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Frying your Thanksgiving turkey?

November 21, 2011
Be aware of Dangers
A quick tasty alternative to the traditional oven roasted turkey is the deep-fried turkey. This alternative cooking method can cook a 10 pound turkey in as little as 30 minutes vs. hours of oven cooking time; however, this process can be very dangerous if not performed in a safe manner. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that cooking is a leading cause of house fires. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) a product safety certification agency warns against the dangers of deep frying a turkey. The level of the oil, high temperatures, and the open flame can easily combine to create a serious fire and severe burn hazard. Overflowing cooking oil is a common fire hazard for those that ignore the hot oil ignition temperature of the fryer, many of which are propane fueled appliances with an open flame. The hot oil can overflow and be quickly ignited by the flames. Keep children and pets away, and remember the oil will stay dangerously hot for hours after cooking. The Palatine Fire Department encourages you to follow these simple cooking safety rules:
  • Carefully read and follow the safety instructions that come with your deep fryer. These deep fryers do come with a thermostat, but an accurate thermometer is essential.
  • Never use a turkey fryer indoors, including a garage, and away from combustible decks.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency. Do not use water on a hot oil fire.
  • Protect against tipping of the fryer by making sure it has a stable base.
  • To assure that the correct amount of cooking oil is used; thaw the turkey completely and place it into the deep fryer pot. Add water to achieve the proper 3-5 inches that the oil should be kept from the top of the fryer pot. Remove the turkey and thoroughly drain it, and wipe off any moisture. Take note of the water level in the fryer pot, drain and wipe the fry pot to remove any water.
  • Refill the fryer pot with the correct amount of cooking oil that you tested previously. Peanut or canola oils are the best choices due to the high temperatures.
  • Heat the oil to 365 – 375 degrees; this can take up to an hour.
  • Slowly lower the turkey into the fryer pot making sure not to tip the appliance in the process.   


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