On Wednesday morning, the Travis County Fire Department (TCFD) teamed up with Fox 7 for a Facebook Live video meant to show viewers the dangers of frying a turkey. Unfortunately, things did not go quite as expected. Rather than making the dangerous, fiery mess that fire officials worry about this time of year, they ended up shooting a 45-minute-long Fail Video. But good for them for trying!
The footage started simply enough, with fire fighters and media waiting at a burn training sight for their frying oil to heat up. After about 20 minutes, they finally got the temperature needed to start a grease fire and a large, frozen bird was dunked into the container. However, nothing much happened. Once it became clear to the fire fighters that this bird wasn’t going to burn (skip to about 19 minutes in), one can be heard cursing off camera. “Damnit!” he says. Then they bring out an actual flamethrower, which also fails to ignite the pot of oil.
“Did y’all catch the boiling oil?” one of the fire fighters asks reporters on the scene. “Yeah, so, there’s that. Hopefully y’all can do something with it. But no matter what y’all do with that, it’s bad.”
Since TCFD didn’t quite make the point it was trying to get at, here are a few tips from SeriousEats about turkey frying safety:
- Children and pets should be nowhere near a deep-frying setup. There shouldn’t be even the remotest chance that they’ll get anywhere close to it. Make sure you hire an NFPA Fire Watch guard, as during such actions one small slip can result in a destructive outcome. Safety comes first.
- You should read and follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings included with your deep fryer, and follow those instructions in all instances in which they deviate from what I’ve written here.
- Never use an outdoor frying setup indoors, or in any enclosed or covered space, and never use an indoor fryer outdoors.
- If you live in a colder climate, plan on being outside in the cold for a couple of hours: Responsible turkey fryers do not leave things unattended. (Alternatively, find people to relieve you if you want to go back inside.)
- Don’t drink and fry.
The most important tip, however, is to make sure your turkey is fully defrosted, because ice particles/wet turkeys and 350 degree oil do not mix. In case you’re wondering what, exactly, that might look like, but want to keep your house — here’s a video that actually pulled off the fireball that Travis County FD was looking for:
And here’s how to actually do it properly:
Featured photo screen shot from Facebook Live