Here’s Why You Should Never Put a Frozen Turkey Into a Deep Fryer

TonyFuse/iStock via Getty Images
TonyFuse/iStock via Getty Images

Deep-frying your turkey is a way to get juicy, succulent meat in a fraction of the time you'd spend roasting one on Thanksgiving. But if you don't know what you're doing, it can also be a recipe for disaster. Make a wrong move while frying a whole bird and you could end up with a charred lawn—or worse. One of the most dangerous mistakes you can make while frying turkey is attempting to cook it from a frozen state.

In the video below shared by WESH 2 News, firefighters from the Orange County Fire Department in Florida demonstrate what happens when you submerge a frozen turkey in a fryer. As soon as the turkey enters the pot, boiling oil starts to overflow from the top of it. In seconds, the oil ignites and erupts into a ball of flame big enough to burn anyone who happened to be standing nearby.

When ice makes contact with hot oil, it instantly turns to steam. Enough rapidly expanding steam can push oil over the sides of the pot, potentially splashing onto the cook or into the flames beneath the vessel. That's why a turkey should always be fully defrosted before going into a deep fryer.

If you're brave enough to deep-fry your turkey this Thanksgiving, there are some steps you can take to ensure it doesn't end with a visit from the fire department. Always set up your fryer outdoors away from flammable materials and structures and be careful not to overfill it with oil. Before slowly submerging your turkey with the proper equipment, turn off the flame beneath the pot and have a grease-fire extinguisher handy just in case. Here are some more tips for finding success with your bird.

[h/t WESH 2 News]

Relax: Fears of a French Fry Shortage Are Probably Overblown

magann/iStock via Getty Images
magann/iStock via Getty Images

Americans love their French fries. According to The New York Times, Americans eat an average of an average of 115.6 pounds of white potatoes annually, "of which two-thirds are in the form of French fries, potato chips and other frozen or processed potato products."

If you’re someone who annually devours the weight of a small child in fries at McDonald's or elsewhere, you’ll be distressed that potato farmers are facing a shortage—one that could create a fry crisis. But these concerns are likely overblown.

According to Bloomberg, a cold snap in October led to crop-threatening frosts at potato farms in Manitoba in Canada, as well as in North Dakota and Minnesota. In Manitoba, 12,000 acres went unharvested, the equivalent to what was left behind in all of Canada last season. Fields in Idaho and Alberta, Canada, were also hit, but some crops were able to be salvaged. Combined with increased demand in Canada for spuds, North America is looking at a potential tuber deficit.

Why are fries facing shortages, but not mashed potatoes? Fry vendors prefer bigger potatoes for slicing, which tend to be harvested later in the year and were subject to ground freezing and other damage.

This all sounds like cause for national alarm, but the spud industry has taken measures to keep the market fed. Potato experts told Bloomberg that while potato shipments will likely have to be rerouted from more fertile farms and into new distribution channels, the consumer may not notice any difference. A plea for rational thought was echoed by Frank Muir, president of Idaho Potato Commission. Muir told The New York Times that while Idaho is down 1 billion spuds, the state still managed 13 billion. His message to consumers is “Don’t panic … You can still go out and order them as you normally do.”

According to Muir, the major fast food chains—McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, among others—have temperature-controlled storage for their potatoes and probably have an inventory to fall back on. Rationing won't be needed—unless, of course, you’re watching your weight.

[h/t Bloomberg]

It’s National Cookie Day! Here’s Where to Score Some Free Treats

UMeimages/iStock via Getty Images
UMeimages/iStock via Getty Images

If you plan on eating as many baked goods as possible this December, now's your chance to get a head start. Today—December 4—is National Cookie Day, and chains across the country are celebrating by handing out free cookies. Here are the best places to snag a treat before the day is over.

    • Great American Cookies, a chain that's concentrated in the southeastern U.S., is marking the day by rewarding members of its loyalty program. If you already have the loyalty app, you can swing by a participating location any time today and pick up your free original chocolate chip cookie without making any additional purchases. The promotion only applies to customers who signed up for the program before midnight on December 3, so you aren't eligible for the free snack if you download the app on your way to the store.
    • The cookie giant Mrs. Fields is also participating in the holiday. Buy anything from one of the chain's stores on December 4 and you'll get a free cookie with your purchase. If you spring for the Nutcracker Sweet Tower, which is made from five festive containers of baked goods, you can send a Mrs. Fields Peace, Love & Cookies 30 Nibbler Tin to a friend for free.
    • But what if you're looking for a free cookie with no strings attached? Surprisingly, a hotel chain may be offering the best deal for National Cookie Day. Throughout December 4, you can stop by a DoubleTree by Hilton and ask for a free cookie at the front desk. DoubleTree provides complimentary cookies to guests at check-in all year round, and every year on National Cookie Day, the hotel chain extends that offer to everyone.

There's no shortage of great cookies across the U.S. If you're willing to travel to satisfy your sweet tooth, here are the best chocolate chip cookies in all 50 states.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER