Columbus Fire Marshal warns about dangers of using turkey fryers - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Columbus Fire Marshal warns about dangers of using turkey fryers

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Thanksgiving is a week away and you are probably already making plans for your turkey, but local fire officials want everyone to be safe if you plan on dipping it in the fryer.

Columbus Fire Marshal Chief Ricky Shores says every year, someone is bound to start a fire by not using the proper technique to fry a turkey. He says there are many reasons why it is so dangerous, and even though a fried turkey is delicious, there are some things to keep in mind while you cook.

"The oil cooks at approximately 350 degrees," he says. "That same oil will boil off and the vapors will catch fire at 400 degrees, so obviously you don't have a lot of room to make sure that you've got the proper temperature before you get it to that dangerous state."

Temperature isn't the only factor. Chief Shores says it is vital to make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying it.

He says, "When the water inside the turkey, especially if it's in a frozen state, comes in contact with that hot oil, it turns into steam very quickly, and that will overflow the device and cause oil to splatter and it's a very dangerous situation."

Another way to overflow the fryer is by putting too much oil in it before dropping the turkey.

"If you measure it with water first, you'll know exactly how much oil needs to be in the unit," says Chief Shores, "so that when you drop that turkey slowly into the frying unit, you don't inadvertently overflow the device."

It is also important to remember to keep the fryer away from your home, pets and kids, and never leave it unattended. Even with all the proper safety precautions, however, Chief Shores says it's best to leave it to the professionals.

If you insist on using your own fryer, you should also make sure the stand is on a flat surface to prevent the device from tipping over.

It takes about five gallons of oil to fry a turkey, much more than most of us are used to cooking with.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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