Posts Tagged ‘propane tank’

Monday, October 31, 2011 @ 09:10 PM

When you are getting ready to deep fry a turkey, whether it is Thanksgiving, some other holiday, or just an any day, you want to make sure that you are prepared. There is a little bit more to it than just having a turkey fryer, (stock pot and outdoor propane cooker), frying oil, and a turkey. You need to be physically, mentally, and materially prepared.

First things first. If you have never fried a turkey before, read your manual before you begin. Next, use the fryer before the big day. In fact, use it more than once if you can.  Even if you are just boiling water to start, this will help you get used to the nuances of your new outdoor propane deep fryer. This will give a chance to figure out the heat regulator and how to maintain a constant temperature.

When purchasing a turkey for your fryer, you want to make sure that you do not buy too large of a turkey for the size of your stock pot. There may be a suggested guideline in your manual, but here are some suggested sizes:

24 qt. fryer pot- 8-10 lb. turkey

30 qt. fryer pot – 10-12 lb. turkey

36 qt. fryer pot – 12-14 lb. turkey

42 qt. fryer pot – 15-18 lb. turkey

Buying the oil for your fryer may be seem expensive at first, but if you filter, strain, and store your used oil properly it can be used again.

To give you a rough idea, some typical oil amounts are:
26-Qt. – – – – – 2.75 Gallons
30-Qt. – – – – – – – – 3 Gallons
34-Qt. – – – – – – – – 4 Gallons

You want an oil with a high smoke point as you will be keeping your temperature around 350 degrees F for a long period of time. (For info. on smoke points see Frying Oil). Mixing different types of frying oils is not recommended as different oils have different smoke points. Buy what is in your price range but make sure it has a high smoke point.

Decide if you are going to use an injection marinade or rub or both on your bird. There are many recipes out there on the world wide web, but you can always buy a pre-made injection kit, like The Butterball Turkey Seasoning Kit manufactured for Masterbuilt. Inject your thawed bird the night before or early morning. Make sure the turkey is dry of marinade drippings.

Make sure you have enough LP gas. Having a backup propane tank is always a great idea. It is not like it is going to bad, or won’t eventually get used. You do not want to be in the middle of deep frying a turkey and run out of gas.

Get yourself some protective clothing. A pair of good, long, high temperature gloves is recommended. Protective eye wear is an option. Some goggles against spit and splatter is something to keep in mind. Pants, sleeves, and shoes are highly recommended as well.

Get yourself an all purpose fire extinguisher. You never know when you might need one anyway. Hopefully you will never need to use it.

Have a bucket of sand ready to use.Remember: oil & water don’t mix. A hose will make things worse if you have a flare up.

Make sure that your thermometers are working properly.

Be sure that you have a perfect spot to place your fryer. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day and find that you have no stable, level surface to cook on. This should be a place well away from any combustible materials, like bushes, but also to include your wooden deck or in your garage. These traditional turkey fryers are meant for outdoors, and not on your patio 3 feet from your house. If it is raining or snowing it is NOT an option to deep fry in your garage. You are only looking for trouble if you go there.

Have a little table set up to keep everything handy: your meat thermometer, gloves, goggles, fire extinguisher, etc.

If there is wind on the day that you are frying, position your tank on the upside of the wind. You don’t want the heat from the flames of the jet cooker blowing right at your propane tank.

Make sure that someone is able to keep the kids and the dog occupied. Let them play inside or just well away from the hot cooker.

Being physically prepared is helpful. If you do not think that you are physically capable of slowly and carefully raising and lowering a 15 lb turkey into a vat of hot oil, then get a lift bar. A lift bar can be slid through the grab hook and two people can do the raising and lowering.

