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Nov 24, 2010 11:12 AM by Andy Koen

Fried turkey; dangerously tasty

I'd be lying if I said that a deep fried turkey doesn't taste good because it does. So much so that rookies like me can pull off a decent Thanksgiving dinner with just a little preparation.

But it would also be irresponsible of me not to say that the Colorado Springs Fire Department, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Underwriters Laboratory, the National Fire Protection Association and several other government entities and non-profit agencies charged with looking after our safety all strongly advise against it.

So, if you are planning to fry a turkey, keep in mind the following precautions:

  • Never fry indoors (including barns, sheds and other out buildings)
  • Don't fry in the rain or snow
  • Only use a fresh turkey, never frozen
  • Keep kids and pets away from the fryer
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
  • If there is a fire, call 911

With those safety tips in mind, here are some suggestions I picked up along the way in cooking my first turkey.

Peanut oil works the best for frying because it maintains its temperature more evenly. Only use enough oil to cover the turkey. (This morning I used 3 gallons to fry an 11 pound turkey)

A good way to measure how much oil to use is by first putting the turkey in the empty pot and the filling the pot with water. Once the turkey is covered, you can remove and dry the turkey and the water line will serve as a marker for how much oil to use.

Wear oven mitts and an apron to protect yourself while frying. Also, tying a short length of rope to the handle can also give some extra separation between your hand and the hot oil when lowering the turkey in.

If you like the taste of fried turkey but are weary of attempting it by yourself, check with a grocery store or restaurant to see if a professional can do the frying for you.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving,

Andy Koen

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