Bad turkey: When it happens to you
Deep-frying your holiday bird has become a popular practice, but do you know what to do if something goes wrong?
This post comes from Mark Chalon Smith at partner site Insurance.com.
Deep-frying the Thanksgiving bird sounds like such a great idea -- until the turkey explodes and the backyard goes up in flames.
The holiday may be a time of good cheer and good eats, but it's also when cooking fires, especially those involving deep-fryers, blacken homes and send people to the emergency room. Grease-fire and cooking-related insurance claims more than double on Thanksgiving compared to any other November day, according to State Farm.
Here are the top 10 states with the most cooking-related claims from 2005 to 2010, according to State Farm:
- Texas (36)
- Illinois (24)
- Ohio (21)
- New York (17)
- Pennsylvania (17)
- Michigan (15)
- Florida (14)
- Minnesota (14)
- Indiana (13)
- Louisiana (12)
Thanksgiving is clearly when the grease hits the flame, but State Farm spokesperson Heather Paul says the danger exists year-round as the popularity of deep-frying grows: "Fire departments are responding to more than 1,000 fires each year in which a deep-fryer is involved," she says. "The National Fire Protection Association says deep-fryer fires result in more than $15 million in property damage each year and hot oil splatter can cause serious burns."
- Special coverage:The holidays on MSN
Filing a claim when your fowl plans go afoul
Paul says insurance companies handle deep-fryer and kitchen fires in the same way as other blazes that damage your home or property -- you're covered for the entire loss minus the deductible. Post continues below.
To file a claim, contact your agent immediately -- if possible, the same day the fire breaks out. Paul also recommends taking photos of the damage and gathering any fire or police reports on the accident. The agent should be able to walk you through the process, she says, adding that most insurance companies have 24-hour hotlines.
"It's so easy to become distracted this time of the year because so much is going on," Paul says. "You can step away from your cooking and, in a second, a fire has gotten out of control."
Shatner on board with video
To propel its awareness campaign, State Farm enlisted actor and Priceline.com spokesman William Shatner. The man who has gone "where no man has gone before" goes right into the backyard in a video at the insurer's website and recounts how he almost burned his house down while deep-frying.
Shatner offers the following safety tips:
- Cook outdoors away from any buildings or trees, and keep the fryer off any wooden structures, such as decks or patios.
- Avoid spillovers by filling the pot with cold oil and then lowering the thawed turkey into it to see if oil should be added or removed.
- Turn off the flame when adding the turkey to prevent flare-ups if oil spills over the rim.
- The turkey must be completely thawed before slowly lowering it into the pot.
- Never leave the deep-fryer unattended.
- Use an extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fires to put out a blaze. Never use ice or water to douse a grease fire or to cool oil.
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I've been frying turkeys for close to twenty years, without a single incident (Unless you count the time I pulled the bird from the oil and proceeded to drop it on the ground. Talk about a mess!!!!! We had shrimp for Thanksgiving that year) . I fried 13 last Wednesday alone. But, I've got a strict set of rules that I follow, and do not deviate from any of them. I've passed this philosophy along to both of my sons and they fry without incident as well.
Someone said in another comment that "You can't fix stupid", and he's right. There are some people that should not be allowed around a bucket of hot oil and a flame.
P.S. to the one poster that said anyone under 60 does not have a clue about cooking.... I'll have to disagree with you on that point..........been successful at it for years and I'm not 60 yet.....
This is incorrect. Fill the pot with cold water and place the turkey into the pot. Adjust the water to the correct level. Remove the turkey and mark the water level. Dump out the water and fill the pot to correct level with cold oil. Place on fire and heat the oil to the correct temperature. You whould have a deep fryer thermometer for this.
Here is an idea that might work. Stop being tarded and follow instructions and you will have no problems. People that deep-fry chicken and anything under the sun seem to have no problem cooking a turkey by deep-fry. It's because we know how to do it correctly. Instructions can be found on the internet. My family and I have been doing this for years, and it's a big taste difference (allot better) than just cooking the bird in the oven. A few things to remember, Cook in a safe area away from anything that can catch fire easily. We have always cooked the bird in the garage on a concrete floor with the garage door open. We bought an electric deep-fire not to long ago, and it works better than the old gas one we had. It's also much safer, but we still cook it outside away from the kitchen or anything flammable.
It's a matter of being smart when cooking by deep-fry. You can't just throw a bird into the oil and hope it comes out right. People that cook the whole thing in or near their home are asking for trouble. There is so much oil than needs to be used it's not worth risking a spill and serous injury by doing it in your house. Best advice I can give is cook away from anything you don't want destroyed.
until the turkey explodes and the backyard goes up in flames.......right, written by a dude with no concept of being a man, surprised he could leave occupy wall st long enough to write this, if you add up the top ten states in five years there were 185 claims, that's not so bad, best thing to fry, forget turkey, fry ya a big ole fat ham, unbelievable, 15 lbs of bacon baby, and watch out for those exploding turkey's
Just use at least half your brain and don"t let anyone named Bubba near the turkey fryer and you should be ok!
Or "Bubby", for all that matters...he bought the last turkey fryer at a Target near him...hopefully he could come up with the money to buy the oil and the propane, and that he doesn't try to fry it inside his house. Propane tanks, if you don't have an empty one to exchange, cost around $50-$55...add the cost of the bird, and you're talking an expensive turkey.
The Orion Cooker will solve all of your deep-frying turkey problems.
That's if you can find one that's open. Most of the fast food joints close on Thanksgiving Day, with the probable exception of those locations that are at truck stops or turnpike service plazas. Otherwise, you may have to settle for a frozen turkey TV dinner.
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