Lastly, you want to be mentally prepared. Relax, but take care. Be sober. Use common sense. Don’t let any drunken friends bully you and try to tell you what to do or not to do. In fact, use the common sense to tell them that they should be out playing with the kids and the dog and you’ll call when the foods ready.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

Using a Bayou Classic turkey fryer or any traditional turkey fryer at Thanksgiving can cut your cooking time down immensely. Imagine taking a 14 lb. bird and having to roast it for almost 5 hours at 20 mins. perpound. Take that same bird, stick it in a deep fryer with the oil at 350 degrees F for 3 mins. per pound, plus an extra 5 mins at the end for good measure, and your Thanksgiving dinner is ready in less than an hour. There are always proper safety measures that you want to take, like reading your manual. Wear appropriate clothing, shoes, and have protective gloves. Here are a few other tips to make your holiday meal a


First let’s use the following information to determine the proper size turkey to buy for your fryer’s stock pot size.

Estimate cooking time by the formula of 3 minutes per pound of turkey. So if you have a 10 lb. turkey you will fry it for 30 mins. plus add an extra 5 mins. at the end.

What kind of oil should you buy? You want an oil with a high smoke point. That means an oil that is going to hold a constant high temperature with out hitting the point that it starts to smoke and then hit flash point. Refined peanut oil has a high smoke point, 450 degrees F. Some people are allergic to peanut oil, though I heard that the more refined the more hypo-allergenic, but to be on the safe side, if you don’t know for sure, get some other form of vegetable oil. Besides peanut oil can be expensive. Corn oil and high oleic canola oil are more readily available, have a good smoke point, and are less expensive than peanut oil.

How much oil should you use? Measuring the oil is quite simple. Take the completely thawed bird, place it in the stock pot. Fill the pot with water to the fill line. Place the bird in the perforated basket or on the poultry rack that you will be using. Place everything in the pot. Fill your stock pot with water until the bird is covered, plus a LITTLE extra. Remove the turkey and rack or basket. Mark your water line. This is how much oil to use. Dry the pot and basket completely before adding the oil.

Make sure your fryer is sturdy, level ground or concrete, not in your garage or covered wooden deck, away from combustible materials. If windy, place your propane tank upwards of the wind, so that the flame is blowing away from the LP gas.

Make sure your cooker will not be in a walk through area.

Make sure the kids, the dog, and any possibly non-sober guests have somewhere else to play!

While the frying oil is heating up, dry your turkey completely. Please make sure your turkey is properly thawed. Cooking times may vary if your poultry has not been properly thawed. Rule of thumb is to get the bird to room temp. an hour prior to deep frying. Sometimes a cold or frozen spot in a joint or deep in the turkey breast won’t allow that section to cook  properly. Besides ice crystals left on the bird can cause a huge boil over and flare up.

Before you insert your turkey in the pot, make sure that your thermometer is working properly. Make sure you have all your tools handy in close reach. NEVER LEAVE THE DEEP FRYER UNATTENDED! Handy tools should include a

meat thermometer, a bucket of sand and/or an all purpose fire extinguisher. No hoses! Hot oil and water don’t mix.

Clean and dry poultry inside & out. Remove giblets and neck, and trim away all excess fat and skin.(This stuff makes good gravy stock. Set it to boil, then simmer while the turkey is frying. While the turkey cools, strain the liquid from the giblets, add some water and corn starch. Heat and stir until thickened. Instant turkey gravy.) Make sure opening around the neck cavity is wide and clear. Make a 1-inch cut in the skin at the leg-thigh joints. This allows oil to drain when the turkey is done.
Inject your bird with seasonings if you prefer. Place your turkey in a roasting pan. A trick that I learned from “The BBQ Dr.” is to cover your bird with plastic wrap. This will keep the marinade from splashing back at you. Fill your seasoning injector. Pierce right through the plastic wrap into the turkey. The important thing to remember is to inject the turkey all over. Put a little in each hole.  Make sure you distribute the injection evenly so you don’t get pockets of the marinade. Push plunger down slowly while pulling injector out of meat to give even distribution of seasoning. Inject into various points on the breast, thighs, and drumstick. Even do the wings.  Flip your bird over, cover with plastic wrap, and inject the bottom side as well. There are portions of the breast that you may have missed by just injecting from the top side. Many people do the injection process the night before or early morning of. Some people like to use rubs as well, but much of the rub will come off during the cooking process, that is why injected seasonings are preferred. When using a dry powder marinade, mix with orange juice instead of water. The acidity in the orange juice enhances the marinade, plus it acts as a meat tenderizer. Wipe off any marinade they may have run with paper towels. You want to make sure that your turkey is nice and dry before lowering it into the hot frying oil.

