, and it needs somewhere to go. The exit, in this case, is pretty explosive. And what's worse, when the steam and oil explode, the oil could then hit the heat source and catch fire. This situation is incredibly dangerous.

To avoid becoming an exploding turkey statistic this year, make sure you fully thaw your bird. A turkey that weighs between 12 and 16 pounds may thaw in as little as three to four days, but a 24-pound bird could take as many as 6 days to be fully ready (via Fox2Now). It can be easy to get distracted in holiday chaos, but having a safe and enjoyable holiday with family matters more than speed.