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How To Fry A Turkey The Right Way

Since I am down here in Alabama.  I am sure many people will be deep-frying a turkey for Thanksgiving.  But you have to be really careful if you decide to fry up your bird.  Last year, turkey fryers were responsible for 62 fires and several injuries in the United States.  Allstate Insurance said 15 homes burned to the ground around the country last Thanksgiving as a result of the improper use of turkey fryers.  And if you are not careful, you could catch your yard or house on fire.  Or even worse, you or someone you know can be severely injured.  Here are some videos of what can go wrong if you put a frozen turkey in a deep-fryer.  If you do this; you deserve the Darwin Award.

All of this does not mean you need to abandon your plans to fry your bird.  If you fry your turkey the right way you will enjoy a fully cooked bird that is very juicy.  Here is all the equipment you need.

  • A big pot
  • Propane tank
  • Propane burner
  • Protective goggles
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Heavy gloves
  • Peanut oil
  • Completely thawed turkey

First; you need to find a suitable place to fry your turkey.  Find a place far away from your house and place your fryer on a concrete or asphalt surface.  The best oil to use is peanut oil because it has a higher flashpoint that regular cooking oil, so it is less likely to ignite.  And follow these tips throughout the frying process.

  • Purchase a factory-built unit, do not use homemade fryers.
  • Make sure you use the fryer outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Make sure the fryer is a safe distance from buildings and combustible materials.
  • Do not use the fryer on a deck, in the garage, or other combustible surface.
  • Ensure that the unit is on a flat, dry surface.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Wear eye protection when using a turkey fryer.
  • Keep all pets and children away from the fryer before, during, and after use.
  • Do not overfill the fryer with oil.
  • Use leather gloves or pot holders when touching the unit or lid.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before placing it into hot oil.
  • Place the turkey in the oil slowly; this may take up to a minute depending on size.
  • Keep a multipurpose (ABC) fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire.
  • Never use water to extinguish a turkey fryer fire; oil and water do not mix.
  • Even after use, do not allow children or pets near the fryer; it can remain hot for several hours.
  • If a fire occurs, clear the area and call 911.

Make sure liquids have drained out of the turkey cavity and pat dry the inside of the turkey. Any water on the outside of the turkey or in the cavity will instantly be turned to steam. Too much water, means too much steam, which means an explosion of steam and boiling oil, ignition, fire, and the earning of the Darwin Award.  The best way to determine how much oil you really need is to do a turkey brine.  On the day before you fry your turkey, put the turkey in the pot and fill the pot with water, salt and spices.  This would be your so-called turkey brine.  Then on the next morning take the turkey out and mark the level of the brine left inside the pot. That will be the line marking the oil fill level when you fry the turkey.

It will be no fun if you have to call 911 and send out the fire department all because you fried your turkey the wrong way.  Let’s make sure the authorities can enjoy Thanksgiving at the fire house eating Thanksgiving dinner without having to go out and put out a fire.  Here is a video showing you how to fry the turkey the right way.  And also there is a great recipe you can follow as well!

By the way I will be taking photos at the annual turkey fry at the Calhoun County Sheriff Department on Wednesday.  Each year they fry lots of turkeys for the community!


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