Turkey Day Tips: Experts give advice on how to handle frying with and disposing of cooking oil

Local News

CHARLESTON S.C. (WCBD)- Up to five gallons of oil can be used to fry a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and fuel recycling expert Adam Padgett warns against using hot cooking oil unsafely and not properly disposing of it.

If you plan to fry a turkey, Padgett suggests following these tips:

  • Make sure that your bird is completely thawed and dry when you cook it. Any water or frozen parts of the turkey will cause the hot oil to pop up and spill over the top of your pot.
  • When you prepare to submerge the turkey in oil to fry, be sure to turn off the burner. Any overflow from the turkey being placed in the pot can drop onto open flames and cause a fire.
  • Heat the oil up to 350 degrees and then keep it steady at that temperature while it cooks.
  • Fry the turkey at least 10 feet away from your home and keep pets and children clear of the pot.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of any fires.

Once you’re done cooking the turkey, Padgett highly suggests disposing of the used cooking oil properly or else it can negatively impact the environment.

“Whether you pour (the used oil) in your backyard or if it goes to the landfill, it’s going to seep down and it’s going to get into the local water system. It can harm animals and wildlife,” said Padgett.

The way to dispose of used cooking oil properly is to take it to a recycling center, where Green Energy Biofuel has collection sites. Padgett said to first transfer the oil into a container with a lid.

“Before you transfer that oil back into your container you want to make sure it’s perfectly cool. You can leave it overnight, but certainly want to leave it for a minimum of a couple of hours,” said Padgett.

The bins to pour the leftover oil in are clearly marked at many recycling centers across the Lowcountry.

“At all the staffed Charleston County recycling centers, Berkeley County as well. In fact, we recycle for about 70% of the state. So at most of the county recycling centers in the state, you will find this service,” said Padgett.

You can find the list of disposal locations here.

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