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Enjoy That Fried Turkey—But First Read This

By Samuetta Hill Drew

Well, Thanksgiving Day 2023 is just around the corner. It’s time to put just the right tasty menu together for your family and/or any special guests. Yes, Thanksgiving Day is one of those holidays everyone looks forward to with great expectations, because they know a delicious meal is the order of the day.

Many households include fried turkey along with those special “fixins” as the main part of the menu. Some people order their fried turkey while others choose to prepare it themselves. If you or a loved one falls into the latter category, this article is written just for you.

Where fried turkey is delicious, there are many safety measures one should follow when undertaking this endeavor. The Cosumnes Fire Department warns that cooking with deep fat turkey fryers can be very dangerous as they have a high risk of tipping over, overheating, spilling hot oil, which could lead to fires, serious burns, and/or other types of injuries.

Let’s start from the beginning of this process. It is important that you wear protective gloves, BBQ apron, and goggles to shield yourself from hot oil potentially splashing. Turkey fryers can tip over easily, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area, therefore it is important that your turkey fryer is located on a level, sturdy surface and do not move it once it is in use.

The sides of the cooking container lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot. This is why it is important to use protective oven mitts. Keep children and pets at least three feet from the turkey fryer. Also make sure your turkey fryer is at least 10 feet from your home and underneath roof eaves.

Your turkey should be completely thawed before attempting to fry it. Partially frozen turkeys will cause hot oil to splatter when you put it in the cooking container.

Now it is time to fry the turkey. Before beginning the process use this safety tip because an overfilled cooking container will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in. Test the amount of oil you need by filling your fryer with water. Then place the turkey in the container making sure the water does not get too close to the top. Measure the water and use that as a guide for filling the container with oil.

NEVER deep fry your turkey indoors. Since water and oil do not mix, it is never a good idea to fry a turkey in the rain. If rain is in the forecast, avoid the temptation of putting your fryer under your patio or garage.

Without thermostat controls, deep frying has the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion. Use a kitchen thermometer that attaches to the side of the container. This will help you monitor the temperature of the oil.

If a fryer fire occurs, call 911 immediately. You want to always Keep an Eye on Safety so this day will continue to create good memories for everyone.