Turkey Fryer Not Heating Up – What To Do?

Turkey is one of the meals cooked in most homes on Christmas, Thanksgiving, or during other celebrations. Roasting turkey is a popular cooking method. However, cooking with a turkey fryer is equally gaining popularity. We talked to the experts to enlighten us on how to use it, the precautionary measures to observe, and what to do if it does not heat up.

The following are the solutions for your turkey fryer if it does not heat up:

  • Check the outlet and replace it if faulty
  • Examine the cord and get another one if damaged
  • If the thermostat is not working, repair or replace it
  • Examine the heating element and replace it if faulty
  • Replace a blown-up fuse
  • Repair or replace a dead circuit board

Keep reading to gain insight on how to use a turkey fryer. Besides, learn the reasons for it not heating up and the viable solutions. In addition, find out why you need to be extra careful when using this appliance.

Whole turkey sizzling as its lowered into deep fryer. Turkey Fryer Not Heating Up - What To Do

What To Do When Your Turkey Fryer Does Not Heat Up

To begin with, there are three types of turkey fryers, propane, electric, and oil-less. We shall concentrate on the electric turkey fryer like the Butterball electric fryer below.

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When your turkey fryer unexpectedly stops heating up, the first place to check is the power source. You might think the problem is inside the fryer while the problem is on the exterior.

But, if your power source is working fine, the next step is to check the heat generation inside your fryer. If your problem is not here either, the problem could be that it cannot turn on.

Let's go through the problems and their solutions.

Check The Outlet And Replace It If Faulty

To check the electrical outlet, unplug your appliance, allow it to cool down, and then pour out the remaining oil. 

Take it to another part of your house and plug it into the electrical outlet. If it lights up, then the previous outlet possibly is faulty. You can replace it if you have the skills to do so.

However, do not attempt if you are not up to the task because electricity is dangerous. Therefore to avoid potential electric shocks, you are better off calling a professional.

The electrician will most likely use a multi-meter to test for a current in the first outlet and replace it with a new one if it is not working. 

Examine The Cord And Get Another One If Damaged

If you have used your fryer for months or years, the cord could get damaged due to wear and tear. If you store it improperly, like twisting it too much, it can get damaged.

Damaged Electric Power Cord

In such situations, it is most likely partially damaged so that it heats and stops several times.

Using your appliance in such a state is a perfect recipe for a short circuit. Therefore, it needs to be replaced.

If The Thermostat Is Not Working, Repair Or Replace It

The thermostat is responsible for sensing the temperature inside the appliance and regulates it by preventing it from overheating. If the oil is lukewarm or cold, the thermostat may be faulty because it cannot sense the temperature. 

The solution is to open up the unit and check the thermostat. The steps to doing this are:

  1. Unplug your fryer, and then let it cool down.
  2. Remove the remaining oil.
  3. Turn it upside-down.
  4. Remove the screws that are on the underside using a screwdriver.
  5. Remove the panel.
  6. Locate the thermostat and test if it is working.
  7. If there is no continuity, replace it. 
  8. You can get a new cord from a hardware shop or manufacturer.

Cooking oil being poured into an outdoor deep fryer. This is being done in preparation of cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving

Examine The Heating Element And Replace It If Faulty

Heating elements convert electrical energy into heat. If the heating element in your fryer, like the one shown below, is not working, it will not heat the oil.

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Open up the fryer like you did when checking the thermostat. Don't forget to unplug it from the outlet and allow it to cool before opening it to access the element.

As earlier stated, it is better to call an electrician to prevent any potential hazards.

Replace A Blown-Up Fuse

The fuse in your fryer will blow up if there is a spike in the electrical current. However, sometimes it may not blow out completely such that it will continue working but will not heat up.

Get one with the right size and voltage that matches your fryer to replace a fuse.

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To check for a blown fuse, open up the fryer, which you will easily spot with your naked eye. Thus you do not need a multi-meter to check if it is working.

Look out for a tiny explosion that looks black and a broken filament inside a glass body.  

Repair Or Replace A Dead Circuit Board

When the circuit board in your fryer is damaged, you will most probably have to buy another one.

This can happen if it overheats when there is a spike in an electrical current brought about by a power black-out. If this is the problem, you can have it repaired or replaced. 

Check your warranty, and if you are eligible for repairs or replacement, you can send it over to the manufacturer.

However, if you are not eligible, buy another fryer because repairing the circuit board of your appliance can be more expensive.

A full-size turkey being fried in peanut oil.

How To Safely Fry Your Turkey In A Turkey Fryer

Now that you know the reasons your turkey fryer may not heat up, it is imperative to understand how to use the appliance correctly when it is heated.

It is part of the maintenance process to ensure your appliance works up to par to reduce the chances of it malfunctioning, as explained earlier in this post to show what causes it not to heat up.

Heating oil at high temperatures can be dangerous. It is no wonder that one of the main concerns would be a potential fire hazard starting in your kitchen.

The following are tips on how to use your turkey fryer properly and safely:

Thoroughly Dry The Turkey

Ensure the turkey is appropriately dried. Putting a wet bird into hot oil can cause a spill or splattering that could start a fire.

Fill Oil To The Correct Level 

When adding oil to the fryer, try not to add beyond the designated line. If it is too full when you dip your turkey, the oil could spill over, creating an opportunity for igniting a fire. 

An electric turkey fryer has a maximum fill line indicated on the inside. If you allow the oil to surpass this line, it could run over.

Use Oil With A High Smoking Point

Peanut oil is the best for frying turkey because it has a high smoking point of 425 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it can't catch fire easily. It's also preferred for frying turkey because the content of saturated fats is low. 

Other alternatives to peanut oil with a high smoking point include coconut oil, avocado oil, or soybean oil.  

Cooking oil being poured into an outdoor deep fryer

Lower The Turkey Slowly

Preheat the oil up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Afterward, switch off the appliance. Lower the turkey slowly into the oil, and then switch it on. It prevents the oil from bubbling too much until it spills over. 

Read The Instructions

It can be tedious reading the manual. However, remember it could prevent a fire hazard and save your life.

Close The Lid

When frying your turkey, close the lid until the turkey is ready. It prevents the oil from splattering outside the unit.

Have A Fire Extinguisher Nearby

Despite how careful you might be, accidents can happen. Therefore keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of a fire breakout from the fryer. And, don't just have it around, but learn how to use it.

Don't use a garden hose if there's a fire because water feeds on fire caused by oil.

Below is a video that explains how to use a turkey fryer that also includes the safety measures to observe while using it:

In Closing

It can be frustrating when you are ready to cook your turkey in a turkey fryer, but it does not heat up to the required levels, sometimes not heating at all.

There are steps to finding out what is causing this problem, which needs a solution to make it work again. Start by checking the power source, and then move to the elements that generate the heat. The worst-case scenario is when it will not turn on.

Understanding how to use your fryer safely when heated is as important as knowing what to do when it does not heat up. To help you with this, there are tips that you can apply to prevent potential hazards such as a kitchen fire.

You may want to read our previous posts on the correct amount of oil to deep fry your turkey and how to store cooked or raw turkey:

How Much Oil To Deep Fry Turkey

How To Store Turkey For Thanksgiving Frozen Fresh And Cooked

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