Oyster Bay Town Councilwoman Michele Johnson and the Town’s Department of Public Safety issued important cooking safety tips to residents ahead of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, as the rise in popularity of deep-frying a turkey also presents a potential increase in serious injury and fires.
“Thanksgiving is a special time for families to share recipes and enjoy time in the kitchen together. In recent years, the popularity of deep frying a turkey has increased,” said Councilwoman Johnson. “Deep frying results in tender meat and great flavor in a short time. Although uncommon, accidents can occur, and can be harmful and potentially very dangerous.”
To ensure safety over the Thanksgiving holiday, Councilwoman Johnson and the Department of Public Safety offer the following safety tips:
- Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
- Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
- Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
- Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it’s in use.
- Leave at least 2ft between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
- Choose a smaller turkey for frying. An 8 to 10lb bird is best; pass on turkeys over 12lbs.
- Never leave fryers unattended.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
- Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
- Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep an “ABC” or grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not to use water or a garden hose on a fire related to turkey fryers.
- Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
- Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.