Millions of Americans will deep-fry their Thanksgiving turkey this year, but only one video of exploding poultry will be good enough to be win The Atlantic Wire's award for holiday public service announcements. Like some manna from local television news producing heaven, the phenomenon of deep-fried turkey combines delicious with blazing fireballs of danger. And to celebrate this confluence of factors, The Atlantic Wire is looking for the most alarming deep-fried turkey tutorial of the year. Every day between now and Thanksgiving we'll be rating a clip on a scale from 1 (a pretaped, offsite how-to without no explosions) to 10 (a raging greasefire, live in-studio). Enjoy, and remember to leave your score, pass along any clips we might have missed in the comments section, and check out all the previous installments.
Rating: 9.1. We've enjoyed showing you the various ways local television news producers can turn frying a turkey into an ordeal with explosions, with the fate of a cub reporter hanging in the balance, especially if they wore a bulky overcoat to the shoot. Imagine our surprise yesterday when the Department of Homeland Security posted a Twitter update yesterday accompanied by a brief video on all the things that could wrong frying a bird if you're haven't been a regular reader of The Exploding Deep Fried Turkey Footage Contest or if you're one of those people -- one of those delightful people -- who doesn't see the problem with chucking a 15-pound piece of frozen poultry in a bubbling vat of hot oil. We're not exactly sure when this became a federal matter, but it's nice to see DHS in the game, even if the video they're using is stock footage from an earlier test conducted by Underwriters Laboratories. Despite having non-exclusive video, DHS makes its point and makes it clearly: if you get engulfed a fireball tomorrow, it's going to be your fault, because you're deep frying a turkey, which nearly everyone agrees is a very dangerous way to go about cooking a bird that's only going to be slightly more tender than the tradition roasted version. It's unclear why a federal agency would issue a reminder about the kind of behavior municipal codes, lease agreements, and neighborhood block associations seem to have under control. (If you've ever seen someone deep fry a turkey, consider this: did they have any neighbors you could see from their house? The deep fry is a solitary man's dry cooking method.) If this is the start of an era of enhanced federal fryer oversight, or just DHS just trying to helpful two before Thanksgiving, we're grateful thankful for their video and it's flames, and for what happens when you try to put a greasefire out using ice. We feel scared, we feel informed, and we're slightly confused about why a cabinet department wants to make sure all Americas deep fried their turkeys according to form. Which is what you're suppose to be feeling after a harrowing fried turkey tutorial. This comes from two realizations. First: there's is now no chance now you will ever deep fry a Thanksgiving turkey. The second realization is that baked turkey, in addition to being less explosive and telegenic, is much tastier. Without the threat of fireballs, god bless 'em.
And with that, it's time to name the winner of The Atlantic Wire's First Annual Exploding Fried Turkey Footage Contest: Congratulations Department of Homeland Security! Second place goes to KXRM of Colorado Springs, and KFSM 5 of Fayetteville, with the full list below. The winning stations and cabinet department can expect to see a prize, just as soon as we come up with one.
- The Department of Homeland Security: 9.1
- KXRM Fox 21 (Colorado Springs): 8.8
- KFSM 5 (Fayetteville, Arkansas) 8.5
- William Shatner for State Farm: 8.2
- KDVR 31 (Denver): 7.8
- WDBJ 7 (Roanoke, Virginia) 7.2
- KSLA 12 (Shreveport): 6.8.
- KXAN (Austin, Texas): 5.9
As judges, our major scoring regret is not appreciating the genius of KXRM's marathon session in the parking lot at Lowe's. It was like, there was fire, participants wore silly googles. Also, we think Fayetteville news team deserved better, considering all the articles of clothing they wore that almost caught on fire and the fact they had to finish their segment in a dense fog of turkey vapor. In retrospect, we think we were too enthusiastic about the KSLA 12 promo, since it was still just a promo. And because this is a contest of our own with a panel consisting of one judge, we've decided to tweak some earlier scores in the hopes of producing a more thorough and accurate guide to the holiday's top exploding turkey tutorials. The revised final standings will not make The Atlantic Wire popular with the fine citizens of Shreveport, but the changes had to be made as our taste in deep fried turkey tutorials broadened with time.