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Don't let the turkey go up in smoke
Safety tips for cooking the holiday bird
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It’s hard to beat the speed of deep-frying a turkey – or the irresistible flavor and juiciness that result. But turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injury, which is why organizations like Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association advise against using them.

NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil. NFPA continues to believe that turkey fryers that use cooking oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.

Here are some safety tips:

•         More than one-third of fires involving a fryer start in a garage or patio. Cook outdoors at a safe distance from any buildings or trees and keep the fryer off any wooden structures, such as a deck or patio.

•         Avoid a hot oil spill over by first filling the pot with cold oil and then lower the thawed turkey into the pot to determine how much oil should be either added or removed.

•         Shut off the fuel source or flame when adding the turkey to the hot oil to prevent a dangerous flare-up if oil does spill over the rim.

•         Make sure your turkey is properly thawed before lowering it slowly into the pot.

•         Never leave a hot turkey fryer unattended.

•         Do not use ice or water to cool down oil or extinguish an oil fire.

•         Keep an extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fire nearby,

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.


What you should know:

•         Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.

•         Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.

•         If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

•         Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.


If you have a cooking fire:

•         Just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

•         Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

•         If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.

•         Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

•         For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

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