If you see your neighbor sporting protective eyewear, safety gloves, and carrying a fire extinguisher, it’s a good guess that he’s not headed to a fire, but getting ready to fry the turkey!  It has become quite a tradition to fry Thanksgiving or Christmas turkeys instead of the old-fashioned way, baking them in the oven.  (Seems to be a “man” thing.)  Just in case, the aforementioned equipment might come in handy to keep the cook safe!  Despite the delicious outcome, make yourself aware that there are certain risks involved: 

  •          Most fryers do not have thermostats; therefore, temperature should be checked often because the oil could overheat to combustion. Never allow grease or oil to exceed 350°F.  Oil will ignite at 550°F to 700°F.
  •          Turkeys that are not completely thawed could also cause oil to splash, threatening burns.
  •          It is always important to follow manufacturer’s instructions and use extra caution when cooking with hot oil, which presents a fire hazard as well as a burn hazard.
  •          Do not overfill pot with oil.
  •          Never use inside an enclosed area (garage, patio) or under overhang of house.
  •          Cooker should only be used on a level stable surface, away from wood decks, dry grass, shrubs, etc.
  •          Keep propane cylinder at least 18” away from cooker while in use.
  •          Keep an operable type BC fire extinguisher within easy reach.
  •          Sides of pot can become extremely hot, so use mitts to prevent burns.  Goggles can protect ones eyes from oil splatters.
  •          Never leave cooker unattended.  Keep children/pets away from cooker, even when through cooking, as the oil will remain very hot for a long period of time.
  •          Cooker must not be operated in the rain.  Cover the pot immediately and turn it OFF.
  •          If parts to the cooker are damaged, missing, or improperly installed, do not operate it.

If you choose to furnish this scrumptious main course for the holidays, just keep these safety tips in mind.  If you prefer to “play it safe”, bake the turkey in the oven.  The bird should be completely thawed (in the refrigerator), which may take a day or two, prior to cooking.  Either way, cook with care, and enjoy your feast!    Oh, by the way, a gentle reminder: please drive safely if you are on the road this holiday season.  Happy Holidays!