This year, you might have noticed the social media trend where young adults send the following text message to their mother: “Mom, how do I cook a 25-pound turkey in the microwave?”.  In return, these mothers typically reply with something like “Don’t do it” or “Please just use the oven”. Hopefully, this remains a light-hearted prank this year, which takes us to our first turkey tip:

1) Do not cook your turkey in the microwave. Some might argue that there is a method to cooking it in the microwave (if it even fits), but the best-case scenario you end up with a “blah” tasting turkey, with no flavor and rubbery skin. Most likely, the turkey will not cook evenly, and your dinner guests could get some nasty food poisoning.  Turkeys need to reach 165°F internally in order to be safe to eat.

2) If you choose to deep fry your turkey, you need to defrost it first. The short explanation is, if you drop a frozen turkey into hot oil, the ice turns to steam. The rapidly expanding steam causes the oil to boil over, and thus an explosion potentially ending with fire damage to your home. Days before the big meal, you will need to begin defrosting your turkey in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. When it comes time to deep fry the bird, place the fryer outside, and away from any structures. Don’t overfill the pot with oil and keep the oil under 350°F — the hotter the oil is, the more combustible it is. Turn off the flame before lowering the turkey into the pot and be sure that you have a working fire extinguisher nearby.

3) This might seem like a no-brainer, but keep an eye on your turkey and whatever else you’re cooking. You might not realize how into the football game you are, how long Uncle Dan has been blabbing on, or how much you’ve been fussing over your table décor until your unattended food catches fire. Try to keep yourself contained to the kitchen area, or assign a trustworthy adult to food-watching duties.

If your home or business does endure fire or water damage over the holidays, know that the pros at ServiceMaster of Tacoma are available 24/7/365, to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. Happy Thanksgiving!