Deep-frying a turkey can give you a moist meal but this method of cooking can be very dangerous. Every year, there are news of deaths form attempts to deep-fry turkey. These accidents occurs because people put frozen turkeys into burning oil. If you want to deep-fry turkey, then you must dry it before you put it in the pot. Otherwise, it will cause explosive disaster.
But why it is so dangerous to put even partially frozen turkey into deep-fryer?
Researchers explained that the main cause behind it is the differences in density. Oil and water have different. Water has different density in its solid, liquid and gas states. So, when these densities interact in the right way, explosion happens.
Density is how much an object weighs of a specific volume. Such as, marshmallow and ice cube are of same age but the ice cube is heavier and denser.
When it comes to deep frying frozen turkeys, water is denser than oil. Water molecules are small and tightly packed together but oil molecules are large and not packed together. Also, water is made of oxygen and hydrogen atoms while oil is made of carbon and hydrogen. Oxygen is heavier than carbon and this is why oil floats over water.
Frozen turkeys contain a lot of ice. Raw meat has 56% to 73% water in it. For deep frying, we usually heat the oil around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This is much more than the boiling point of water which is 212 F. When the ice in a frozen turkey comes in contact with the burning oil, it turns into stream.
But the quick transformation of the surface level ice is not a problem. The problem arises when the ice inside the turkey absorbs the heat and melts into water.
This water is denser than oil and falls in the bottom of the pot. The water continues to absorb heat and become stream. Then the water molecules spread far apart from each other and it expands. So, the density of the water become lesser and the gas wants to quickly rise to the surface.
The fast change in density and expansion of volume causes the explosion.