Caution and Common Sense While Deep Frying Part II

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 03:09 PM

Now that we’ve talked about indoor fryer safety, it’s time to move outdoors.

Having a turkey fryer or any outdoor propane deep fryer is fun. It adds flavor to your holidays. It’s an extra versatile cooking appliance for backyard barbecues, and a great added piece of cooking equipment for tailgaters. You can deep fry, steam, boil, simmer, and stew with a traditional turkey fryer. When it comes to hot oil and flames, always remember…safety first. This goes for any outdoor cooking equipment, but especially when frying oil, flames, and propane tanks are involved.

Now as I said having an outdoor fryer is fun, but it is also a serious business. Caution and common sense play a big role here.

Wearing appropriate clothes, like having shoes and sleeves are a great idea. Having all of the proper tools from your fryer kit right on hand is a necessity. You don’t need to search for the grab hook or basket lifter when the time comes to use it. Other important equipment to use and have on hand when using any outdoor propane deep fryer, are heavy duty long gloves,  safety goggles, a bucket of sand and an all purpose fire extinguisher. Remember…water and hot oil don’t mix. A hose used on any grease or oil fire can just make matters worse.

Always use your propane fryer outdoors. An open area is best, away from houses, garages, wooden decks, trees, and shrubs. Find a nice, flat, level piece of ground. Make certain that children and pets have another area to play in. You also want to be certain that your deep fryer will not be in a walk through area. Always make sure that there is at least 2 feet of space between your propane tank and the fryer burner. Make sure that no one is going to try to walk between the tank and the burner. Place your tank and fryer so that any wind will blow the heat of the burner and fryer away from your LP gas tank. Keep in mind that there are some  outdoor electric fryer units on the market. The same goes for these units. They are intended for outdoor use, not in your kitchen or on your wooden porch or deck. You also want to make sure that your cord will not get walked into, yanking the cord out of the wall or flipping your fryer over.

Never leave the fryer unattended. This goes for any type of deep fryer, indoors or outdoors. You always need to keep a careful watch during the deep frying process. If a grease fire occurs, turn off the gas immediately and cover the stock pot with a lid. Sand and again an all purpose fire extinguisher are great to have on hand. Also if your oil begins to smoke badly, immediately turn off the gas.

Being sober while deep frying is pretty important. You will have time afterward when the cooking is done and the oil has cooled or been stored away. Keeping your friends that are partying, safe and away from the hot oil is important too. Just like the kids and the dogs, make sure that any rowdiness, rough play or an over zealous drinkers have there own place far from gas tank lines, burners, and hot oil.

Make sure that your stock pot or Dutch oven is properly centered over your burner. You don’t want food or hot oil upending because the pan just wasn’t centered.

Remember to use the tea bag dunking method. Any time you add something in to hot oil, it is going to bubble and spit. Just dropping a turkey or whatever you are frying, right in to the stock pot is just asking for trouble. This will result in a major boil over and a possible fire hazard. If you are really worried, when the time comes to put the turkey in the pot, shut the burner off for a couple of minutes until your bird or other food, is safely nestled in the pot. Then turn the burner back on.

Always give your fryer proper time to cool down before straining or disposing of the oil. Even though the unit is turned off, the oil will remain hot for quite a while. You still need to keep the kids, big and small, and dogs away from it while it cools. With a traditional turkey fryer, get a battery operated pump or enlist a friend or two to help strain and funnel the oil. The oil can be used again if stored properly. Once the oil is cooled, you can strain and funnel the oil into storage containers with ease. If tailgating, funnel empty warm oil into clean, metal Gerry Cans. The cans will still be hot but they may be stored out of high traffic areas. The fryer will cool down quicker allowing you to put it away sooner. That way you may enter the stadium and enjoy the game, without the danger of someone stumbling into your hot fryer while you are away from it.

Don’t be scared of your deep fryer. Have fun with it! Just use caution, think safely and use sober, common sense.

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