CHICAGO — As Thanksgiving approaches plans are being made for the holiday meal. The Chicago Fire Department is issuing its annual warning about deep frying turkeys with a demonstration.

CFD joined the Illinois Fire Marshal at Quinn Fire Academy to deep fry a turkey the wrong way. After a failed first attempt, the annual demonstration showed just how quickly a grease fire can spread.

CFD and Illinois Fire Marshal leaders gave the following tips in addition to the demonstration:

  • Wear protective gear such as long gloves to avoid injury from oil splatter
  • Always operate a turkey deep fryer away from buildings and on a flat, solid surface
  • Frozen and hot oil do not mix – never put a frozen turkey into boiling grease
  • Ensure your turkey is fully thawed and thoroughly dried
  • Keep pets and children away from the cooking area
  • Have an appropriate fire extinguisher at the ready
  • If a fire does occur, never throw water onto a grease fire
  • Do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 if things get out of control

They also provided a helpful method of determining exactly how much oil to use. First put your fully thawed turkey into the pot. Then fill the pot with water so the turkey is just barely fully submerged. Next remove the turkey and mark the level of water on the pot. This is exactly how much oil is needed to properly fry the bird.

Even if you’re not planning to deep fry a turkey, there are still a few tips the fire marshal wants you to keep in mind when cooking in the kitchen:

  • Check ovens for items before turning them on
  • Make the kitchen a kid free zone while cooking is happening
  • Set timers to prevent overcooking / burning / fire risk as a result of forgetfulness
  • If something catches fire inside of an oven do not open the oven – instead, turn it off and let it smother itself and cool down

See the entire discussion of safety tips and the turkey fryer fire demonstration in the video above.