Turkey Fryers; SAFETY FIRST

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 @ 12:05 PM

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 big barbecues, and a great added piece of cooking equipment for tailgaters. You can steam, boil, and stew with a traditional turkey fryer, but when it comes to hot oil and flames, always remember…safety first. This goes for any outdoor cooking equipment, but especially when oil, flames, and propane tanks are involved.

You can always go with a safer fryer, like a Cajun Fryer from R & V Works, or a Bayou Fryer by Bayou Classic. These units’ flames are enclosed in a tube, typically on the back side of the unit, away from any possible oil spillage. Keeping oil spillage away from open flame is a key safety factor. But even with a safer fryer, safety is still important.

Some important equipment to use and have on hand when using any outdoor propane deep fryer, are heavy duty long gloves, a face shield or safety goggles, a bucket of sand and an all purpose fire extinguisher. Remember…water and hot oil don’t mix. A hose used on an oil fire can just make matters worse.

Always read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using a turkey fryer and LP gas.

NEVER leave your deep fryer unattended. This goes for turkey fryers, safer fryers, counter top fryers, and stove top deep fryers. You always need to keep a careful watch during the deep frying process. Should a grease fire occur, turn off gas immediately and cover the pot with a lid. Most counter top units have an emergency release cord, so unplug and cover. Baking soda and again an all purpose fire extinguisher are great to have with electric fryers. Also if your oil begins to smoke, immediately turn off the gas.

Always use your propane fryer outdoors. An open area is best, away from houses, garages, wooden decks, trees, and shrubs. Find a flat level piece of ground. Make certain that children and pets have another area to play in. You also want to be certain that the fryer will not be in a walk through area. Keep in mind that there are some larger 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 and deck.

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 the gas tank.

Always center your stockpot, Dutch oven, or wok over the burner. You don’t want your pot to tip.

Immediately wash utensils, gloves, hands, and surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat.

Give your fryer proper time to cool down before straining or disposing of oil. Even though the unit is turned off, the oil will remain hot for a while. You still need to keep the kids 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. Safer fryers tend to have an oil release port. Once the oil is cooled, you can strain and funnel the oil into storage containers with ease.

If tailgating with a safer fryer, you can get a proper hook up and radiator hose and empty warm oil into 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.

Have fun with your deep fryers, just always remember, safety first!

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