Frying the Thanksgiving Turkey
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the most popular traditional entrée is the turkey. There are two common types of cooking: roasting and deep-frying. According to FEMA, between 2014 and 2016 there were an estimated 2,400 residential building fires reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day. These caused an estimated 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $19 million in property loss.
Deep-frying a turkey makes a delicious bird, but can be very dangerous. Here are a few tips on how to fry a turkey safely.
- Keep outdoor fryers off of decks, out of garages, and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
- Make sure the turkey is fully-thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
- Watch the weather. Never operate an outdoor fryer in the rain or snow.
- Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it is in use.
- Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
- Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that is 8 to 10 pounds is best. Avoid turkeys over 12 pounds.
- Never leave fryers unattended.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
- Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner back on.
- Wear goggles to shield your eyes. Use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms, and keep an “ABC” or grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not use water or a garden hose on a fryer oil fire.
- Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface, and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing of it.
- Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil to cook the turkey
We hope these tips help so you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.