Fry Your Bird Safely for 2011's Thanksgiving Feast
Deep-frying a turkey can be delicious but dangerous without the right safety tools.
Each year, families gather around a roasted or baked turkey for the holidays. Some families decide to go outside of the box and deep-fry turkeys for the holidays, which is when things get more serious.
I grew up with my dad frying turkeys for the holidays. As newlyweds, my wife and I will fry a turkey for our first Thanksgiving together and may continue the tradition.
Several dangers can mount from deep-frying a turkey, though. More than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving across the country, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Therefore, in order to ensure a safe holiday season, we’re showing how to safely deep-fry a turkey.
In order to reinforce the safety issues, we teamed up with Florissant Valley Fire Protection District to give step-by-step safety tips.
Here are a few tips for deep-frying a turkey.
- Make sure that the turkey is completely thawed out before frying. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises 24 hours for every four to five pounds.
- Remember to remove the neck, giblets and timer in the turkey before frying.
- When preparing the turkey, you can season it or buy a flavor-injector system sold in grocery stores such as Schnucks and Dierbergs.
- When taking the turkey out of the fryer, make sure the temperature reaches the recommended temperature of 165˚F, as recommended by the USDA.
- Always refer back to your manufacturer’s manual for all questions, concerns and instructions
The Maryland Heights Fire District also has a few safety tips for frying turkeys. Capt. Robert Daus provided a list of ways to stay safe while frying the bird.
- Never use fryers on wooden decks or inside garages.
- Place the fryer on a flat surface to reduce the risk of tipping.
- Do not overfill your fryer with oil; this will cause it to spill over, engulfing the unit in fire.
- Keep your fryer at the right temperature; oil will combust if it reaches its auto ignition temperature. (Approximately 550°F - 700° F)
- Only fry a thawed turkey, frozen has excess water that will cause the oil to spill over and ignite.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
- Never leave a fryer unattended.
- Keep an extinguisher nearby and know how to operate it. DO NOT USE WATER
- Keep the fuel tank at a safe distance and be prepared to shut it off quickly.
- Watch hot oil splatter; use leather gloves (rubber and plastic will melt), eye protection, and wear long sleeves.
- Have a first aid kit available.
Have a wonderful—and safe—holiday season.