I happened upon the Penobscot Bay (Maine) Pilot yesterday that highlighted a blog about turkey fryer safety. According to the blog, Rankin's Hardware & Building Supplies in Camden has named October as Safety Month at the store and thus, has highlighted NFPA and the reasons why we discourage the use of this dangerous cooking "appliance."
To speak plainly, turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns and other injuries because of the amount, and the temperature, of the oil used. Not sure what I mean? Consider this:
* In deep frying, oil is heated to temperatures of 350° Fahrenheit or more. Cooking oil is combustible. If it is heated above its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite.
* Propane-fired turkey fryers must be used outdoors. Many parts of the country may have rain or snow at this time of year, which if precipitation hits the hot cooking oil, the oil
may splatter or turn to steam, leading to burns.
* The fryers use a lot of oil, about five gallons. Considering the size and weight of the turkey, extreme caution must be taken when placing and removing the turkey from the fryer to be sure its is not dropped back into the fryer, splattering the oil on the chef.
With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, people may overlook this important safety information in an enthusiastic effort to buy into this popular food craze using the holiday's signature bird. But if you take a look at our turkey fryer safety tips sheet, I'm hoping you will quickly see just how dangerous fryers really are.
So, if you've been contemplating using a turkey fryer in the coming weeks or for Thanksgiving, please consider the alternatives for a safer, risk-free holiday, including looking at grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep fried turkeys.
NFPA gives Rankin's a shout out for informing the public about the dangers of turkey fryers and our concern for people's safety. Stay tuned to this blog for more cooking safety tips as the holidays approach.