The 7 Garage Hacks That You Need

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Fri, Jan 29, 2016


Do you want to organize your garage so you can find what you need when you need it? I have some hacks that can help! These are small changes that can start you on the road to creating a new system of organization in your garage. Enjoy!

The Seven Garage Hacks That You Need

  1. A Storage System Using Bungee Cords: This is a simple way to store basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, and footballs so they'll be secure yet easily accessible to family members. The bungee storage system requires four bungee cords, each measuring about 32 to 40 inches long. Attach one end of a bungee cord to a low wooden shelf or ledge in your garage. Clip the other end to a high shelf, making sure that the cord is taut. Repeat this process with the other three cords, leaving several inches of space between them. The object is to arrange the cords so the balls won't slip out of the storage space.
  2. Garbage Bag Storage With a Twist: Do you have an old paper towel rack you aren't using anymore? If so, try attaching it to a wall in your garage. But instead of putting paper towels on it, put a roll of garbage bags on the rack. Whenever you need a garbage bag, simply tear the next one off of its neat roll.
  3. Car Door Protection: If you have a habit of opening your car door too fast, only to have it bang into the garage wall, you may want to look into this next hack. First, open up your box of pool toys and find a foam pool noodle. Then, stretch it horizontally across the wall and attach it with nails. The pool noodle will protect the paint job on your car door the next time you open it too quickly inside the garage.
  4. Nail Storage With Plastic Jars: Finding a particular type of nail in a tool drawer or toolbox can be frustrating. If you want to organize your nails, screws, washers, and other small items, try putting them in clear plastic jars with lids that fit into a pegboard. That way, you can see what you have at a glance and access each jar in a matter of seconds. Of course, I suggest you use the remaining space on your pegboard for storing hammers, screwdrivers, tape, and more.
  5. Rags in a Basket: Most people have a collection of rags they use while completing various tasks in their garage. You can make a handy dispenser for them by cutting a hole in the bottom of an old plastic laundry basket. Nail the basket against the wall or hang it on a hook so you can pull the next clean rag through the hole in the bottom.
  6. Wrench Storage: If you want a creative way to organize a set of wrenches, try putting up a belt rack on one wall of your garage. You can find cheap closet belt racks at discount stores, or maybe you have one you're not using. Hang a wrench on each prong of the belt rack so you can see all of your wrenches at a glance. I like being able to choose a wrench quickly so I can focus on my latest project.
  7. Recycle a Wooden Pallet for Storage: If your brooms and rakes are falling over in one corner of your garage, try attaching an old wooden pallet to one garage wall. You can store brooms, rakes, and shovels inside it to keep them organized and ready for use!

These are just a few things you can do to make your garage a nicer place to be! Thanks for reading. - Alan

Topics: 7 garage organization tips

The Most Unusual Sheds You've Ever Seen

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Thu, Jan 21, 2016


When you think of a garden shed, you probably picture a simple, sturdy building that houses practical items such as shovels, rakes, clay flower pots, snow blowers, brooms, and wheelbarrows. But there are many people who see a garden shed as more than a storage space. They use their imaginations to come up with shed designs that can make you stop to take a second look. Consider just a few examples of unusual sheds.

All Aboard!

Check out a group of sheds with a train theme. Each of these colorful sheds has a domed roof as well as doors and windows that are reminiscent of a real train. There is even a pipe that looks like a smoke stack on top of the first car. This shed train looks ready to pull out of the station!

Going for a Sail?

The roof on this unique shed is a fishing boat crafted in the early 20th century. The shed is made with recycled materials and plenty of windows that let in natural light. It has a solar panel that supplies it with a low amount of electricity that powers a small refrigerator and a gas cooker. I wonder if the owners ever invite friends over for a pleasant cup of coffee and dessert beneath the fishing-boat roof? One of the best parts about this boat shed is its view of the Wales countryside.

A Log-Cabin Shed

This incredible log-cabin shed is a combination of the traditional and the unusual. It has a traditional A-frame roof paired with walls that display the round ends of dozens of logs. There are wooden shingles on the roof topped off by a ridgepole. A single window lets lots of sunlight into this charming building.

Right Out of a Fairytale

A quirky shed like this one looks like it would be right at home in the pages of Alice in Wonderland. Its shingled roof curves as it reaches to the sky. One side of the roof slopes lower than the other, making the shed look lopsided. The most notable part of the shed is the crooked chimney pipe that reaches up past the apex of the roof.

