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FREAK Shots: The Upside of Cooking Dangerously

Turkey fryers are fixtures at southern holiday parties. As I watched my friend’s husband gleefully fry his turkey in a big vat of boiling oil this Christmas, I became a bit concerned for his and my safety … and rightly so.


Underwriters Laboratories has refused to put its label of approval on turkey fryers out of concern that “backyard chefs may be sacrificing safety for good taste.” Among other things, the fryers have caused fireballs and burned down homes.
U.L. even created this video as a warning:

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal‘s Environmental Capital blog reports that leftover turkey-fryer oil poured down home drains can cause clogged city sewer lines.
But Environmental Capital also notes that small-town mayors, among others, are increasingly grateful for the surplus of grease the fryers create — a valuable source of biofuels now that a regular grease supplier, school cafeterias, are cutting down on fried foods.
The fryers also make great gifts for people you hate.