Fried Turkey Anyone?
Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking related structure fires nationwide. The NFPA estimates that at least 1,000 fires a year are related to turkey fryers alone and cause more than $15 million in property damage.
The majority of turkey fryers are outdoor versions that use hot oil heated by a propane source. Because of the potential damage that can be caused when these units tip over, experts recommend avoiding these types of cookers altogether. Newer versions that do not rely on immersing the turkey in oil are safer.
Common pitfalls that occur with turkey fryers include:
· Using the fryer on a patio or in a garage. If you must use a fryer, cook outdoors away from buildings, trees, and decks.
· Dipping a turkey into hot oil that overflows. Begin by putting your turkey inside the fryer and adding cold oil to determine the correct amount to use first. Before adding the turkey to the hot oil, shut off the fuel source/ flame to prevent a dangerous flare up if oil does spill.
· Adding a frozen turkey to hot oil. Ensure your turkey is fully thawed.
· Leaving a turkey fryer unattended. Oil can overheat, igniting the unit or animals and children can be severely hurt when the unit is accidently tipped over.
· Using water or ice to cool oil or extinguish fires. Water IS NOT compatible with hot oil and will cause the fire to flare up - the hot water/oil combination will ‘pop’ and cause burns. Avoid using a fryer on days with rain or snow.
Always keep an extinguished that is approved for cooking/grease fires nearby, or better yet avoid oil turkey fryers altogether.
To see William Shatner’s take on turkey fryers and what can go wrong, click the video below.