Place turkey upside down on rack, with legs facing up. Remember, poultry legs facing up.  Put your measured frying oil into the pot. Attach thermometer to the top edge, making sure the stem of the thermometer is in the oil at least one inch… very important! When the oil is 350 degrees to 375°F it is time to place the turkey in the pot. Depending on the amount of oil used & weather conditions, it may take from 15 to 25 minutes for the oil to reach 350°F-375°F. You want to start the temp. a little higher than the optimum of 350 because your oil will drop in temp when you add the bird. Attach the grab hook to the top loop of the rack. Wearing protective gloves, very slowly & carefully lower poultry into pot. Almost like steeping a tea bag. The oil will spit and bubble at this point. Take your time until you are able to settle the turkey to the bottom without creating a severe boil over. It may take 60-90 seconds to completely lower poultry into the oil! If you feel more comfortable using two people for this process, get yourself a lift bar that two people can hold at the same time. Also, if you are afraid of a boil over and grease fire, just at the time of insertion, shut off the burner, slowly tea bag your turkey into the oil. When all is settled, relight the burner.

Now monitor your temp. As I said the oil temp. will drop a bit. Get it back to 350. You want to maintain that temp. as close as possible. Control frying temperature by turning the valve on the hose & regulator assembly. Reduce the flame to maintain a constant. PS: After passing 450°F, cooking oil can heat up rapidly to its flashpoint of spontaneous combustion, which is a serious grease fire! Therefore, never leave cooker unattended! Constantly monitor your thermometer. When the bird is done, turn the cooker off at the tank. Leaving pot on cooker, place grab hook through top loop of the rack and very carefully remove rack, with your turkey, from pot. Place rack with poultry on absorbent paper and allow to drain for few minutes, then remove from basket or rack and place on a platter to cool before carving. As I said, now is a great time to thicken the gravy and finish up your side dishes.

One last thing to keep in mind is your propane. Have an extra tank handy just in case. You do not want to run out halfway through a deep frying session.

Have fun, be safe. Use sober, common sense and you will have a Thanksgiving dinner to rival all your past ones.

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Monday, October 24, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

So, now we get to the traditional turkey fryer. A stock pot, a jet cooker, and a propane tank. Simple, yet many people are frightened by them.

As long as you read the instructions, follow what they say, use sober, common sense, and have a bucket of sand and/or an all purpose fire extinguisher handy, everything should be fine. Oil and water don’t mix!! There is no need to be a hero either. If you find yourself in a situation that is out of your hands, call the local fire department.

Reading about other peoples bad experiences with traditional outdoor propane deep fryers can be good, but can also be bad. If you read them in order to find out what not to do, that is fine. But if you read them and they just make you more opposed to cooking this way, then you will want to go with a safer outdoor propane fryer, or go oil less.

As long as you follow certain guidelines, you can have a perfect, crispy, & juicy fried turkey in about a third of the the time it takes to roast the same size bird in your oven. Imagine having a fully cooked 14 lb. turkey in less than an hour as compared to taking more than 4 hours to roast the same bird.

Safety is the main thing with this style of fryer. It must be used outdoors, and not inside of your garage or on your wooden deck right next to your house. You want the unit away from buildings and combustible materials.

It should be placed on a sturdy level section of ground or concrete.

You want a good distance between your propane tank and your cooker. But you also want to make sure that the hose between the tank and the cooker are not in a walk through area.

Make sure that the kids, your buddies and the dog all have some place else to play. That goes for after you are done cooking as well. It will take quite a while for the frying oil to cool down once you are done.

If  there is any wind the day you are cooking, place your LP gas on the upside of the wind so that the heat of the burner is blowing in the opposite direction.

Make sure you are properly dressed. You want long sleeves, shoes, and pants. Shorts and flip flops are not a great idea here. You also want to have on a pair of protective gloves, preferably ones that can handle high temps. Safety goggles are not a bad idea either.

