WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) Thanksgiving Day is the busiest for firefighters across the country.
According to the Williston Fire department, people are three times more likely to have a cooking fire on Turkey Day than any other day. In all, there are an average of 1,600 cooking related fires on Thanksgiving each year.
Many people are planning how best to prepare your turkey, with some opting to go with the non-traditional route of deep frying. When done right, the turkey can taste delicious, but if gone wrong, it could result in disaster.
Scott Fleishman took a trip to the Williston Fire Department to go over the Do's and Don'ts of deep frying your turkey this season.
Don't use a frozen turkey, or a partially frozen one. If you're not sure if your turkey is frozen, stick your hand inside and feel for any ice crystals.
Do make sure your turkey and pot are completely dry.
Williston firefighter, Prescott Nadeau says, "Oil and water never really mix, especially in this cirumstance."
Don't fill your pot with too much oil.
"Because if you put a turkey with too much oil into that pot, the oil is going to boil over and cause a potentially catastrophic fire," says Nadeau.
Do put your turkey in the pot and fill with water beforehand. Once the water is a quarter of an inch over the turkey, take the turkey out and measure the water line. That's how much oil you'll need to use later.
Don't deep fry your turkey anywhere in, or near your home, garage, under a covering, or on your deck. You want to be at least fifty feet away from your home.
Nadaeu says, "Your porch or your deck is often made of combustible materials and any potential for that fire to extend into the deck or porch area could create a much larger problem for you."
Do use peanut oil. It will heat faster without burning.
Don't overheat the oil. You're ready to drop the turkey in once the oil reaches 350 degrees.
Do slowly lower the turkey into the pot. Cooking three minutes for every pound.
Do use a meat thermometer to check the turkey's internal temperature.
150 degrees means you're good to go. Slowly take the turkey out and let the oil drip back into the pot.
If a fire does occur, don't use water to put it out. Do use a chemical fire extinguisher, preferably a ten pound one.
"Fire departments all over the state do experience cooking related fires, especially related to unattended cooking. When people leave their oil fryers, or their stove top, or oven unattended even for a few minutes, it can cause devastating results," says Nadaeu.
Once you're done, shut the gas off and let the oil and equipment cool. The oil can go right back into the container and can be reused up to three times. Never dump oil down a sink or drain.