Deep Fried Turkey Danger

Posted by Admin on November 22, 2006
What’s 520 calories, contains 27 grams of fat and is gaining followers in the United States? That would be a serving of deep fried turkey, according to the National Turkey Foundation. What started as a Southern tradition is now taking hold of a nation. Every year, more and more Americans are deep fat frying turkeys as part of their Thanksgiving dinners. John Weir has been frying turkeys for Thanksgiving for the past six years. “The beauty of it is that it cooks so quickly and it’s done in 45 minutes, so its crispy [on the]outside,” said Weir. “It tastes like a very moist turkey.” This is a welcomed treat for many who have had a dry turkey or two. “We’'ve all grown up with sawdust being carved off the bone every holiday,” said Richard Ruben from the Institute of Culinary Education. “Its one of the options, it may not be the safest, but it’s an option to get a really good moist bird.”

Turkey fryers have hit the market to hungry consumers but none of the fryers have yet to get a seal of approval from the Underwriters Lab, because there has yet to be a model meeting the proper safety standards. "The danger is that the turkey fryer could tip over and spill boiling oil," says John Drengenberg, the Consumer Affairs Manager for Underwriters Lab.

Another concern is the fact that there are no regulators to control the heat of the oil on the fryers, and if left alone, "it will just start flaming all by itself, and the oil will just start burning because its too hot," instructs Drengenberg. Yet another issue is that the stands are flimsy, which means the fryer, oil, burner and all, can tip over. If you are still intent on deep frying your turkey, here are some precautions.

 First, always deep fry your turkey outdoors and at least 10 feet away from your house or any flammable structure. It’s important to deep fry only a thawed turkey, because if it is still frozen, when placed into the pot it could cause hot oil to spew out and potentially burn someone. Thawing time and turkey weight are reciprocal; for every 5 pounds you must thaw it for 1 day (e.g. a 15 pounder takes three days to thaw), so plan in advance.

 Since turkey fryers don’t come equipped with a thermometer, buy one and make sure to keep your oil at or around 350 degrees. Finally, have a fire extinguisher on hand, and call 911 immediately, if there is any fire, given they can easily get out of hand and cannot be controlled with the extinguisher. Here are some other important tips for frying turkeys: 1. Be at least 10 feet from any structure. 2. Keep it off any wooden structure like a deck. 3. Keep kids away from the fryer.

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