You want an oil with a high smoke point. For more on smoke point and cooking oils, see our past blog on Frying Oils.

Having all of your equipment right on hand is important. You want to have your thermometer to constantly monitor your temp. A conventional turkey fryer does not have a temperature gauge that will shut off when it reaches the desired temperature. It does not a safety shut off, or breakaway cord like a counter top deep fryer. You must constantly monitor an outdoor propane deep fat fryer. DO NOT EVER LEAVE THE FRYER UNATTENDED. Have your lifting hooks and everything right where you can get at them. If possible, have a friend that can assist in raising and lowering your turkey into the hot oil.

Make sure your poultry is fully thawed!!! Ice crystals and hot oil do not mix!

I like to start at about 400 degrees. Even though your bird should be at room temp. for about an hour before you fry it, the oil temp. is still going to drop down. Starting a little higher than optimum temp. will help speed temp. recovery time. When the oil has reached optimum temp. you want to raise and lower the bird into the hot oil just like a dunking tea bag. The oil will spit and bubble at this point. So take your time getting the turkey settled in before placing the lid on the unit. If you are worried about hot oil and flames coming in contact, shut the burner off while you are lowering the turkey into the pot. Once everything has settled, immediately turn your burner back on. Remember to monitor your temps. You don’t want the temperature too low, or too high.

Remember to let the unit cool before attempting cool filter and store your oil for future use.

Now, I can never stress the fact enough that a traditional turkey fryer is the perfect piece of outdoor cooking equipment for tailgaters, campers, and even the backyard social butterfly.

This unit not only deep fries. You can steam, boil, and stew with it. You can steam corn on the cob while you are grilling steaks in your back yard. You can have a whole Low Country Boil or New England Style Clam Bake at the beach. You can make beef stew for that cold weather tailgate, or a huge pot of hot chocolate, hot cider or mulled wine. Deep fry a huge mess of Buffalo wings for the Superbowl. Have a Friday Night Fish Fry at church. You can even make corned beef and cabbage for a Half Way to St. Patrick’s Day party at your fire department or in the stadium parking lot at a Notre Dame game. Menu options are endless.This kind of cooking equipment is a tailgater’s best friend.

And that’s not all. There are still at least 100 more applications that a turkey fryer can fit into. You can use them to can beets at harvest time. You can cook down maple sap to make syrup in the spring. Tie die shirts with the kids on a summer afternoon. There is no reason to pack your fryer away just because Thanksgiving is over.

As I have said before, if you are frightened of these wonderful cooking apparatuses due to past horror stories, then this cooker may not be for you. But, if you are willing to get out there and experiment, the options of this versatile piece of cooking equipment are astounding.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011 @ 12:10 PM

Moving on to the great outdoors. There are a few different types of outdoor turkey fryers. Some are electric, some are propane. Some that are traditional deep fat turkey fryers, and some that are oil free or oil less “turkey fryers“.

I wanted to touch upon the later two as they are made by very respectable companies. They are safe, easy and cook great. The thing is, is that they really are not deep fryers. They technically roast the bird using radiant heat or infrared heat.

Some of these units actually have the option of adding wood chips for a smokey flavor.

A few of the upsides here are less mess, easier clean up, less of a fire hazard, other cooking options, etc.

Obviously, you have a virtually splatter free cooking unit, as you have no oil to spit, pop, or boil over. This makes clean up much easier as you do not have to wait for frying oil to cool down. You don’t have oil to filter and store. You still need to wait for the unit to cool down before clean up and storage, but this will take considerably less time than a unit full of hot oil. Some of the pieces of these units are dish washer safe, therefore also saving time. Though, certain parts must be hand cleaned and should never be submerged in water.

These units are  safer as there is no hot oil that can come in contact with open flame, which could pose a potential fire hazard. Safety precautions should still be taken though. No pets or kids, of any age, running around the unit all willy nilly. Remember that you still have  either an electric cord or a propane tank hooked to a hot container that is full of hot food. The sides of the unit will be hot. Make sure that you have appropriate protective gloves and your handling equipment on hand. Even though there is less of a potential for fire, etc, you should still keep a constant eye on any outdoor cooking equipment.

