Frying your Thanksgiving turkey? Here’s how to stay safe. - - The News for South Mississippi

Frying your Thanksgiving turkey? Here’s how to stay safe.

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Thanksgiving is days away, which mean many families are going to be finalizing their dinner menus this week.

Have you decided how you are going to prepare your turkey?

Deep frying a turkey has been and will be a popular option for families. It can be quicker than baking, but the technique to get that bird crispy can be very dangerous.

One of our viewers, Cedric McCalister has been deep frying his turkey for the past two Thanksgivings.

"I got tired of a dry bird like I smoked them, I put them in the oven and they always came out dry so I wanted to try something that would add more moisture to the meat and make my thanksgiving more enjoyable for me and my family," said McCalister.

Although this technique can produce a tastier bird, it does pose some risks. 

"No matter what kind you use you always want to make sure you have a nice flat surface preferably concrete slab if you must do it on the grass or in the dirt make sure it's free of all leaves anything that can catch fire," McCalister explained.

Reporter Annette Peagler checked with Home Depot in North Jackson and found which fryers are the safest.

Home Depot has three fryers for sale. Shelly Maggs, Operations Manager, says the standard fryer is the cheapest one but the least safe.

"Dropping them in tends to be a problem with grease splatter and things of that nature and then leaving them unattended with the open flame it can be a fire hazard," Maggs explained.

If you do go with this one, make sure to watch the temperature of the oil.  If the oil is too hot, it can catch fire by itself. Most oils should stay around 350 degrees.

The Infrared Fryer doesn't require oil, but it can be more expensive.

"Cooks it quicker and much safer," Maggs said.

However, many people are using an electrical fire this year. Maggs says it's the most expensive, but very popular on the market and the safest. You can also control the temperature better.

"It is a higher price point, however it is going to be a multi versatile unit," explained Maggs. "It's not gas, you don't have to have the fire involved with it, you can actually set it on your counter top, but the limitation with this one, you're going to have to get a smaller bird."

McCalister is switching out his old fryer for an electrical one, mainly because of the safety aspect.

He's also being cautious of where he places it.

"Not in a high traffic area you don't want to be right in front of a door where people are coming in and out or anywhere where the kids may be playing," he explained.

Some other precautious to take – make sure your turkey is thoroughly thawed out before frying. Depending on the size it can take 3 to 4 days to make sure a frozen bird is completely ready before going into a deep fryer.  Also make sure to accurately measure your oil. If you chose to go with a fryer that uses oil, make sure it's in an open area, not in your garage or on a deck.


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