Holiday frying safely, inside and out

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) --Besides one of the busiest traveling times, Thanksgiving may be one of the busiest cooking times both in the kitchen and outside on the driveway.

In case you missed it, Tuesday night on Region 8 News at 10, we tried to show you what could go wrong when frying a turkey - many of us were expecting a "fiery explosion" that never happened.

All laughs aside, it shows us the unpredictability of frying a turkey or bacon the kitchen stove.

Let's start with frying a turkey outside. Some simple rules to keep it safe.

1. Keep the fryer outside, away from structures, small children and animals.

2. Don't overfill the cooking pot.

3. The turkey needs to be thawed and dry before cooking.

4. No bare skin like shorts or flip flops around the fryer once the oil heats up.

5. Lower and raise the turkey slowly into and out of fryer.

6. Have a fire extinguisher handy. You do not want to use a water hose to put out an oil fire.

7. Never leave the cooker unattended!

For our Tuesday night live demonstration we had the Jonesboro Fire Department standing by with a line charged with foam fire suppressant.  Chief Marty Hamrick told me why not to use water on an oil fire.

"What we have here is a class B foam that is designed for flammable liquids. But if you're at home doing this, don't use a water hose . You know if you're cooking a turkey you don't need a water hose. If you're cooking something on a stove don't throw a glass of water on it because it has the same affect."

To try and demonstrate a cooker fryer we broke all the rules, too much oil and a partially frozen turkey. We did have a fire, and judging by all the spreading oil, it should have and could have been much larger.

On Tuesday when we cooked a turkey with an experienced turkey fryer, we followed the rules and we still had spill over that resulted in a small fire.

Turning to the inside cooking. Perhaps you will be frying up chicken or bacon or something else on the stove. If something flares up cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. If the fire is small enough, you can put baking soda not flour on the flame. And like the cooker, never leave anything cooking on the stove unattended.

No water, no water, no water.. on a stove fire. Water can turn a small fire into a big one. And nobody wants uninvited guests riding a big red truck into their home to put out Thanksgiving dinner.

©2010 KAIT All rights reserved.