turkey outdoors

Turkey outdoors: Avoid Thanksgiving disasters, fry on a clay paver patio!

Mmm. Turkey outdoors. But be careful. Patios, especially those made of genuine clay pavers, are inherently better than decks.

turkey outdoors: insist on a clay paver patio

Photo by Char Broil

We’ve had some fun with that one for years.

That’s because, as we’ve said, tongue firmly in cheek, that you can’t fall off a patio, a patio isn’t going to collapse under the weight of your guests – and most of all, no one ever tipped a turkey fryer over and set fire to a patio.

That’s because the pavers have already been through the heat. They’re baked in a kiln at temperatures of greater than 1,500 degrees, so a splash of boiling peanut oil isn’t going to hurt them – unlike pressure-treated white pine that’s used in decks.

You, on the other hand, are not nearly as durable. Thanksgiving with Aunt Freda’s stories might seem unending, but trust us: It beats spending time in an emergency room.

In fact, the National Fire Prevention Agency reports that between 2007 and 2011, there were 927 fires resulting from non-contained deep fryers, accounting for 35 civilian injuries and $44 million in property damage. There are three times the number of home cooking fires on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.

The good folks at State Farm Insurance have prepared this cautionary video clip:

We thought we would pass along some ideas on how to be safe on Thanksgiving – and any other time – that you might want to deep-fry a turkey.

-Go thawed. If you’ve bought a frozen bird, it will need to be completely thawed. Remove the neck and giblets (and any plastic or wires).   And make sure your turkey is the right size. A right-sized turkey is one that will, frankly,  fit into the pot. A 24-quart pot will hold up to a 14-pound turkey, a 26-quart pot will hold up to a 16-pound turkey and a 30-quart pot will hold up to a 20-pound turkey. Use the thermometer that came with the fryer – and cook the turkey according to the recipe’s directions in terms of both temperature of the oil and the time that it should take.

-Go safe.  Keep at least 10 feet in all directions clear of anything that might catch on fire. Keep children and pets away.  Don’t cook under your carport. Don’t cook on your deck.  Make sure the ground underneath your cooker is both level and non-combustible. (Did we mention that Pine Hall Brick Company clay pavers are ideal?) Don’t leave the cooker unattended – but do keep a fire extinguisher that’s been rated for grease fires handy. If you do have a fire and can’t put it out on your first try, call the fire department immediately.

-Go sparingly. Don’t use too much oil. Start out by putting the thawed turkey into the pot, cover it with water. Leave several inches of space to the top of the pot. Remove the turkey. The amount of water that remains is how much oil you will need. Mark the level on the outside of the pot, pour the water out and then put the oil in.  Don’t forget to pat the turkey dry BEFORE putting it into the oil.

Finally – and this is for you men out there:

Read ALL the directions – and then FOLLOW THEM –  before starting.

Trust us: you’ll surprise your wife and positively shock your mother-in-law.

You can find more information about fire safety here  and here.

Better yet, you can find cooking information, recipes and other ideas here and here.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from all of us at Pine Hall Brick Company!

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