Cooking for the Holidays
You probably know improperly deep frying
a turkey can be hazardous, but cooking for the holidays can lead to many common
fires and injuries. Let’s cover those and then show a safer way to deep-fry a
turkey. Many fires are a result of unattended
cooking. Stay in the kitchen, especially if you are frying or broiling
food. If you do have to leave the room, set a timer as a reminder to check the
food regularly. Also make sure you’ve tested your smoke alarm within the past month.
Combustibles such as oven mitts, food packaging, and wood utensils can all
catch fire and should be kept away from heat sources. Direct your pot and pan
handles away from people because bumping them can lead to burns and other
injuries. Also don’t wear loose or baggy sleeves while cooking, as they can catch
fire or get caught on handles. It also helps to know what to do if a fire does
take place. Don’t hide your fire extinguisher in some forgotten cabinet,
but keep it accessible and know how to use it.
Check the gauge monthly, and replace it every 10 years. If you have a grease fire,
do not attempt to put it out with water. Instead, slide the lid onto the pan and
turn off the heat source. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
If you can’t extinguish the fire, get everyone out of the building and call
911. Now back to frying turkeys! The National Fire Protection Association does not recommend cooking
turkeys in propane fryers, but the following steps will reduce the
likelihood of injury. Remove the neck and the giblets. Make sure the bird is
completely thawed, and dry the bird inside and out. Set up your fryer a safe
distance from combustible buildings. This includes any overhangs, garages, and sheds.
Add your oil to the fryer. Be mindful of the fill line on your fryer. Do not
overfill. Preheat the oil to 350 degrees. Turn off the propane while you gently
ease in your turkey. Once the internal temperature is 165 degrees, it is safe to
eat. Never serve undercooked poultry, especially to children or the elderly.
Once the oil has cooled, it is safe to recycle. Put it back into its original
container and bring the sealed container to the free oil drop-off at Moscow
Recycling. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!