It has become more common to cook turkeys in a deep fryer. Adventurous home chefs bored with roasting, grilling, or smoking turkeys have moved on to this far more dangerous method. The benefits of deep frying a turkey are that it takes far less time to cook and, if done correctly, the meat is deliciously moist. The potential costs, however, are that the turkey fryer could burst into flames, severely burn the chef, and set fire to any nearby structures.
If you plan on deep frying a turkey, you need to understand oil can act like napalm. It is also heated over an open flame which is normally fueled by compressed propane (also possibly explosive) in a metal tank only a couple of feet away from the pot. Check out this video to see what can go wrong when deep frying a turkey.
If you decide to deep fry a turkey,
- Go outdoors, away from any structures, not on a deck. If there’s any kind of precipitation, don’t deep fry the turkey.
- Have handy a fire extinguisher that works on oil fires (not all extinguishers do).
- Don’t use too much oil. If you do it will overflow the pot, hit the open flame and start a fire. Before you start the process, put the turkey into the pot and fill it with water so it’s submerged by a couple inches. Remove the turkey. This water level shows how much oil should go into the pot. Remove the water and thoroughly dry the inside of the pot.
- Don’t drink and fry. You’ll need your wits if a fire starts.
- Oil, especially at high heat, and water don’t mix. A frozen or wet turkey cooked in hot oil will cause steam which can cause the oil to overflow onto the burner. Thoroughly dry the turkey inside and out.
- Pre-heat the oil to 350 degrees. Once it reaches 400 degrees or higher, the oil can ignite.
- Turn off the burner before you slowly lower the turkey into the oil.
- Use the holders supplied with the pot. Don’t hold onto the turkey with your hands, then drop it into the oil. It can splash, burn you, and start a fire.
- Turn off the burner before you remove the turkey.
By staying safe and using common sense you can safely deep fry a turkey. If you don’t take the potential dangers seriously you may end up with a meal you’ll never forget for all the wrong reasons.
If you or a family member has been injured during the holidays because of the negligence of another party, call the Fegley Law Firm. Mr. Fegley has over 30 years of accident litigation experience.
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