Yes, you can ruin Thanksgiving dinner even worse than throwing up on the table. It all has to do with the most ‘MURICAN of American holiday traditions, deep frying the turkey. The process is dangerous as all get-out, and comes with a litany of warnings only matched in length by the list of local fire departments flat out telling people not to undertake it. Below, we check out 5 people who assumed they knew better.
1. “I don’t think that’s working…”
Let’s dig right into this video’s highlight moments:
0:10 - Someone has the foresight to get the dogs the hell away from the turkey bomb. If only someone had the foresight to set the turkey bomb away from, or at least not directly underneath, the house.
0:22 - Our well-meaning cameraman remembers his fire-safety class from grade school and says to make sure the fire extinguisher used is the correct type for a grease fire.
0:26 - The entire family ignores his first and second warnings.
0:27 - The house catches on fire.
0:30 - “I don’t think that’s working!”, in reference to the fire extinguisher that is setting the house on fire.
0:51 - “Should we call 911?”, asks a woman watching her house go up in flames.
0:54 - “No, we’re fine,” says someone who clearly doesn’t own or live in that house.
1:00 onward - It finally becomes joke material.
2. Dad, The Ultimate Fire Retardant
Though this is from Christmas 2007, it follows our premise: “I know holiday turkeys better than Julia Child and fire safety better than every fire chief in America.”
Despite the GLARING mistake of putting their open flame on a wooden deck, this family actually does quite a lot of things right in putting the fire out. Their first attempt, smothering the flame with the pot lid, failed before the camera started rolling (you can see the still-smoldering, warped metal lid being held with tongs by the brother). They tried to douse the blaze with baking soda, but didn’t have enough, and knew not to spray water directly at the grease fire.
…at least at first. When every other method failed them, they finally turned to every family’s time-tested last resort in the event of holiday emergency: Get Dad to fix it. Flying in the face of every law of physics and fire safety, Dad actually managed to successfully use two HIGHLY ill-advised methods for putting out grease fires: spray water at it and cover it in a flammable object. Sure, you could point out that he was careful to soak the piece of rug and the surrounding deck area to keep the flame from spreading, but I choose to believe that Papa Bear willed the fire into submission when his family was in danger with a cold, unforgiving glare.
3. “Don’t just drop it in quickly, that seems like a really big-“
Oh, idiots. How I love you. You’re the reason I have a job.
One thing all these videos seem to have in common is their proximity to extremely flammable personal property. Wooden decks and garage overhangs are one thing, but these boy scouts were sure to take every reasonable precaution. When they realized that having this gargantuan, out-of-control flame two yards away from their house might cause some slight structural damage, they protected their home with two dry pieces of plywood. See? A little foresight can go a long way towards setting your house on fire.
With all the necessary safety measures in place, and with a fire that “just got too hot” and “friggin’ combusted” before the turkey ever even got inside it, the backyard Batalis got to work and tossed that sucker in. If you’re wondering how it turned out after the camerawoman turned and fled the scene, keep in mind these telling quotes:
“Back up the car!”
“Back up the car! Hurry up!”
“I don’t know, just put it in neutral!”
4. The Absolute Single Worst Way To Deal With An Out Of Control Grease Fire
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve found the reason Lysol canisters have to have “Do Not Ingest” labels on them. It’s these guys.
Every deep fry turkey safety video on YouTube goes out of its way to make it explicitly and abundantly clear to never, ever, ever, ever pour water onto a burning grease fire. Water causes the oil to splatter and spread the fire. There are other ways to put out grease fires, and specially-made fire extinguishers intended to do just that, effectively and safely.
Not a single fire safety video tells you to not put out the grease fire with more fire because, well, you’d think that goes without saying. Similarly to why you don’t turn a hose on a drowning person or stab a knife wound, you don’t pour fire into more fire. The stars of this wonderfully stupid video didn’t get that Darwinian memo.
5. The Worst Turkey Deep Fryers On YouTube
Finally, a bit of a left turn. This video has all the hallmarks of a standard deep fry turkey fail:
1. Southern accents.
2. A Harley-Davidson t-shirt.
3. Men laughing in the face of danger and caution: “We, who are about to light the house on fire, salute you!”
4. An open-flame deep fryer set up on cardboard on a wooden deck less than two yards away from a house.
5. Not a single female present to balance out the testosterone.
6. A dog.
Yet the reason it fails is so hilariously unexpected after the day I’ve spent watching idiots set their decks on fire, I’ll let you experience it for yourself. Watch for the facial expression of the guy in the black shirt once he realizes his error, and drink in that utter disappointment.
In all seriousness, deep frying a turkey is dangerous as hell.
As if that hasn’t been made abundantly clear already. StateFarm and none other than William Shatner, obvious and frequent connoisseur of deep-fried meats, made this video last year on all the pitfalls of deep frying a turkey.
For once in your life, heed Bill Shatner’s words. Learn from his torrid, shameful affair.