Turkey frying tips from the Gulfport Fire Department - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Turkey frying tips from the Gulfport Fire Department

Firefighters demonstrated exactly what could go wrong when frying a turkey. (Photo source: WLOX News) Firefighters demonstrated exactly what could go wrong when frying a turkey. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Officials say cooks should follow easy steps to stay safe. (Photo source: WLOX News) Officials say cooks should follow easy steps to stay safe. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Beyerstedt says unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of incidents. (Photo source: WLOX News) Beyerstedt says unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of incidents. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

To many people, Thanksgiving isn't complete without a beautiful, golden-brown fried turkey.

"Frying's better. It's deep fried and crispy and it's not all dried out," said Todd Crawford while browsing the turkey section for the perfect bird.

The grocery shelves are stocked full and ready for the holiday rush. But rushing is something that the Gulfport Fire Department doesn't want you to do when it comes to preparing the Thanksgiving meal.

Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt says to make sure that you follow a few easy steps to make sure a disaster doesn't happen. First, the turkey should be completely thawed, and dried off.

"Any kind of water mixed with the cooking oil is going to set off a violent explosion," said Beyerstedt.

Next, you should never attempt to fry indoors, even inside an open garage.

"People will think, 'You know it's kind of cool outside today, let's do it in the garage, keep the wind off the pot.' But, you're putting this thing inside a structure and it's not designed for that," said Beyerstedt.

Thankfully the fire department knows that accidents do happen, especially when more cooking is happening than any other time of the year. According to Beyerstedt, it's not just turkey fryers that cause problems.

"It's the unattended cooking in the kitchen as well. We have family over and there are a lot of distractions," said Beyerstedt.

The last thing you should do if faced with a oil or grease fire is spray it with water. Beyerstedt warns that only makes things worse. Instead, a call to the fire department should be at the top of your list.

For further prevention, consider the following measures:

  • Never set up on a deck, always fry in an open area on concrete or dirt.
  • Use a thermometer.
  • Never use too much oil. Try placing the turkey in water to find out exactly how much oil you need. Then empty the pot of water, and dry it out before putting oil in it.
  • Ease the turkey into the heated oil. Don't drop it in.
  • Consider using an oil-less fryer.

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