Play it safe when frying a turkey for Thanksgiving

Nearly 2,000 home-cooking fires occur nationwide on Thanksgiving

SAN ANTONIO – While most people prefer oven-roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, fried turkey has a taste all its own and has become a popular tasty alternative on the holiday dinner table.

If you plan on frying a turkey at home, the San Antonio Fire Department would like you to consider the following facts and tips prior to frying the bird.

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Turkey Frying Facts:

Turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures and pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process.

The National Fire Protection Association actually advises against using them.

Texas leads the country in most grease- and cooking-related insurance claims on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home-cooking fires.

Nearly 2,000 home-cooking fires occur nationwide on Thanksgiving.

Unattended cooking is by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths on Thanksgiving.

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Safety tips:

The first step is having the proper equipment. Having a deep fryer specific for turkeys ensures that when you use the right amount of oil, the turkey is completely submerged and the oil won’t overflow.

Also, cook with a turkey deep fryer outside; this keeps the hot oil safely away from anything flammable in your home. Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.

Next, to avoid turning the turkey into a giant fireball, it must be properly dried. This means checking that the bird is completely thawed and free of excess water.

Watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.

Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner back on.

Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.

Never leave fryers unattended.

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