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Stay Safe: Rural Metro shows what not to do when frying a turkey for Thanksgiving

Rural Metro Fire hosted its annual turkey fry event, showing people how quickly things can go wrong when deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey.

Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey takes time and patience, and families across East Tennessee are preparing their meals. Many use secret ingredients, many cook it for specific times in the oven, while many others deep fry their turkeys.

Putting it in a deep fryer can give the bird a unique taste that is hard to replicate through baking it. However, improperly preparing it can also lead to big problems.

Rural Metro Fire hosted their annual Turkey Fry on Wednesday, showing people what not to do when deep-frying their turkeys. During the demonstration, they overfilled a deep fryer and dunked a frozen turkey into it.

As a result, the deep fryer almost immediately caught fire. Flames spread around the driveway, and firefighters were ready to keep it from getting out of hand. They almost immediately extinguished the fire. 

Families who deep-fry their turkeys should set it up away from children and pets, according to experts. Never use an outdoor frying setup inside, or in an enclosed area. Families should also make sure they never use an indoor set-up outside.

Turkeys should be thawed and dried before cooking. Otherwise, water and moisture and cause flare-ups as the turkey cooks. If frying the bird outside, people should also keep an eye on the weather to make sure no rain interferes with the oil.

Fryers should stay level and there should be at least 2 feet between the tank and the burner if using a propane-powered fryer. Cooks should never leave their fryers unattended and they should turn the fryer off before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once it is submerged, they can turn it on.

Cooks should also keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case. And once it's done cooking, the oil should cool overnight before families get rid of it.