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Thanksgiving is all about family, traditions, and taste tested family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. As you begin to make preparations on what family member is cooking what dish and who is bringing the drinks, it is important to remember that Thanksgiving can be hectic day in the kitchen and around the house. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, with more than three time the daily average for such incidents.  Most recent data revealed that fire departments responded to an estimated 1,400 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving with unattended cooking being the leading factor in cooking fires. Furthermore, US fire departments respond to over 1,000 fires a year that involved deep fryers. These fires caused more than $15 million dollars in property damage. With the increasing popularity of fired turkey, below are some tips to help prevent deep fried turkey accidents. 

  • Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures. 
  • Overfilling the fryer is common. Make sure and put the right amount of oil in the pot so it will not overflow when placing the turkey in the oil.  Oil can ignite when it make contact with the burner. 
  • Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.  If your turkey fryer does not have a thermostat, use a kitchen thermometer that attaches to the side of the pot.  This will help you monitor the temperature of the oil. 
  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups. If your turkey is frozen, it takes 4-5 pounds per day to thaw safely in the refrigerator. 
  • Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that is 8-10 pounds is best, pass on turkeys over 12 pounds. 
  • Never leave fryers unattended. 
  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil.  Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner back on. 
  • Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane powered fryer. 
  • Skip the stuffing when frying a turkey and avoid water-based marinades. 
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times. 
  • Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, cover and place it on a level surface to let the oil cool before of disposing. 
  • Watch the weather and never operate a fryer in the rain or snow. 
  • The handles and lid can get extremely hot, make sure and use over mitts when moving the pot or opening the lid. 
  • Do not use ice or water to cool down or extinguish an oil/grease fire.  Make sure to keep the correct kind of fire extinguisher nearby. 

It is hard to beat the speed of deep frying a turkey and the irresistible flavor and juiciness that results. Make sure to follow these safety tips if you are planning to deep fry a turkey this Thanksgiving. 

During this time of Thanksgiving, the Gerloff Company expresses our many thanks to you all.  All of us at the Gerloff Company would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.  Until next time my friends, be prepared and stay safe. 

Reference: “Tips to help prevent deep fried turkey accidents” by State Farm and “Thanksgiving” by the National Fire Protection Association