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Believe it or not, Thanksgiving and Christmas are quickly approaching. Many homes will cook a traditional holiday dinner including a whole turkey for their family gatherings. While most families will cook their turkey in the oven, there has become increasing popularity in a deep-fried turkey.


Fried turkeys are delicious, but they also come with many dangers and risks while cooking. Watching the news following a holiday, you will see many injuries, home fires, and even deaths after attempting to deep-fry a turkey for their family gathering. If you are planning to fry your turkey this year, there are a few precautions you can take to keep your family gathering safe and enjoyable.

Check the forecast for the day you are planning to cook. You will want to avoid using the deep fryer outside if there is rain or snow. When setting up your fryer, ensure you are set up at least 10 feet from your home and on flat ground away from pets and children. This will help prevent hot oil splatter onto your home which could cause a grease fire that is hard to extinguish.

If you have ever fried frozen food, you know that this can cause the oil to bubble and splatter. If you are planning to deep-fry your Thanksgiving turkey, you’ll want to plan ahead and have the bird completely thawed prior to placing in the fryer. Butterball® suggests thawing your turkey in the refrigerator 1 day for every 4 pounds of bird. If you are feeding a crowd, you may need to begin thawing many days in advance. Another tip to avoid grease splatter is to completely dry the turkey prior to placing in the hot oil.

To prevent a burn, you should closely monitor the oil temperature and use caution when touching the fryer and turkey. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands, and eye goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter. Always keep a fire extinguisher close by in case of fire as water will not extinguish an oil fire.

Once you have set up in a safe location and your oil is heated to 375֯, turn the burner off and slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. If you lower the turkey too quickly, this will cause bubbling and possible overflow of the hot oil. Once the bird is completely submerged, turn the burner back on. Your turkey will need to cook about 3-4 minutes per pound or to an internal temperature of 175֯-180֯. Carefully remove your turkey and let cool about 20 minutes before you enjoy.

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