With the holiday season officially upon us, kitchens across America are preparing for the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving cooking. However, it's easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season, and forget that some holiday traditions also pose potential risks of fire or injury.
The art of deep-frying turkeys is growing in popularity across the United States. It is estimated that this year, more than 92 percent of Americans will serve over 45 million turkeys, many of whom will cook them in oil using a turkey fryer.
Deep-fried turkeys make a delicious meal; however, consumers need to be aware that using turkey fryers pose certain risks and can result in fire or injuries. CSA International, America's leading certification and testing provider for gas-fired products such as turkey fryers, would like to provide consumers with the following tips to help ensure every American's Thanksgiving is a happy, hearty and healthy one. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and be aware of all warnings and instructions. Never leave a turkey fryer unattended. Young children and pets should be kept away from the area where turkey fryers are being used. Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors and at least 10 feet from any potentially combustible structure or materials including garages, carports and overhangs. Always use a turkey fryer on a level, stable, non-combustible surface, and never on a wooden deck. When filling with oil, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and never over-fill your turkey fryer. This can cause the oil to overflow posing a potential risk of ignition on the burner flame. Always use the thermometer supplied with the turkey fryer to measure the temperature of the oil. Never heat the oil above 350° Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Never place a frozen or wet turkey in a turkey fryer. Hot oil and water do not mix. Placing a frozen or wet object in a fryer can cause boiling oil to spray, leading to a potential risk of burns and possibly fire if the oil connects with the burner flame. The National Turkey Federation recommends thawing turkeys in a refrigerator, 24 hours for every five pounds of bird, prior to cooking. Be sure to dry the turkey before putting it in the oil. Be aware that the pot holding the oil can become very hot, posing a risk of burn injuries. When touching a pot lid or handles, use well-insulated oven mitts. If any portion of the turkey fryer catches fire, do not attempt to extinguish or fight the fire. Immediately remove all people from the vicinity of the turkey fryer, and contact the fire department or 911. When purchasing a turkey fryer, always ensure it has been certified by an accredited third party certification organization, by looking for a certification symbol such as the CSA Blue Star.