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Safety Before Tasty: Frying Your Turkey With Caution

Peoria firefighters said they respond to more kitchen fires during holidays compared to the rest of the year.

While a lot of people cook their turkeys the more traditional way, a lot of people are using turkey fryers these days. If you’re not careful, there could be a lot of consequences.

Division Chief of Peoria Fire, Stan Taylor, said the turkey needs to be completely thawed out and padded.

“And we’re going to have cardboard down so when the grease pops up it lands on the cardboard and doesn’t burn anything,” said Taylor.

He said to cook it on a hard surface too, not on your patio, deck or in a garage. “We suggest them cooking on gravel…out in the driveway or out in the yard on the grass,” said Taylor.

Now that that’s all squared away, wait until the temperature reaches 350 degrees…

“If your temperature exceeds 350 and gets to hot you don’t want to put your turkey in. You want to back the flame down until you get to 350 again. Otherwise, you will have your turkey explosion,” said Taylor.

Then, slowly lower the bird into the grease. This will produce the perfect fried turkey.

According to Taylor, “If you put a frozen turkey or one that isn’t completely thawed out into hot grease, you’re going to have a big grease explosion.”

An explosion and firefighters said you could get burned too. “You can see from the demonstration that a lot of oil boiled over right here…and right there…all around there..we had flames come up,” said Taylor.

Had we put more oil in, the explosion would have been even bigger.

As you can see, if you don’t follow directions, a fire could start in your house. Firefighters said a small fire doubles in size in just 60 seconds.


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