Using no oil is a healthier option compared to deep fried foods. Less calories and no oil, but still having crispy yet juicy turkey is a definite up point.

Another positive point to these units, as compared to a conventional turkey fryer, is you can use seasoning rubs. You can still use injectable seasonings, but rubs that would normally boil right off in hot frying oil, will now be a tasty and crispy part of the outside of your bird or other meats and vegetables that can be roasted in these units.

Now for the down sides. As I said, these units do not technically deep fry. You cannot make traditional french fries or doughnuts in an infrared cooker. You can smoke food but you cannot out and out deep fry. A traditional turkey fryer, you can also boil, steam and stew. This is not an option here.

These units are portable enough, especially the propane units, but if you are tailgating or camping with an electric unit, having a generator is a must. You can roast and smoke all sorts of meats and vegetables in one of these oil less fryers, which is nice for different menu options at the stadium or at a campground get together. But having a traditional fryer that has a stock pot that you can stew chili in, steam corn and lobster in, or deep fry chicken wings is a much more versatile piece of cooking equipment for people that use outdoor cooking equipment all the time.

These radiant heating units are great. They are cleaner and safer than traditional turkey fryers. The infrared heat seals in moisture for crispy, juicy, less fattening and flavorful food. If you have been looking for a turkey fryer for the holidays, but been hesitant to buy for safety issues, than this may be an option for you.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011 @ 08:01 PM

So, we are as prepared as we can be, getting ready for 2 converging snow storms. At least we will not be having blizzard force winds to accompany the snow like just after Christmas.

Gas tank on 4 X 4 is full, propane tank is full, cell phone charged, food and beverages handy. Bag of rock salt & snow shovel right by the door. Full tank on the snow blower and extra gas in the gas can. Batteries, flashlights and candles at the ready. Firewood stack outside the door.

So if we need to use the Brinkmann grill, or deep fry, or use the BBQ smoker due to power outages, we are good to go. May need to did a path to get to the outdoor cooking equipment, but we are good to go!

Good luck to you all. Happy winter!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011 @ 03:01 PM

The NFL & NCAA football seasons are winding down. For some that means the end of tailgating season until fall.

For others a whole new tailgating season is just about to begin. NASCAR and NHRA are due to start their new season almost immediately after the Superbowl in February.

Time for the motor sports fans to dust off their tailgating gear. Time to check over the grill and propane tanks for leaks. Hopefully you used your outdoor propane deep fryer for the holidays so it is up and functioning properly.

Now is the time to check your tailgating bins. Restock, replenish, and get any new equipment that your tailgating gear is lacking in.

For those of you that follow both types of sports, bless you. That means you’re tailgating year round. There is nothing like cooking outdoors, playing games, sharing food and drink with friends and family, while sharing in a common interest.

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Friday, November 5, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

So, we’ve already discussed electric turkey fryers. Lets move on to outdoor propane deep fryers.

Now there is the issue of LP gas. You must have a propane tank to cook with, but this affords portability and versatility. You can go anywhere! The beach, camping, tailgating, or even just a different place in your back yard. And speaking of versatility a traditional turkey fryer consists of  a stock pot and outdoor propane cooker. Not only can you deep fry with them, you can stew, boil and steam food. You can make chili for a cold weather camp out or have a New England clam bake right in your back yard. Always make sure you have an extra LP tank around, just in case.

The fact that your outdoors is great, because now your whole house won’t smell like you deep fried a turkey two days after you did.

Even though you are outdoors there are still safety features to keep in mind. You always want to be on stable, sturdy ground, and not near any buildings or materials that can catch fire. The kids and the dog will now have to find a different place to play than where you are set up. If it rains you cannot take your outdoor turkey fryer indoors. Do not take it on the porch or in the garage, as this could just end in a really bad day!!!

Frying oil will heat faster with a propane fryer than an electric one. Even after you put a whole turkey in the oil, it takes a significantly less time to come back up to temperature, than if you were using electricity. Most traditional outdoor fryers do not have a built in temperature gauge though. You need a deep fryer thermometer and you need to monitor your temps. There will be no little light telling you that the oil is ready. There is no safety shut off either. Again you need to monitor your temperatures and turn your regulator valve down if need be.

