Thanksgiving is a common day of the year for home cooking fires. And turkey fryers, though they do make for a delicious meal, can contribute to this. Thanks to the large amounts of oil needed for turkey frying, safety precautions are critical for avoiding splashes and fires.
If you plan to fry a turkey for Thanksgiving this year, there are a few safety precautions you can use while operating a turkey fryer. These tips ensure that the turkey fryer is safely used and your fried turkey turns out great. Follow these tips and precautions to protect yourself, your guests and your home while frying a turkey.
Location, Location, Location
When choosing a spot for the turkey fryer make sure that you choose a proper spot. The ideal spot is a place out in the open. Do no place it on a deck, in a garage, or under a carport. Ensure that there is adequate distance between any trees or other structures that could catch fire quickly.
Prepare the Turkey
Choosing the right size turkey keeps the oil from spilling over the top when the turkey is placed inside. Normal fryers can accommodate birds that weigh no more than 14 pounds. Make sure the turkey is thawed completely before placing in the oil. Ice and water will not mix well with oil and can cause flare ups and oil splashes.
Check the Weather
Mother Nature does not always cooperate as we would like her to, and unfortunately, without her cooperation it is not recommended to use turkey fryers. Rain and snow are not ideal, because neither of these elements mix well with oil. Extremely windy conditions pose fire dangers and the dangers associated with using turkey fryers increase. Wind can blow the flame as well as any small flare up caused by oil splashes. This can turn a relatively small incident into a large life-threatening incident quickly.
Never leave turkey fryers unattended even for a second. Somebody should be monitoring it at all times of operation. The temperature should be closely monitored throughout the cooking process. If the oil starts to smoke, the flame should be extinguished, because the oil is too hot. Cooking oil that gets heated beyond the smoke point can catch on fire. Children and pets should not be allowed near the turkey fryer at any point, even when it is not in use.
Protect yourself and your clothing when frying a turkey. Large amounts of oil are needed to fry a turkey; this means that hot oil can quickly cover large parts of the body in an instance. Wear goggles to protect your eyes when operating turkey fryers. Long sleeves and oven mitts will protect your hands and your arms. A grease-rated fire extinguisher should be within reach. Never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water.
These tips are designed to ward off common causes of injury and fires due to turkey fryers, but they are not meant to be an exhaustive list. Always use diligence when working with a turkey fryer and in the event a fire happens, call 911. Always follow the instructions and guidelines located in your turkey fryer’s owner’s manual.
Follow these tips and use caution this Thanksgiving when frying your turkey and you are sure to have a superior golden brown juicy bird on the table. Remember that fires can happen even with less risky cooking techniques so proper care should be exercised around any open flame or cooking device. Enjoy more time with your family and reduce the chances of injury this holiday season.
What's on your Thanksgiving menu this year? Are you using a turkey fryer? Let us know in the comments!