Thanksgiving Turkey Tips From The Grand Rapids Fire Department

Posted at 5:28 PM, Nov 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-20 17:40:25-05

FOX 17 joined the Grand Rapids Fire Department Tuesday afternoon to see what can go wrong if you plan to deep-fry your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Firefighters dropped a frozen turkey into a deep fryer overfilled with vegetable oil boiling at close to 400 degrees. Flames almost 20 feet high shot from the fryer.

GRFD Fire Hazard Inspector Ted Jensen says there are around 2,000 cooking fires across the nation each year. Five people die annually from those fires. More than $21 million in damages result from the blazes.

Jensen says cooks need to remember to stick to the directions when deep-frying. That means properly thawing the turkey and using the right amount of oil. Jensen says the best way to determine how much oil you need is by setting a dry turkey in the fryer, then filling it with water to see where the right liquid level is.

Never leave your deep fryer unattended while cooking. Cooks need to stick around and make sure everything is going according to plan.

And always have the fryer set on the ground. No cooking on decks or uneven surfaces.

Otherwise, your turkey – and home – could go up in smoke.