Fire it Up: Safely Deep-Frying a Turkey

8:18 AM, Nov 21, 2011   |    comments
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Deep-Fried Turkey

ORONO (NEWS CENTER) -- Frying a turkey can be a different way to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving meal, but it is important to do it safely.

Frying anything creates the risk of hot oil burns and fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2006 and 2007 there were over 1,400 cooking fires nationwide on Thanksgiving Day. This is three times more than the daily national average.

If you do plan to fry a turkey, follow these safety tips to help you fry a turkey safely.

· Never overfill the container with oil. Some containers have markings to indicate how much oil to add. If not, add the turkey to the container and fill with water until the turkey is covered. Remove the turkey and mark the level of water. Dry the container and refill with oil to the mark.

· Do not fry a turkey indoors or on a deck.

· Find a solid surface outdoors and away from combustibles. Hot oil could tip over if you cook on an uneven surface.

· Make sure the turkey is thawed and dried properly. Water or ice contacting hot oil could cause it to splatter causing a fire or burns. Season the turkey with salt and pepper.

· Turn off the flame before adding the turkey to the hot oil. If the oil spills over when adding the turkey it is less likely to catch fire.

· Monitor the temperature of the oil. It should be between 350°F and 375°F. Oil that is overheated can smoke or catch on fire.

· Do not add water or ice to cool the oil.

· Keep a fire extinguisher available. Never rely on a hose to put out a fire. Adding water to a cooking fire can cause the fire to spread.

· Containers can get hot. Use the lifting hook and oven mitts or gloves whenever working around fire or hot oil.

· Cook your turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. This should take between three and four minutes per pound.



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