rap #224 11/15/10
FRYERS MAKE TASTY TURKEYS, BUT CAUTION URGED
USING A TURKEY fryer usually results in a tasty and succulent bird done in a fraction of the time of a traditional oven, but improperly used, the fryer
can lead to disaster.
"The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that up to 30 fires or burn injuries are caused by the improper use of turkey fryers each
year," said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari. "As these hot-oil fryers continue to grow in popularity, backyard chefs need to know the dangers they pose."
When properly used, the fryer can cook a 15-pound turkey in about an hour. However, the hazard posed by the deep fryers is so great that the
Underwriters Laboratories refuses to certify any make or model of turkey fryer, Vicari said.
"This is a very serious safety concern," said Vicari, who is liaison to the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs. "If you absolutely must
use a turkey fryer this Thanksgiving, then please follow the safety directions carefully."
The most important safety rule is to never use the fryer inside in a garage, porch or any other structure."
"The UL sometimes calls them vertical flamethrowers because they can overheat and shoot flames high into the air," Vicari said.
Other safety tips include:
Vicari said consumers should carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add to the fryer.
- Keep fryer in FULL VIEW while burner is on.
- Place fryer in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures.
- Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
- COVER bare skin when adding or removing food.
- Check the oil temperature frequently.
- If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
- If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Make sure there is at least 2 feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner.
- Place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any wind blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.
- Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.
- Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot
oil splatter when added to the oil.
"Overflowing oil can reach the open flames and cause the fryer to burst into flames," he said.