Be aware of turkey frying dangers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Be aware of turkey frying dangers

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

November 25, 2008

Lee County, GA (WALB) -  Are you planning on deep frying your turkey this Thanksgiving? If you are, you need to be aware of the dangers brought on by improper use of a turkey fryer.

Each year, careless mistakes result in deep fryer accidents resulting in injury and damage to property. Firefighters with the Lee County Fire Department demonstrated how easily a standard turkey fryer filled with vegetable oil could ignite if used improperly.

At 350º Fahrenheit, it took nothing more than a glass of water poured into a container of hot oil to send flames shooting into the air.

"There are several things that you need to look at, but probably the most overlooked thing is don't overfill your container with oil before you put your turkey in. When you put your turkey into it, you tend to boil over the pot and you have a problem there," said Capt. Kelly Harcrow with the Lee County Fire Department.

Water was used during the demonstration to represent the moisture of an unthawed turkey. Once the water hit with the oil, it created a spillover effect causing the oil to pour onto the burner.

"At 212º Fahrenheit, water converts to steam. It actually converts 1,700 times its actual volume. When you introduce that water into the grease, the water actually pushes the grease out of the container, and when it does it comes into contact with the heat source, you have the volatile explosion," say Harcrow.

A few tips for safe frying this Thanksgiving:

  • Never overfill your fryer with oil
  • Only use turkey fryers outdoors away from structures or other objects that could catch fire
  • Do not use inside a garage or on a wooden deck
  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before preparing
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy

"Thanksgiving and Christmas, times like that when people are trying to get together and enjoy friends, you know we don't want to come out in the middle of that and do our job to eliminate some property damage that somebody didn't have to cause if they had just taken time and thought about what they were doing."

With cooking fires three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, using caution while cooking your holiday meal could potentially save your life and property.

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Here's a tip from a WALB.com viewer-

Place thawed turkey in desirded pot. Fill with tap water untill turkey is covered. Remove turkey. Place a pencil mark at the water level on the outside of the pot . Pour water out and refill with grease to your mark. Cook at 350º, 4 minutes./per pound.