Enjoy your deep fried turkey this holiday season, but do it safely

Halloween is over. Time to start getting your mind and stomach prepared for the next holiday.

Myrtle Beach firefighters got a good start on it Friday, with a turkey deep frying demonstration at the Myrtle Beach Costco store.

First, the experts say you should make sure you have the correct level of oil in the fryer. Oil spillover is the number one cause of fryer accidents.

You should also have a turkey that's not straight from the freezer.

"We want to make sure we thaw the turkey out, make sure it's not wet, because water and hot oil do react violently," said Lt. Christian Sliker of Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue.

He says you should keep your fryer outdoors on a level surface at least ten feet away from anything flammable.

Baste the turkey to your taste, heat your fryer oil to around 350 degrees and then dunk the turkey, turning off the flame temporarily while you put the bird in.

Allow for about 3 to 4 minutes of cook time per pound, or about an hour for an average turkey.

Because of the hazards of the deep fryer, Sliker says home fires are nearly twice as likely to happen around the Thanksgiving holiday as any other time of the year.

"Holiday cooking is a huge problem. We want to make sure people stay safe. By staying safe, we mean obviously making sure they have the right precautions, extinguisher, smoke detectors and making sure they have an escape plan in their family."

State Farm Insurance has produced a dramatic video, that shows what can happen if turkey frying is done incorrectly. The video shows huge flames erupting as a firefighter in full protective gear drops a frozen turkey into a fryer full of hot oil.

Nationally, deep fryer fires cause more than $15 million in property damage each year. Insurance industry figures show South Carolina annually ranks among the top ten states for turkey fryer accidents.

But when it's done right and cooked safely, deep fried turkey can be the moist and flavorful highlight of a holiday feast.