Northwest NEWS

November 25, 2002

Home & Garden

Deep-fried turkey safety tips

From the Office of the State Fire Marshal
   The process of deep frying a turkey requires preparation and precaution. The instructions provided with the cooking-pot should be read carefully before attempting to deep-fry a turkey. This is critical in order to prevent a serious fire or burn injury.
   The National Turkey Federation and the Turkey Information Exchange offer these safety tips:
   1. Prepare in advance and use proper equipment
   Use a specially designed outdoor cooker/deep fryer with a perforated basket insert. The cooking pot should have a capacity of 10-gallons or more, stand three feet high and be hooked up to a propane gas cylinder.
   The propane cylinder must be separated by a minimum of 2 feet from the fryer. Remember it is important to read and follow the manufacturer's directions and safety instructions that come with the cooker.
   Place the fryer on a flat and level surface.
   Be aware of your clothing around the hot oil, which can spatter, and the open flame, which could ignite clothing. Roll sleeves up and tuck away loose clothing.
   Be sure you are strong enough to lower the turkey into and lift it from 350-degree oil safely.
   2. Keep heated items (hot oil and the propane cooker) away from anything that can burn.
   The entire area for at least 10-feet in all directions must be fireproof. Never deep-fry a turkey indoors, in garage, on a porch, on a deck, or in any other structure attached to a building.
   Keep children and pets away from the cooking area. Never leave the hot oil unattended.
   The deep-fryer unit should be positioned so any wind will direct the heat away from the gas cylinder, people, and structures.
   3. Watch what you heat and cook.
   Deep fryers must all be attended during cooking. Never use a frozen turkey, the ice crystals can cause it to "explode" when it comes in contact with the hot oil.
   Oil should not be allowed to go over 350-degrees; oil can ignite at 375-degrees. Allow oil to cool completely before disposing or storing.
   Never cover the deep fryer, this could cause over heating, or boiling-over or the hot oil.
   Should a fire start, clear all people from the area and call 911 immediately.