Deep frying a turkey can produce succulent and moist meat, but it can also cause a fire capable of engulfing your entire home. If you choose to deep fry a turkey please take the proper safety precaution and review these important safety tips.
Size matters: Smaller turkeys work best. Eight to ten pounds is ideal or cut up into parts.
Never Inside: Never ever cook a deep fried turkey inside your house or on/in any structure attached to your house – including the deck or the garage.
A Level Base: To avoid the risk of your turkey-pot tipping over ensure it is placed on a sturdy, level base.
Temperature Control: Most turkey fryers don’t have a thermostat. Use a thermometer to check that the temperature is in a safe zone. If the oil begins to smoke, turn the burner off right away.
Complete Thaw: Partially frozen meat houses extra water, this extra water can cause the pot to over flow. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before you cook it.
Below the Line: Avoid over filling the pot as it may overflow.
Hands Off: Don’t touch the pot it is extremely hot, even hours after you’ve turned it off the oil will retain its heat – be careful!
Slow and Steady: When adding/removing food from the fryer do so slowly. This will decrease the likelihood of overflow or grease burns.
Be Fire Ready: Have a fire extinguisher and phone to call 9-1-1 on hand in case the pot gets out of control. Do NOT attempt to extinguish the fire with water, water and oil do not mix and throwing water in the hot oil will cause the grease to pop and overflow.
Never Out of Site: Never leave your turkey pot unsupervised while you are cooking.
The safest option may be to purchase a turkey fryer that does not require oil. New outdoor, oil-less turkey fryers use infrared heat to cook and the result is a juicy, tender bird with crispy skin.
Dianne Rende is the Executive Director of St. John Ambulance, Peel Dufferin Branch. As Canada’s leading authority in first aid, St. John Ambulance is dedicated to improving health and safety at work, at home and at play. Dianne can be reached by email at [email protected] or for more information visit www.sja.ca