Traditional turkey fryers always run the risk of overflow and flare ups. This can occur if placing the food too quickly into the fryer or if it is wet or not properly thawed. A way to avoid the danger of overflow and flare ups is to get a safer fryer, like a Cajun Fryer or Bayou Fryer. These units typically have the flame on the back side and self contained fire tubes. Any overflow that may occur would happen at the front of the unit. No hot oil or flame should ever come in contact. All the same safety precautions should still be taken. Like having an all purpose fire extinguisher handy at all times. Electric or propane, indoors or outdoors, you should never use water on a hot oil fire.

Whether you decide on an indoor electric turkey fryer or an outdoor propane deep fryer, weigh your options, research,  and make an informed decision. Which fryer is best? That decision can only be made by you.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010 @ 05:09 PM

You may think that Thanksgiving is still a long time away. By my count, there is about 8 weeks left to go. If you don’t use your propane turkey fryer on a normal basis, it’s time to dig it out of the garage NOW! Dust it off, check your hoses & regulators for leaks. Fire it up & make sure everything is in proper working order. Take it for a spin. You don’t even have to deep fry something in it. Cook up a pot of chili, steam some corn, or just boil a pot of water. The point is, you want to make sure it is in tip top shape for turkey day! Make sure you have an extra propane tank on hand and an all purpose fire extinguisher. Decide what seasonings you plan on using this year.

It is never too early to start planning for the big day. That includes making sure your deep fryer is up to snuff. You don’t want to be all ready with your beautifully rubbed and injected turkey, go to start your outdoor propane cooker, and find out you have a leaky hose. The hardware store is not going to open Thanksgiving Day. Take a spare moment to check these things out. Deep fried turkey is one of man’s greatest creations. Take the time to honor it properly. You want the preparation to go off without a hitch, so that you can eat, loosen your belt, kick back and watch football with your family and friends. You don’t want to have to put a bird in the oven at the last minute adding 17 minutes per pound of cooking time. That is adding hours of cooking time on. Even if you settled for the grill at this point, because the oven is loaded with pie & side dishes, you’re still talking hours.

So go find your deep fat turkey fryer. Clean it up and use it. Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 @ 08:08 PM

When cooking with gas, safety is key. One safety procedure is testing your LP gas tank for leaks everytime you hook your propane tank up to you outdoor deep fryer, BBQ smoker, or grill. Before we go over the steps to checking for gas leaks, there are some important things to remember:

Gas leak testing should be performed in a well ventilated area. During testing, keep the unit away from open flames, sparks, or lit cigarettes.

NEVER use a flame to check for gas leaks.

If the burner does not light within 5 seconds, turn propane tank valve off immediately. Always wait at least 5 minutes for gas fumes to dissipate before repeating the procedure.

Always use the propane tank valve to turn your fryer, grill, or smoker on and off.

Never use a tank that has a gas leak.

Tomorrow we will go through the proper steps of testing for gas leaks.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010 @ 12:08 PM

The assembly of your new Cajun fryer, an outdoor propane deep fryer, is quite simple. You need a 7\16 wrench, a large Phillips head screw driver, and some channel locks and an adjustable wrench may come in handy as well. One person can accomplish this quite easily, but having two people will shorten assembly time. The unit comes with all the screws and nuts you need and an easy picture guide for assembly. Please read your operating manual as well. There are some other tips in there you may find handy.

Before your first use you want to wash the deep fryer with dishwashing detergent and warm water. Afterward make sure you properly remove any excess water with a sponge or dry cloth. Then spray with cooking spray, to prevent rust.

There are even pre-made slits in the metal for bungee cord attachment to hold your LP gas tank in place.

If you decide to take your fryer tailgating, you should never travel with the fryer unit on the stand. It lifts off quite easily, and place it in a secure spot so that it won’t move. Tie the unit down if necessary. This holds true for your rolling stand & your propane tank. The fryer compartment should also be stored without the oil in it while transporting.

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