Paul L. Caron

Thursday, November 23, 2023

WSJ: This Thanksgiving, Cook The Turkey. Not Your Home.

Wall Street Journal, It’s Thanksgiving. Beware the Deep-Fried Turkey.:

Frying is faster and results in a delicious, juicy bird—but do it wrong and your house could burn down.

As some ambitious home cooks ready their deep fryers for Thanksgiving, fire officials are bracing for the worst.

An unthawed turkey can effectively turn into a bomb in a deep fryer, sending flames everywhere. Firefighters and federal officials are sounding the alarm over these avian tinder boxes.

“Cook the turkey, not your home,” the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission wrote alongside a social-media video of turkeys exploding in deep fryers.

The agency said turkey fryers are one of the biggest cooking risks on a day famous for its kitchen mishaps. Despite a plethora of social-media warnings every holiday season, some cooks don’t know they need to completely thaw their birds. If they don’t, water released from the frozen turkey can force boiling oil out of the pot, where it can hit flames from the burner and ignite. Cooks also need to remember not to use too much oil.

Most importantly, cooks risk a house fire if they use their fryer indoors or too close to their home. ...

Cooking fires are more prevalent during the holiday season when home chefs pack into kitchens. The CPSC estimates there are typically about 1,600 of these fires on Thanksgiving, more than any other day of the year and three times the daily average. Since 2000, there have been at least 217 fires or burn accidents involving turkey fryers, the agency said.

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