Where there's deep-fried turkey, there's fire.
Not only has Canadian actor William Shatner weighed in on the dangers of deep-frying a holiday bird, now the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to talk turkey too.
Shatner, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Captain Kirk in Star Trek, stars in a public service announcement in conjunction with State Farm Insurance. He gives a melodramatic (and mildly hilarious) retelling of his quest for a moister, tastier turkey that goes terribly wrong. He forgets to use the "dingle dangle" and drops the turkey into a pot overfilled with hot oil – followed by plumes of fire.
It's all fun and games when the flames are added in postproduction, but this is part of a serious initiative to alert people to the very real risks of deep-frying turkey. Shatner knows a thing or two about this – in a more serious video he confesses he almost burned down his house in a similar accident.
The Department of Homeland Security has taken the turkey cause to Twitter. A recent tweet links to a video in which a firefighter in full gear drops a turkey in a pot to demonstrate what happens (without the use of CGI) when there's too much oil in the pot. The oil, at 350 F, overflows and erupts into a fire. In addition to the dangers posed by surplus oil, these turkey fryers are very easy to accidentally knock over, not to mention the risk of severely burning yourself against the hot lid and handles.
While not as common in Canada, deep-fried turkey is very popular in the United States. The technique doesn't take as long as an oven and locks in moisture while keeping the outside crispy. For those still brave enough to risk all for a juicier turkey, State Farm has listed five steps to avoid a turkey-sparked inferno:
∙ Avoid oil spillover – don't overfill the pot.
∙ Turn off flame when lowering the turkey into oil.
∙ Fry outside, away from the house.
∙ Properly thaw the turkey before frying.
∙ Keep a grease fire approved extinguisher nearby
While the promise of a tastier turkey is tempting, the risk of fiery explosions may just be persuasive enough to put the bird in the oven instead.
Have you ever deep-fried turkey? Is it worth the risk?