My public service announcement - "How not to cook a Thanksgiving day turkey"
| Thanksgiving day just wouldn't be the same without a big juicy Thanksgiving day turkey on the dinner table. This holiday goes all the way back to the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, and this tradition has continued up until today. The turkey has been prepared and cooked in the same manner for countless generations. However recently in just the last ten years or so, some folks have decided to cook their Thanksgiving day turkeys in a totally different manner.
Today after visiting state fairs there has been a craze for deep frying foods. Just about any food out there can be deep fried these days. It doesn't matter if it's a twinky or a pickle, if it'll fit into a deep fryer, then somebody somewhere has tried deep frying it at some point. Visit this hub sometime to see some of the craziest deep fried foods that are out there anywhere - America's weird wild & wacky fair foods
The Thanksgiving day turkey is no different, however this has certainly presented some very interesting challenges when it comes to deep frying. One of the first things people need to do is use a little common sense when they are deep frying a Thanksgiving day turkey. Otherwise there can be some disastrous consequences.
It's very important to read all of the directions BEFORE you start deep frying your Thanksgiving day turkey. It's way too late to start reading them after something goes wrong in the cooking process. It might take a few minutes to read through the directions, but it may save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.
To start with this is definitely an outside activity. That means totally outside, not in a kitchen, garage, or gazebo. Not on a carport, under a shelter, or partially under any shelter, but completely outside and a good distance from all structures. This is a good idea in case something terribly goes wrong. This isn't a perfect world that we live in, and sometimes things do go wrong, and deep frying a turkey is no different.
Another good idea is to not be in a real big hurry, or try to deep fry your turkey at the very last moment. When you are rushed you may forget a critical step like making sure your turkey is completely thawed out and DRY. A turkey with moisture in it or on it can, and will cause a violent reaction when it comes in contact with the hot oil. When this occurs the hot oil runs down the sides of the deep fryer, and onto the burner or flames producing a fire.
A good tip on how much oil to use before you start is to put the turkey while it's still in it's package, into the deep fryer while it's off. Then fill the deep fryer up with water until it just covers the top of the turkey. After you remove the turkey from the deep fryer, mark where the water line is at. Dump the water out, and now you know where exactly where to fill your oil up to in your deep fryer. Using the right amount of oil is important, because oil is expensive, and this way you'll have just enough oil where you won't waste any, or not have enough.
A co-worker of mine failed to completely thaw out his turkey before deep frying it. The turkey shot thirty feet up into the air, and he caught all of the dry leaves in the back yard on fire. Luckily no one was hurt, and the fire was away from any buildings. We may be able to laugh about it now, but it certainly wasn't the least bit funny to my co-worker when it was happening.
This certainly wasn't the only incident where things went wrong while deep frying a turkey. As the Thanksgiving day holiday comes around once again, then so will more deep fryer accidents. There's always an increase in deep fryer accidents involving turkeys around Thanksgiving time. According to an Insurance commercial, over two million people last year chose to deep fry their turkeys. Out of all of them, fifteen of those ended up in a house fire. The insurance companies highly discourage any cooking of Thanksgiving day turkeys in deep fryers, however that's about all of the power that they have. There's one thing that's for sure, and that is people are going to do what they want to do. So if you chose to deep fry your turkey this year, then please just be very careful. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
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