Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner — and the last thing you want is a ruined turkey.
As families across the nation gear up to celebrate the big day with an over-the-top feast, some have made the brave choice to step away from the oven and deep fry their turkey.
Here are five things to know before tackling the bird:
1. Read Your Fryer’s Instructions
Many of us prefer to toss the instructions aside and use our instincts. But the how-to guide that comes along with your fryer is very important when frying a turkey. Missteps could result in a ruined turkey or, worse, a fire.
2. Be Sure to Defrost the Turkey
According to AL.com, it’s best to defrost the turkey completely and remove all of the giblets along with any ice or slush. When moisture from the turkey comes in contact with burning oil, it turns into steam, displacing the cooking oil. This causes the oil to spill over the fryer tank and into the flame below — which could start a fire.
3. Avoid Using the Fryer on a Wooden Deck
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security warn those wishing to deep-fry their turkeys to do so a safe distance from buildings “and any other combustible materials.”
“Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck,” officials said, as wood is very flammable.
4. Dress for the Task
When deep-frying a turkey, wear long sleeves, long pants and heat proof gloves to safely lower and remove the turkey from the tank, AL.com reports.
5. Do Not Stuff the Turkey Before Frying
Officials with Butterball suggest cooking the turkey’s stuffing separately rather than submerging it in oil along with the turkey.
BONUS: Do Not Fry the Turkey Whole if it is More Than 14lbs
According to Butterball, a turkey can be fried whole if it is 14lbs or less. However, if the bird is 15 lbs or more, it is safest to separate the legs and thighs from the breast and fry them separately.