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Mike's LEGEN.....wait for it......DARY , "be careful when frying a turkey" post!
me to the moon
I apologize for posting this so late this year, I hope this short
blog post does not ruin your menu planning for this year’s feast, but I have to
get this message out one more time. This is it, the (in)famous,
"be careful when frying a turkey" post! I want to make sure if
you are planning to fry a turkey, you do so safely. Turkey Fryer fires are
extremely dangerous and I want to see everyone enjoy their holiday, no have it
end in tears, or worse.
Have you thought about how you might be cooking your Thanksgiving
turkey? What the heck does this have to do with CERT, safety or anything other
than a cooking class or something on the Food Network? Has Mike gone completely
crazy? Has cooking with Emeril Lagasse gone to his head? Good questions all!
Over the past few years there has been a growing trend of people frying their
turkeys. I have to say, fried turkey sure do taste good, this is a fact.
Unfortunately, if you are novice, or even have experience frying a turkey, it
is a serious and dangerous prospect.
There are many reasons a deep fryer can be dangerous. Since using
the typical pedestal type turkey fryer SHOULD NEVER BE DONE INDOORS (this
includes a garage or barn, even if is not entirely closed in), making sure you
have the space and equipment to do this outdoors is important. Also bear in
mind, the weather; if it is windy, raining or snowing, this could affect your
fryer. In order to fry your turkey you will need to get the oil in the fryer up
to at least 350 degrees ...350 degrees, which, if you did not know, IS REALLY
Working with an unstable product such as blazing hot oil over an
open flame is dangerous, even if you know what you are doing. Other safety
* If the burner is not on level ground, the units can easily tip
over, spilling hot oil (3-5 gallons of hot oil at 350 degrees!!!) onto the
burner and creating a LARGE, FAST fire.
* If the pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill over when
the turkey is lowered into the pot. Oil will hit the flames on the burner and
engulf the burner with fire. There are ways to measure out the right amount of
oil, which is imperative to ensure you do not have the pot overfilled.
* Water and hot oil do not go together. Partially frozen turkeys
contain water of course, so if you lower a partially frozen turkey into a
fryer, expect an extensive fire. Heaven help you if you place a frozen turkey
in the fryer; to help defrost it....this will cause an explosion as the water
expands in the hot (350 degrees ) oil. DON'T do it.
* The outdoor fryers have no thermostat controls, so they can
overheat quickly and cause the oil to boil over the sides of the pot before you
* The pot and handles get EXTREMELY hot (remember, 350 degrees of
boiling oil), posing severe burn hazards.
I am sure there is someone out there saying to themselves, "I
won't let Mike yuck my yum, I am going to fry a turkey anyway". It won't
be the first time someone did not listen to what I said. You still want to fry
that turkey? Ok, fine. Please, remember these things as you go about frying.
These are not guaranteed to stop a fire or keep you from getting burned, but
they may help in mitigating a larger disaster (such as burning your house
* Never use a turkey fryer on a wooden deck or inside a garage,
home, or within any structure.
* Place the fryer a safe distance away from any building ( if you
place it in the grass, the grass should not be overly dry, nor overly wet. Also
count on the grass dying and never growing back).
* Fryers should be used on a firm, flat surface to prevent them
from tipping over. Try the middle of a parking lot....not the sloping driveway
in front of your house next to your car.
* Once the pot is filled with the recommended amount of oil
(probably peanut oil) and the burner is ignited, you should NEVER leave the
fryer unattended. This also means do not cook if you are under the influence.
Please, don't drink and fry.
* Keep pets inside and keep children at a safe distance. A safe
distance being somewhere where they will never see the fryer, because once they
do, they will want to get close.
* Use well-insulated gloves or oven mitts and wear safety glasses
(I think I know where you might have a pair laying around) to guard against oil
* Do not wear loose clothing as these may ignite if you get too
close to the flame or the oil, or both. If your clothes do catch on fire,
remember, Stop, Drop and Roll!
*Turkeys must be thoroughly thawed. While very tasty, be very
careful of injecting marinades into your turkey. The extra liquid in the bird
may cause the oil to spill over.
*Keep a portable dry chemical fire extinguisher nearby. Never use
a water type extinguisher to extinguish a grease or oil fire. Do not deploy the
garden hose to assist with your turkey fryer fire, this will do MUCH, MUCH more
harm than good.
* If your fryer does catch fire call 9-1-1 immediately!
Finally, remember the oil inside the pot will remain hot for hours
after your turkey has been removed. DO NOT bring it indoors and again, keep
children and pets away from the pot. For more information on some of the
hazards of cooking fires (not just the turkey fryer fires), please visit the
United States Fire Administration's website for a copy of: Behavioral
Mitigation of Cooking Fires by going here: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/research/other/cooking-mitigation.shtm