Turkey Frying Causes Thanksgiving Fires - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Turkey Frying Causes Thanksgiving Fires

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DENISON, TX -- Thanksgiving means lots of turkey, but before you consider frying a turkey for the first time, you need to beware of a crucial mistake.

Every year, frying turkeys leads to small fires caused by people who do not prepare the turkey properly. The most important thing when frying a turkey comes before the cooking even starts, and that is thawing the turkey completely.

Proper thawing can take a few days in the refrigerator depending on the size of the bird. "They say it's easier to fry, but I like baking them," says shopper Jamie Demoure.

"I used to live in the Hill Country and we had wild turkeys down there and fried quite often," says shopper Wayne Woodress. "We just cut it up in smaller pieces and pan-fried it, not for Thanksgiving or anything, but for other meals."

In a video posted on Youtube, firefighters in Georgia showed how frying your own turkey even in the right pot can start a fire. When they put the turkey into the hot oil in the fryer, the oil spills over and the fire flashes up in moments. The worst mistake is putting the bird in oil while it is still too cold.

"Make sure that your turkey's not frozen, thaw it out, around 48 hours," says Kroger deli manager Jodi Duval. 

"We haven't done it because we don't have the fryer thing," says shopper Nellie Guile.

According to State Farm Insurance Company, Texas is the top state for cooking-related claims on Thanksgiving, with a total of 19 claims on the holiday over the past five years, but firefighters say it is easy to stop one of these accidents form happening to you through close observation and care.

"We've actually had people run to the store, think it would be okay, come back, and find their house full of smoke," says Denison assistant fire chief Bill Ray. "Once you put something on the stove and start cooking, you need to stay with it."

"I've never had fried turkey, I just kind of like the traditional oven type," says shopper Diane Jones.

Even if you put your turkey in the oven, it's important to watch it carefully and beware of grease. "Put tinfoil over it, just vent it a little bit, because if you don't, then the grease is going to be splattering everywhere," says Duval.

Grayson and Fannin Counties are under a burn ban, but you can still cook outside, and if you plan to fry your turkey, that is the only place you should be when you get cooking next week.