Deep Fry Your Turkey Safely This Thanksgiving

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

Their first taste of deep fried turkey was enough to get the Vanderburgh family hooked for life.

"Oh, it's unexplainable," Trish Vanderburgh said. "It's just. It's really good."

"It's much more moist," Rob Vanderburgh said. "It's like a rib. (The meat) just falls off the bone."

But getting a succulent bird comes with a price.

The National Fire Protection Association says there were about 4,000 fires started because of deep fryers between 2003 and 2006.

While it hasn't been a problem in Midland and Odessa, Interim Midland Fire Chief Jeff Meiner says fryers still need to be vigilant.

"The oil that you use is very hot," Meiner said. "I believe the temperature is 350 degrees. I've seen an increase in burns because there's an increase in splatter outside."

Knowing the risks, The Vanderburgh's say they take extra precautions.

"We have a fire extinguisher out there and the kids know they're not allowed to be around it," Trish Vanderburgh said.

There are steps you can take even before you start cooking. Fire officials say if you're going to deep fry a turkey the turkey needs to be about 10 pounds but no more than 12. While most people like to use peanut oil to deep fry their turkey, they say if you can find an oil free deep fryer that will be your safest bet.

Fryers need to always fry turkey outdoors, make sure it's at least 10 feet away from a house or other structure, never fry a frozen turkey because it can explode, and whatever you do don't leave it alone.

"I carry my phone with me in my pocket and if anything comes up; I need to go inside and get a drink; go to the bathroom; (my wife) comes outside." Rob Vanderburgh said. "You can't leave it unattended for any amount of time."

The Vanderburgh's say by following these rules they're able to have juicy turkey without any Thanksgiving blues.