Are you planning to deep-fry food this holiday season? While deep-fried foods aren't particularly good for your health, they are certainly tasty. Unfortunately, though, deep fryers are responsible for thousands of house fires each year. You can still use a deep fryer to cook delicious foods during the holidays or other times of the year, but you should follow these six safety tips to lower the risk of injury as well as house fires.
#1) Set Up Your Deep Fryer Outdoors
While it's possible to deep-fry indoors, assuming your deep fryer isn't powered by propane, it's recommended that you do it outdoors for safety reasons. If hot oil splashes out of your deep fryer, it won't damage your home. More importantly, deep-frying outdoors significantly lowers the risk of injury because you can keep a distance from it.
#2) Only Cook Thawed, Not Frozen, Food
What's wrong with deep-frying frozen food? Whether it's a frozen turkey or a bag of frozen veggies, it may cause the oil inside your deep fryer to bubble. As the oil bubbles, some of it may splash out and onto nearby surfaces or people. Regardless of what you're planning to deep-fry, make sure it's thawed before adding it to your deep fryer.
#3) Use a Pair of Long Tongs
Always use a pair of long tongs when cooking food in a deep fryer. A spatula or fork isn't going to cut it. You need long-handled tongs to safely grab food from a safe distance without exposing yourself to the hot oil.
#4) Wear Heat-Resistant Gloves
Even if you use a pair of long tongs, you should still wear heat-resistant gloves when cooking food in a deep fryer. Heat-resistant gloves act as a last barrier of defense against burns. If the hot oil happens to splash out of your deep fryer, your hands will be protected from burns thanks to the gloves.
#5) Keep the Lid Closed
Try to keep the deep fryer's lid closed at all times. Unless you're adding or removing food, the lid should be closed. Otherwise, hot oil may splash out of the deep fryer and onto your skin.
#6) Don't Extinguish Fire With Water
Hopefully, your deep fryer doesn't catch fire. If it does, however, you shouldn't attempt to extinguish it with water. When water is added to hot oil, it will turn to steam almost immediately. The quick production of all this steam can cause the hot oil to splash out of your deep fryer.