Turkey, trimmings and safety this year

Published 9:07 am Tuesday, November 20, 2012

While you’re considering options for your Thanksgiving turkey, don’t just consider flavor, juiciness and preparation time — make sure you think about safety too.

Deep-frying turkey, while a popular preparation method, can be dangerous, with increased potential for fire or injury.

Such dangers include the possibility of burns, since the sides of the cooking pot, lid and handles get extremely hot; combustion, since fryer units have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion; and hot oil spills, which can cause fires.

If you do choose to deep-fry your turkey, use these safety guidelines from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure that everyone involved remains safe:

-Keep the fryer in full view while the burner is on.

-Place the fryer on a flat surface in an open area, away from all walls, fences or other structures. Turkey fryers should always be used outside.

-Be sure to completely thaw your turkey before placing it in the pot. Excess water in partially frozen turkeys can cause the pot to overflow.

-Never use a fryer in, on, or under a garage, breezeway, carport, porch or any structure that can catch fire.

-Raise and lower the turkey in and out of the fryer slowly to reduce splatter and avoid burns.

-Cover your bare skin when adding or removing the turkey.

-Check the oil temperature frequently.

-If the oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the gas supply off.

-If a fire occurs, call 911 immediately. Do not try to use water to put out the fire.

-Keep an all-purpose extinguisher handy at all times.

-Even after you are finished cooking, do not let pets or children near the turkey fryer. The oil will remain hot for hours after cooking.

Police officers and firefighters across the county will be on duty on Thanksgiving — do your best to make their Thanksgiving and yours a good one by being safe when you prepare your holiday meal.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.