The Origins of Turkey Frying

It’s well known that the Pilgrims wowed their Indian guests at the first Thanksgiving celebration by frying turkeys.

Some scholars believe this was not merely a turn of culinary flair, but an excuse to show off the vats of boiling oil the English kept handy to deter invaders from scaling the stockade wall. The implication was clear. See this turkey? This is what happens to people who @#$& with the Puritans.

Since then, it wouldn’t be turkey day without open kettles of scalding grease — and you know how dangerous that can be. This fire-packed video from State Farm Insurance shows various terrible things that can happen to careless turkey fryers. It’s like State Farm invited the Mayhem guy from the Allstate commercials over to do the cooking.


10 thoughts on “The Origins of Turkey Frying

  1. Rob, This great stuff..thanks for sharing! Having spent 17 years of my life as a firefighter (both paid and volunteer) I know how difficult it can be to get the message out with regard to fire safety. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Jerry.

      It can be entertaining to watch these demos, but the sad truth is that people can get into trouble with this stuff. A big bucket of hot oil over an open flame can be a recipe for disaster.

  2. “And finally, do NOT make Rob Madeo have to wear his flame-proof underwear on Thanksgiving!”

    I have been cooking turkeys since 1981 and I have no desire to try frying one!

  3. There’s so much that gets omitted from our kids’ textbooks these days, which is why I’m glad there are culture warriors like Rob Madeo out there to maintain due diligence in the pursuit of truth and honesty in education.

    Also worth noting: shortly after the Indians (none of this nansy-pansy “Native American” stuff OKAY) showed the Pilgrims their corn, the Pilgrims impressed the Indians by saying “Ho, checketh out this s***” and lighting off a bottle rocket. It was, as they say, pretty sweet.

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