Turkey Fryer Remains Popular, and Dangerous

    November 18, 2013
    Lacy Langley
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More men are taking on the crown jewel of the Thanksgiving meal, the turkey. That means fewer turkeys will be roasting this year and more will be grilled or fried, and turkey producers, as well as grill and fryer companies, are keeping up with the changing times.

For instance, the Butterball talk line, which provides assistance and advice to those who need a little help with their turkeys, added male staffers to answer calls for the first time in 32 years. They have also reportedly been looking for a male spokesperson, according to Today. They started taking calls November 1st.

“Men are cooking more and more — 84 percent are involved in the meal and 42 percent are involved with the actual turkey,” said Talk-Line director Mary Clingman. She also said that about 25 percent of calls fielded by staffers come from men.

In general, many times when men get involved in cooking, there is a search for a way to tweak it. Sometimes this involves a cool gadget. Carlos Faxas, for expample, found a meat thermometer that links to his iPhone. He can keep an eye on his turkey and watch football at the same time.

The 31-year-old e-commerce manager for United Airlines said he brines and roasts his family’s Thanksgiving turkey. But, there was one year he experimented with deep-frying. “I think it’s more socially acceptable now and it’s sort of impressive,” he said of men tackling the main bird.

Another company, Char-Broil, which has had an oil-less infared turkey “fryer” for six years, opened up its own Thanksgiving helpline three years ago. “We field thousands of calls each year and overwhelmingly, the callers are male,” a company spokesperson said via email.

“A lot of guys will roast or grill the Thanksgiving turkey,” said Mike Kempster, chief marketing officer of Weber-Stephen Products.

Between 18 percent and 20 percent of American families cook their turkeys on a grill, according to Kempster. The rest of the year, about two-thirds of grilling is done by men, and callers to Weber’s helpline during the days leading up to and on Thanksgiving are “predominantly” men, he said.

“When we hear this in focus groups, guys say, ‘Well, it’s kind of a way to give back to my family or take some of the workload off my spouse at Thanksgiving,’” Kempster said.

While using a giant turkey fryer also remains popular this year, so do injuries resulting from unsafe use of them. Some safety advice to follow, according to 7 News Miami, would be “Use it away from your house. Make a surface made out of pavers or gravel in case the oil were to spill,” said Fire Rescue Lt. Arnold Piedrahita. “Do not let anyone but the person frying the turkey to get near the turkey fryer … kids, pets, your buddies coming over.”

“Oil gets over 350 degrees. Remember this is peanut oil, it’s meant to cook at extremely high temperatures. You can only imagine what 350 degrees hot cooking oil can do to the human skin.” he added.

Yikes. I can imagine…

Be safe when you take on that bird!

Image via youtube

  • Garrett

    In recent years, various manufacturers have come out with electric Turkey Fryers designed for indoor use. They are essentially much larger versions of the “Cool Touch” fryers that came out in the 1990s (You know, the ones that are kinda square, with a hinged lid, temperature controls, and an exterior that stays cool to the touch, hence the “Cool Touch” name). They even have a themostat that’ll tell you when it’s time to put the turkey in, and a built-in timer.

    As I said, these new fryers are designed for indoor use, and completely safe to use so long as a few simple precautions are followed. Specifically, they are safe so long as you do not use more oil than is called for in the Manufacturer’s instructions, do not use a Turkey larger than is called for in the instructions (Usually 14 lbs. is the max), and make certain the turkey is fully thawed prior to frying.

    So long as these precautions are strictly adhered to, these new Electric Turkey Fryers are no more dangerous than your common household deep fryer.


    Maybe I missed the dangers of trying to deep fry a frozen turkey. If you attempth this you will have a very dangerous explosion and damage to anything nearby.