PANAMA CITY — When it comes to frying a Thanksgiving turkey, remember safety is the first step.
On Wednesday, the Panama City Fire Department demonstrated the do's and don't’s of frying the holiday bird by immersing a 10-pound, partially frozen turkey in 4.5 gallons of oil heated to 400 degrees. Immediately, the oil overflowed onto the platform, causing the flame beneath the burner to flare.
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"If that grease spills over — and you do have ignitable flames from the propane itself — it's going to catch your grass on fire, therefore it's going to bleed over to your house," said Lieutenant Howard Demro.
"We never want to do this inside, it's just not safe at all," Demro later said. "We need to be careful of kids and pets running around while we're doing this."
Showing the right way of doing it — with the same size turkey in 3.5 gallons of oil heated at the same temperature — the oil did not spill over the pot, the flame did not get out of control.
Although uncommon, statistically speaking, PCFD has responded to turkey grease fires before, he said.
“Happy Thanksgiving,” he concluded. “And please be safe.”