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Roanoke Fire-EMS demonstrates how to safely deep fry a turkey

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 5:39 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - While it may be labeled as a ‘young turkey’, a 19 pound bird is getting ready to become a feast for the men of station 5.

But in order to avoid the sirens, there are some safety guidelines to follow.

“Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires across the nation, and locally across the Roanoke valley,” said Kristen Perdue, the Community Risk Reduction Specialist for Roanoke Fire and EMS.

Oil as you may have guessed comes first when actually cooking, but the very first step is to defrost your turkey. Dropping a frozen turkey into hot oil is recipe for disaster.

“Fryer fires, ooh, that’s a tongue twister. They’re most likely to cause a fire,” said Perdue.

Ovens and stoves are culprits too though.

That’s why staying in your home, preferably near the kitchen and keeping young kids and pets three feet away from hot surfaces are best practices.

Back outside, which is the safest place to fry a turkey, be careful of oil splatter when placing your main meal in the oil. Gloves are important as is some kind of tool to guide the turkey inside the pot.

From there, it’s a waiting game. According to chef and first lieutenant CJ Arrington, it takes about 3 1/2 minutes of oil cook time for each pound.

“I’m good with oven baked turkeys, because you can always put the stuffing inside, always a good thing to have, but our firefighters, they’re great cooks,” said Perdue.

And even though kitchen fires are three times more likely to happen on Thanksgiving than any other day, Roanoke hasn’t seen any Thanksgiving day fires in several years.

Hopefully that trend will continue Thursday.

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