Holiday turkey frying has become immensely popular over the past few years. Though many people swear that fried gobbler trumps the baked version any day of the week, there are a few safety tips that you should observe should you choose to give your bird a holiday dip. According to Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. (UL), which is an independent product safety certification organization, you should adhere to the following guidelines when frying your turkey:
If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, here are some tips for safer use:
- Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors, located a safe distance from buildings and flammable material.
- Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
- Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
- Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you don’t watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. After use, continue to exercise extreme caution as the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours.
- To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
- Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don’t mix and water can cause oil to spill over, starting a fire or even an explosion hazard.
- The National Turkey Federation recommends refrigerator thawing and to allow approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird thawed in the refrigerator.
- Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Remember to use your best judgment when attempting to fight a fire. If the fire is manageable, use an all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call 9-1-1 for help.
For more tips and Red Cross fires safety information go to www.redcross.org