A Perfect Place for Flowers and Plants

This owner came up with a solar garden shed with an attractive, modern design. This shed serves the practical purpose of housing plants and flowers while adding interest to the property. It's a shed that allows its owner to enjoy working with plants and flowers throughout the year.

A Green Shed

Consider a shed with its walls covered in ivy. I think this gives the shed a kind of fairy-tale look, don't you? The large windows and glass-paneled door give its occupants a shower of natural light. The greenery surrounding the building along with the stone walkway make this shed a highlight of the property.

Be on the lookout for unusual sheds in your area and take a moment to admire the imaginative thinking that went into creating them. Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: most unusual sheds

Stay Warm This Winter With A DIY Woodstove

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Thu, Jan 21, 2016


Has your home's furnace been working overtime this winter? If it has, you may want to consider making a woodstove to put into your home. A woodstove is also a great option if you want to heat your garage or garden shed. This alternative source of heat can help you to save money on your energy bills this winter. Also, constructing a woodstove may turn out to be your most satisfying DIY project this winter. Consider the details on a few different types of woodstoves. Enjoy!

A Gas Cylinder Stove

This type of woodstove is just what it sounds like. The body of the stove is made out of an old metal cylinder or bottle used to hold gas. These stoves can provide you with hours of heat as long as you keep a well-stocked woodpile. One of the pros of making a gas cylinder woodstove is you may be able to find a discarded cylinder in a junkyard or get one for free from a recycling center. One downside to this project is that it may take some time to find a gas cylinder that is completely empty and in good condition. This project requires you to use several types of tools, including a power tool called an angle grinder. An angle grinder is used to cut off pieces of metal to create the stove's design. If you're comfortable with using this type of cutting tool, then the gas cylinder stove could be the best option for you.

A Water Tank Wood-Burning Stove

A water tank wood-burning stove can supply a lot of heat to a home. It is made out of the body of an old water tank. The walls of a water tank are thick, which means you are building a woodstove out of durable material. Plus, the thick walls of the water tank will contribute to the efficiency of your woodstove. One of the biggest advantages of making this type of woodstove is that you're giving new life to an old water tank, so it won't end up in a landfill. I believe that one less item in a landfill is a good thing, don't you? One of the disadvantages of making a woodstove out of a water tank is that most water tanks are heavy. You will likely need some help hauling it to your workshop or garage. Also, some water tanks have a damaged interior, so it may take some time to find one that is in good condition.

A Minion Log-Burner

A Minion log-burner is a version of the gas cylinder wood stove with a little creativity thrown into the mix. It is a woodstove made in the shape of the popular animated characters. I think those characters are hilarious! Once again, you need to have experience using cutting tools on metal before undertaking this project. But this woodstove can be a conversation piece and is small enough to fit in a garage or your shed. Just imagine all of the tasks you could accomplish in your warm shed this winter!

So if you're looking for an interesting DIY project this winter, try making your own woodstove. You'll be rewarded with lower heating bills and compliments on your imaginative work. Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: diy woodstove

4 Plants You Can Grow In Your Shed During Winter

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Fri, Jan 15, 2016


What do you keep in your shed? Some people store lawn mowers, shovels, rakes, and other similar items in their shed. But have you ever thought of putting plants in your shed? This week's post features four cold-weather plants that would thrive in your backyard shed over the winter season. Enjoy!

Four Plants You Can Grow in Your Shed During Winter

  1. Catmint. Catmint plants are appealing to many people due to their pretty flowers and delightful fragrance. The roots of a catmint plant spread very quickly, so put your seedlings in a ten-inch pot full of quality soil. Place the pot next to a window in your shed that will nourish your seedlings with partial sunlight. Be sure that the soil is moist at all times. It takes about five to ten days for catmint seedlings to sprout. Be sure to avoid overwatering your catmint, and deadhead any wilted flowers so they don't slow down the growth of your plant. Catmint can survive in very cold conditions, making it a wonderful choice to keep in your shed during the winter. I think this would be an educational project for kids or grandkids. The younger kids could help to fill the pot with soil, and older kids could be in charge of watering the plant. Everyone would have a great time watching the catmint change with each passing week.
  2. Sedum. