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I live in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. It is currently November 2013, and light snow is in the forecast for Thanksgiving. I plan on deep frying the turkey.

I have deep fried turkey before. I know what to do and what not to do: I wear layers of clothing, goggles, lower/raise the turkey slowly, and have two people nearby to assist in case of emergency (at least one with a cell phone). I have a "little" deep fryer I use indoors as well. So I am not a newbie to frying. While writing up this question, Stackexchange recommended this question which I read:

How do I safely deep fry a turkey?

Still, I don't have a good answer to the question: how do I deep fry with a steady supply of frozen ice crystals slowly meandering down from the overhead clouds into my driveway? Sure, I can turn the burner off while I am lowering/raising the turkey. That removes some risk. But at some point the oil will be hot enough to flash boil water/snow while it is snowing.

Keep in mind this should be very light snow. It is not a blizzard. It is not a thunderstorm. Is the risk of flash boiling snow to the point of causing fire and injury too great? Is there a way to mitigate this risk?

One idea I had while brainstorming is to put up a collapsible gazebo over the fryer -- but that could be comically fatal for other reasons than snow.

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I would think that a light snowfall would mainly just produce an annoying spattering that would do no real harm since you've taken precautions against burns. But that's just my opinion with absolutely nothing to support it other than general experience with hot oil. –  Carey Gregory Nov 27 '13 at 6:57
    
Thanks -- the last few times I have fried outdoors (not always on Thanksgiving) there has been zero precipitation. My gut feeling is that a small amount of snow will not produce anything beyond the normal steam from the turkey. Nobody ever pats it 100% dry. It always hisses and steams even just a little. I expect snow will be the same way, but am hoping that someone has done this before and can speak from experience. –  Snowman Nov 27 '13 at 7:00
    
Yep, I understand. That's why I only commented rather than answer. –  Carey Gregory Nov 27 '13 at 7:08
    
Hey it's cool I do the same thing: I have two cents to offer but not two dollars. –  Snowman Nov 27 '13 at 7:12
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Give the amount of time it takes to fry a turkey, I would not be confident that the weather will not change while you are cooking it. What are you willing to gamble on the accuracy of a weather forecast? As a 'safer' alternative to Deep Frying, I would recommend you consider this: a cheesecloth turkey like this. The cheesecloth is soaked in butter and holds the oils next to the skin as it bakes. I find that it is particularly close to fried turkey. –  Cos Callis Nov 27 '13 at 7:45

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's so much heat around a turkey deep-fryer I wouldn't see how light or medium snow would affect your cooking. Any snow is going to melt and probably evaporate before it comes into contact with any hot oil, and any that makes contact will be gone in a flash. I've barbequed in 20 below and in snow, all that it really means is that you need more heat.

My main concern would be wind, not snow. Wind will blow much of your heat away, and a really stiff wind could blow the whole rig over which would ruin your day. You want to set up the frying rig in a spot that is out of the wind. Light and medium snow really isn't an issue.

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This is what I was thinking, but was hoping someone could say "I have done this, it works or it doesn't." I have a fairly sturdy burner and it does have a wind shield around the flame. I have fried in the wind before without a problem, and tomorrow is supposed to be a light snow with little wind. I live outside the snow belt so I should get even less. I was mainly worried about a constant spattering as each flake hits the oil, but that's why I bundle up with multiple layers and expose very little skin. –  Snowman Nov 28 '13 at 3:06
    
Light to medium snow is often accompanied by medium to heavy WINDS. Several years ago I did a fried turkey on a windy day...had problems keeping the flame going, oil heated more slowly, the bird cooked more slowly...not a good experience. –  Cos Callis Nov 28 '13 at 5:21
    
Answer accepted. Turns out the snow was very light, and the little bit of flash boiling was lost in the noise as the oil was busy steaming off residual water from inside the turkey. –  Snowman Dec 4 '13 at 2:11
    
Glad to hear it! How did it taste? –  GdD Dec 4 '13 at 8:53
    
Awesome, as always. I'm never roasting another turkey again. –  Snowman Dec 6 '13 at 1:52

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