NEW YORK (MainStreet) — This week it’s all about the turkey, with 46 million turkeys winding up on the dinner tables of American households – that’s about 736 million total pounds, according to the National Turkey Federation.
Most family chefs will roast the turkey in an oven, but a growing number will stretch their culinary muscles by deep-frying their birds, a trend the NTF warns could lead to fire or injury.
If you’re rolling out the deep fryer or otherwise using a gas-powered appliance to cook your turkey, take the risk out of the equation with the following tips from the CSA Group, a Cleveland-based safety advocacy organization.
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Warning signs: If you’re using a turkey fryer, review the manufacture’s instructions thoroughly, giving special consideration to the “warnings” section. The CSA says any decent turkey fryer will be accredited by certified standards agencies, meaning it meets “applicable national standards.” Look for that certification before you buy a fryer.
Account for wind: Keep the liquid propane cylinder as far from the fryer burner as possible and make sure any wind blows the heat as far away as possible from the propane tank.
No wood: Don’t set your turkey fryer on a platform such as a wooden deck that can catch fire. Better to use the driveway or another non-combustible surface.
Fully-thaw your turkey. The CSA says that deep-frying an either fully-frozen or partially-frozen is a huge no-no. Frozen turkeys may cause oil to spill out and over your fryer and that could trigger a fire. Make sure to take 24 hours to thaw your bird and alleviate the fire risk.
Dry cycle. Make sure you dry the turkey before you fry it. Focus on the turkey cavity, where water and ice are more likely to accumulate. The CSA also advises avoiding marinades that might combust with heated fryer oil.