Deep-Fried Fire Danger- How to Cook Your Holiday Turkey Safely

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email
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Courtesy: State Farm

You see them all over YouTube, countless videos of pyrotechnics tempting fate with fire by dropping frozen turkeys into deep fryers filled with hot boiling oil.

To these people it may be a game, but fire experts say it's extremely dangerous. Callaway Fire Department Lieutenant Ben Sheffield said he responds to a number of these empergency calls every year, especially with the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner.

"That's very bad. They don't take the reasonible responsibility and safety measures to do it," said Lieutenant Sheffield.

He told NewsChannel 7 the hidden hazard is in the grease.

"What happens is the grease and the water mix. It boils and bubbles. The next thing you know it can get down in the burner and you could catch the house on fire," said Sheffield.

Sheffield went on to say the next big mistake people make is using water to put the fire out.

"Always have an extinguisher there, a dry chemical extinguisher not a water-based, because if you put water on grease it will spread," said Sheffield.

You have, of course, the safer and sometimes healthier cooking options like baking or smoking, but if you must get your deep fried fix this holiday season, there are ways to lessen the fire risk.

"First you defrost it. When you take a thermometer, if you cannot push it through the turkey then it is still frozen. We also try to check the level of how far that grease is going to come up in that pot. I would at least have three to four inches of pot left," said Sheffield.

Sheffield also suggested letting an average 12 pound turkey to thaw for four days, instead of the traditional two to three days. And by doing all that he said helps prevent your holiday plans from going up in smoke, literally.


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