Be careful with the Thanksgiving Day bird!

So, you've heard from others that cooking a turkey in a fryer makes it taste better than one that was roasted in the oven. Friends or family may have told you that the meat is moist, more so than a turkey from the oven, and you may have also heard that the skin tastes better when it's crispy, and not slimy and gross.

So you said, why not, and either purchased a turkey fryer or maybe even borrowed one from a friend.

Be forewarned, using a turkey fryer is VERY DANGEROUS. So, here are a few things NOT TO DO when cooking the bird in one.

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Don't use a turkey fryer near anything that you care about.

Cooking oil is VERY combustible, and if a turkey fryer is not used correctly, there's a chance of a massive, explosive, fireball.  Anything close by, like a house, a garage, or a car, could easily start on fire within seconds.  Move your turkey fryer at least ten feet away from any structure, or human being for that matter.

Don't use a turkey fryer with either a broken or unstable base.

Outdoor turkey fryers are powered by propane, and there is an open flame directly under the base that holds the pot, a pot filled with cooking oil that's at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the entire unit is firmly grounded and stable so that nothing has a chance of tipping over and igniting.

Do not overfill the pot with cooking oil.

The last thing that you want to happen is to have that combustible cooking oil overflow and hit that flame, as it will ignite immediately.  Read the instructions thoroughly so that you know exactly how much oil to use.  For measurement purposes, most people will put both water and the bird into the pot before the cooking process even begins, so that they know exactly how much cooking oil to use.

Don't put a frozen turkey into the pot.

A frozen or partially frozen turkey will cause the cooking oil to spatter.  Spattering cooking oil will burn you or anyone else that is around the fryer.  Spattering cooking oil will also make its way down to the flame and ignite.  Do not use your turkey fryer when it's raining or snowing, as the cooking oil will spatter in those conditions as well. Be VERY CAREFUL putting the turkey into the fryer or taking it out of it as contact with the cooking oil will burn you.  Also, when the cooking oil gets too hot it creates vapor, which will make it spatter as well.

Do not use water to put out a cooking oil fire.

Throwing water onto a fire of this kind only makes it worse, as the cooking oil will spatter horribly and the fire will not go out.  It's very important that you have a chemical fire extinguisher right there with you when using a turkey fryer.

Don't use a turkey fryer.

Deep frying a turkey is much quicker than roasting one, and the meat is moist and the skin is crispy. But, most folks will pass when it comes to using a turkey fryer, and for good reason.  Roasting one in the oven is much safer.

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