This year it may be safe to say that frying a turkey is an established unsafe Thanksgiving trend.
The fried turkey has been lauded for its tender and moist meat and crispy crust, but the fire hazard caused by the cooking process makes it a dangerous cooking endeavor.
The process of popping a bird into a massive pot of hot oil and frying it is believed to have begun during the 1930s in Louisiana and Kentucky, according to Esquire Magazine. The trend then gained notoriety in the mid-90s when celebrity chefs like Martha Stewart and Emeril fried turkeys on their shows.
However, a long history has still not made it safe to fry your own turkey. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association discourages people from undertaking outdoor turkey deep-frying.
Their memo on the method states, “The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property.”
The NFPA estimates that deep fryer fires cause an average of five deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year on Thanksgiving.
Despite the dangers, a deep-fried turkey can be the pride of your table this Thanksgiving without having to cook it yourself.
Mark Bucher, the founder of BGR The Burger Joint will be frying turkeys for free at the Bethesda location on Thanksgiving. It’s his fourth year handling the dangerous task for area residents.
In order to get a turkey fried, all you have to do is bring down an eight to 10 pound turkey to the restaurant at 4827 Fairmont Avenue.
Bucher and his staff will be frying birds from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Make sure to get there early, however, because the cookout is first-come, first-serve.