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Deep Fried Turkey: How Not to Burn Your House Down

Ah, the good old Deep Friend Turkey. Are you considering deep-frying a Christmas or holiday turkey this year? Did you know that setting your house on fire while attempting to cook deep fry turkey seems to have become something of a national pastime. There were 1,400 such house fires in 2006 alone.

This time of year, crazy turkey fireball incidents pop up like crazy. So let's learn from our previous mistakes, and here's how to avoid burning down your castle in the quest for the perfect poultry.

Deep frying turkey is fast, delicious and potentially hazardous, the Arizona Republic reports. The risks stem from several sources, the level of oil in the fryer, the temperature, the flame and other risks.

Injuries often come from overflowing oil caused by using too small of a pot. Oil spilling is a major risk because most turkey fryers use a propane flame that will ignite oil quickly.

There is also the risk of the fryer tipping over. You are advised to deep fry on a flat surface and stay away from dry grass or wood. You would also be wise to watch your alcohol intake, Mark Faulkner, Phoenix Fire division chief for public affairs, told the Republic. While many like to imbibe while cooking, "Alcohol and frying turkeys don't mix," said Faulkner.

Here are a few deep fried turkey cooking tips from the article:

  • Don't use too big of a bird: 8-10 pounds is best for a deep-fryer.
  • Keep an eye on the fryer at all times and keep children and pets away
  • Test the fryer ahead of time with water to ensure you know the correct oil level with your turkey
  • Heat the oil to 365-375 degrees
  • Use a completely thawed and dried turkey.
  • Do not use a stuffed turkey
  • Gently add the turkey to the fryer
  • Allow about 3 minutes per pound
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and never use water for a grease fire.

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