Thanksgiving by the Numbers and Filta’s Blockhead’s Guide to Turkey Deep Frying without Burning Down the House

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Well known for keeping employees safe in commercial kitchens, Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions offers advice to Turkey Lovers preparing to Deep Fry Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

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Unfortunately, most of them miss a few critical safety tips that we have learned servicing commercial deep fryers to make sure you do not burn yourself or burn your house down.

Well known for keeping employees safe in commercial kitchens, Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions offers advice to Turkey Lovers preparing to Deep Fry Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

  •     1 in 2.04 – Ratio of Adults who list Turkey as their favorite Thanksgiving Day Dish
  •     100% – Percent increase in house fires that occur on Thanksgiving Day
  •     $15 Million – Amount of property damage each year due to Deep Fryers (The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA))
  •     #1 Ranking – Texas for the highest Turkey Fryer related accidents
  •     33% – Percentage that fryer fires that are most likely to start in a garage or patio
  •     4,300 – Number of fires that occur on Thanksgiving Day according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)

Under the best circumstances, deep frying a turkey is messy, expensive and dangerous. Assuming the urge for that perfect juicy bird is just too much to resist, Filta is offering tips to stay safe this Thanksgiving and to keep the house from burning to the ground.

There are numerous videos on YouTube and plenty of tips on the web for deep frying a turkey for a Thanksgiving feast. "Unfortunately, most of them miss a few critical safety tips that we have learned servicing commercial deep fryers to make sure you do not burn yourself or burn your house down." according to Tom Dunn, Filta's COO.

A Blockhead’s Turkey Frying Safety Guide

Bird: 10-12 Pounds Max – Consider just using the breast. If the bird is too big, the oil will spill over the pot and create a burn and fire hazard. Also, if the bird to too heavy, getting it out will be a challenge. Remove the neck and giblets from the body cavity. If using a whole bird, remove the wire or plastic truss that holds the legs in place. Cut off the wing tips up to the first joint and cut off the tail.

Stuffing and Marinade: DO NOT stuff a turkey to be deep fried. Injected marinades are fine into the meatiest parts of the bird, but do not inject the marinade just under the skin as a water-based marinade will result in the hot oil popping and splattering. After adding marinades and/or seasonings, place the turkey in a clean roasting pan on the countertop for no more than 30 minutes. This allows the marinades and seasonings to permeate the turkey and raises the turkey’s internal temperature so as to create less splatter during the frying process.

Location: Stay at least 10 feet away from a house, garage, deck or other structure. Place the fryer on level ground. If it is going to rain or snow – skip turkey frying for this year.

Safety Gear: Wear oil resistant and heat resistant gloves, an apron and safety goggles. Oil is going to splatter. It is not worth going blind while cooking a turkey. Always be ready to put out a grease fire. DO NOT use water on a grease fire. Covering the fire and choking out the oxygen source is an option, but have an ABC fire extinguisher ready, just in case.

Oil: Peanut Oil – great flavor, higher smoke point.

Amount of Oil: Many people miss this step. Many turkey fryers feature a “fill line” indicating the suitable level of oil to add to the pot, but if that feature is absent from your fryer, or you wish to prevent an overflow, follow these guidelines before marinating the turkey. To determine the amount of oil required for your pot, put your turkey in the empty pot and then fill with water slightly above the top of the bird. Remove the turkey and then note the water level, using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Dump the water and dry the pot and the bird thoroughly. Refill the pot with oil to the level you determined.

Cooking Temperature: 350 degrees. Cooking at less than 350 degrees will cause the bird to absorb excess oil and taste greasy. Cooking temperatures over 350 degrees will cause the bird to be burned on the outside and raw in the middle. Use a good quality oil thermometer with a long stem clipped on the side of the pot. Do not use an infrared thermometer as it will only read the surface temperature of the oil.

Submerge the Bird: The bird must be dry and completely thawed. Remove the pop-up timer from the breast (if applicable). Turn off the burner. Using a good quality poultry rack, insert the bird vertically onto the rack. Then, using the supplied hook, lower the bird SLOWLY into the oil. If excess splatter occurs, gently lift up and then SLOWY submerge the bird back into the oil. Once fully submerged, place the hook aside.

Cooking Time: Approx 3 minutes per pound.

Supervision: DO NOT leave a fryer unattended at any time.

Bird Removal: Turn off the burner and using the hook, SLOWY remove the bird from the oil. Have a place ready to safely sit the bird down. Everything is HOT! Paper towels can be used to absorb excess grease.

Rest: Let the bird rest for about 15 minutes

Serve & Enjoy!

About Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions
Established in the United Kingdom in 1996 and brought to the USA in 2002, Filta is the world’s leader in commercial fryer and cooking oil management services and offers its services through a worldwide franchise network. Filta is dedicated to saving its client’s money, creating a safer working environment, and providing customers with the tools to increase the quality of their product, all while preserving the environment. Filta services over 5,000 customers every week and has recycled over 1/3 of a billion pounds of oil and counting! http://www.filta.com

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