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The original item was published from 11/18/2016 3:40:19 PM to 11/28/2016 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: November 18, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Safety First: Be Careful Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

Nothing tastes better than turkey at Thanksgiving. However, the Geneva Fire Department wants everyone to be thankful for safety when preparing their holiday meal.

The National Fire Protection Association warns that Thanksgiving Day has the highest number of home fires involving cooking equipment, with three times the average number. The contributing factors that cause cooking fires are preventable.

This is especially true when it comes to deep frying a turkey.

Planning
The USDA recommends frying a turkey no bigger than 12-16 pounds, which most fryers will accommodate. Before you unwrap the turkey, place the turkey in the empty fryer to make sure it will fit.

Preparation
Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before frying. Never stuff a turkey that is intended to be fried. People who choose to marinate or inject a flavor into the turkey should allow it to stand in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours before cooking.

Cooking
Deep fry the turkey outside in a location that is well-ventilated on flat ground away from trees and buildings. A fryer should not be filled more than 75 percent full of oil. Using a thermometer, heat the cooking oil to 350 degrees.

Before dunking the turkey, turn off the burner and gradually lower the bird into the liquid. To avoid bubbling over, people might have to pull the turkey back out gradually, then slowly lower again until submerged. The turkey should be covered when cooking, which can be resumed to 350 degrees.

Once the turkey is done, turn off the heat and slowly lift the turkey out of the fryer. The oil from the fryer, once cooled, should be covered overnight in a safe place.

For more information, contact the Geneva Fire Department at 630-232-2530.
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