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Thanksgiving Day Cooking Boosts Cooking Related Insurance Claims

11:21 PM, Nov 27, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, Sc (WLTX) -- As you wake up and begin planning your meal, News19 is reminding you of the safety concerns about frying your turkey.

It's a trend thousands are trying.

If there's one thing Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins may like on his thanksgiving table, it's a fried turkey.

Jenkins said more and more, people are enjoying their turkey's fried.

"Anytime you've got more and more people that are experimenting, or are doing it for the first time, or just more people doing it, you're prone to have more accidents," Jenkins said.

Accidents that are costing South Carolinians in insurance claims, putting South Carolina sixth in the country for Thanksgiving Day grease and cooking-related claims.

Thanksgiving Day fires alone put the Palmetto State in the top-10, according to industry experts, another reason Jenkins calls for extra concern at your house.

"Around this time of the year, you'll see a higher percentage of the fires from cooking just around this year because more and more people are in the kitchen and cooking these big meals," Jenkins said.

Which is why before you start frying your own turkey, Chief Jenkins wants you to listen to the correct way to do it.

"Before you start anything, make sure that you have a turkey that has already been thawed out," Jenkins said.

Without doing that, you risk oil splatter and a higher risk of fire.

"You need to put your turkey inside the pan first," Jenkins said. "Pour water over it, and bring the water just above the turkey to make sure the turkey's submerged in the water."

the chief says that's how you'll know the correct amount of grease to use before you start cooking.

"Once you pull it out, make sure you pat it dry," Jenkins said. "The lines you marked - bring your oil up to that line."

Once you determine your heating connections are working the right way, that's when your last check is to be sure you're cooking on a flat space in an open area. 

"That's just so in case somebody walks by and hits it or whatever, it won't tip over," Jenkins said.

Jenkins used an extension for the basket holding the turkey as he slowly lowered it in to 350 degree boiling oil.

Chief's advice now is to never leave your turkey unattended, and to cook it for about three-and-a-half minutes for each pound of meat.

A few quick turkey-frying tips Chief Jenkins says will keep your celebration safe.

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