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How To Deep Fry A Turkey Safely This Thanksgiving

Sarasota County Government Facebook Live
In a Facebook Live video, Sarasota County firefighters demonstrate what happens when an unthawed turkey is dropped into a deep fryer at unsafe temperatures.

Many people like to deep fry their Thanksgiving turkeys - and that can pose some risks.

Sarasota County Fire Department Chief Michael Regnier laid out some ground rules for how to deep fry a bird safely during hosted a Facebook Live videoWednesday.

First, the deep fryer should be at least 20 feet away from any structures.

The turkey should be completely thawed out and dried. Best temperature for the cooking oil is between 325 and 350 degrees.

Regnier said there should also be a designated chef.

"You definitely want to keep track of it. You want to be the one responsible for that, and if you're the one putting the turkey in, you want to be the one to see it come out," said Reigner.

And it's very important to have an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.

"You want to have your fire extinguisher that you have under your sink - bring it outside with you," he said. "Have it readily available and that will put out the fire. However, if you use that, you will not be able to eat that turkey later."

A backup plan for the holiday meal may be a good idea too.

You can get more tips for your holiday cooking on "Turkey Confidential," The Splendid Table's annual, live Thanksgiving call-in show Thursday from 12 to 2 p.m. on WUSF 89.7. They'll be taking phone calls during the show at 800-242-2828.

After more than 40 years learning and helping others understand more about so many aspects of our world and living in it, I still love making connections between national news stories and our community. It's exciting when I can find a thread between a national program or greater premise and what is happening at the local or personal level. This has been true whether I’ve spun the novelty tunes of Raymond Scott or Wilmoth Houdini from a tiny outpost in a Vermont field, or shared the voices of incarcerated women about what it’s like to be behind bars on Mother’s Day with the entire state of New Hampshire.
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