NORMAN — In recent years deep-frying turkeys has become increasingly popular. The cooking method requires placing the turkey in three gallons or more of oil, heated by propane.
The Norman Fire Department warns that cooking with deep-fat turkey fryers can be very dangerous. Turkey fryers have a high risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling hot oil. That could lead to fires, burns or other injuries.
Here are five dangers associated with deep frying a turkey, according to the Norman Fire Department:
1. Units can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
2. An overfilled cooking pot or partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is inserted.
3. A small amount of cooking oil coming into contact with the burner can cause a large fire.
4. Without thermostat controls, fryers have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
5. The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get hot, creating severe burn hazards.
The Norman Fire Department advises against using a turkey fryer, but if you use this method, these precautions should be followed:
· Fryers should always be used outdoors on a solid level surface a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials.
· Never use a fryer on a wooden deck, under a patio cover or in a garage or enclosed space.
· Do not overfill the fryer.
· Never leave the fryer unattended. Without thermostat controls, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
· Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use.
· Use well-insulated pot holders or oven mitts and wear long sleeves and safety goggles.
· Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and excess water is removed before it is placed in the fryer.
· Read and follow all instructions provided with your fryer.
· Keep all-purpose fire extinguishers nearby.
If a turkey fryer fire occurs, call 911 immediately. For more information, call the Norman Fire Prevention Bureau at 292-9780.