PORTLAND -- In recent years, deep-frying the Thanksgiving bird has caught on as one of the biggest trends in holiday cuisine. But officials warn frying your turkey could end in disaster.
Deep-fat fryers have contributed to the increase in cooking-related fires during the holidays, and State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace says from 2007 through 2011 there were more than 3,661 fires and seven deaths in Oregon attributed to cooking.
If your heart is set on this dubious method of preparing your feast, officials urge to use caution when handling the cauldron of bubbling oil.
"If you're cooking your turkey in a deep fat fryer, always do it outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable material, and never leave it unattended," Wallace says. "Hot oil is extremely dangerous, so never use turkey fryers on a wooden deck or in your garage."
He also cautions cooks to make sure the fryer is on a stable surface and not too full.
Wallace says to make sure children are away from the fryer, and to use a thermometer to gauge oil and food temperatures. Also, once the oil is up to temperature, turn off the burner and make sure the turkey is completely thawed so oil doesn’t splatter over the sides of the fryer.
If done safely, deep-fried turkey can make for a delectable Thanksgiving dish. But anyone looking to take on the pounds of poultry and gallons of hot oil should be warned that it’s no easy feat.
For more information on cooking safety visit the State Fire Marshal’s page on cooking safety.