With Thanksgiving on our heels, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention turkey fryers. As you know, fryers have been all the rage these past few years, and while the idea of fried turkey may seem appealing to some, the injuries and accidents that can occur by using a fryer far, far outweigh any of the benefits.
I probably can't say it enough (i.e. read my October 22 blog about the dangers of turkey fryers) but NFPA greatly discourages the use of turkey fryers. Due to the substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures, there are so many ways that people can get hurt. Consider the following:
* Hot oil may splash or spill at any point during the cooking process, especially when the fryer is jarred or tipped over, the turkey is placed in the fryer or removed, or the turkey is moved from the fryer to the table.
* Propane-fired turkey fryers are designed for outdoor use, particularly for Thanksgiving, by which time both rain and snow are common in many parts of the country. If rain or snow strikes exposed hot cooking oil, the result can be a splattering of the hot oil or a conversion of the rain or snow to steam, either of which can lead to burns.
Last year, NFPA, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hosted an event that focused on Thanksgiving cooking safety that included full-scale fire demonstrations that underscored the seriousness of cooking fires.
According to the CPSC, from 2003 - 2013, there have been more than 125 turkey fryer-related burns, explosions, smoke inhalations or laceration incidents reported to their organization. Below is a before and after photo that shows the potential danger of using a turkey fryer:
So, if your plan is to showcase a fried turkey at your holiday table, please reconsider the fryer and seek out professional establishments such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants for this, the focal point of your meal. Believe me, you and your guests will be glad you did.
Don't run the risk of accidents getting in the way of a great time. Learn more about the dangers of turkey fryers on NFPA's cooking fire safety central web page, and download our tips sheet for a quick and easy way to share this information with friends and family.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, everyone, and thank you for keeping fire safety a priority as you celebrate the season!