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How To Avoid A Turkey Fryer Fire This Thanksgiving

COTTON VALLEY — Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and fire officials are reminding those in charge of preparing the bird to beware of the hazards surrounding deep frying turkeys.

Dunking the bird in hot cooking oil can make for a delicious dinner if done right, but as the Virgin Islands Fire Service (VIFS) points out, it could also end with an over-cooked turkey and a house in ashes.

Below are some suggestions on how to ensure your Thanksgiving isn’t ruined by a turkey fryer fire:

  1. Cook outside, and at least ten away from the house, porches, decks, or whatever can burn.
  2. Make sure the turkey is thawed out all the way, and that it’s dry before you fry. Any water that is on the bird can cause the oil to explode the second they come in contact with each other.
  3. Do not overfill your fryer! This is very important, as the turkey will take up space inside the pot and displace the oil when you slowly slower it in. A good way to figure out how much oil you need is to put your bird in the pot before you fill it with oil. You should do this days in advance when the turkey is still frozen, so that it can all dry out adequately by Thanksgiving. Carefully fill the pot with water so that it just covers the bird and frying basket. Remove the turkey and frying basket and note where the water line is once they are out. Make a mark at the top of the water by scratching into the pot with a sharp tool, or drawing on it with a marker pen. Dry it all out, and this is the line you will fill to when you put the cooking oil in.
  4. Always have an ABC fire extinguisher ready. Remember that water will make a grease fire worse, so a garden hose is not the tool you want for this job.
  5. Stay with the fryer at all times, and please cook only when you are sober and not under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.

“Hopefully you have a safe holiday, and consider these tips if you are already planning on how to cook your bird this year,” VIFS said.

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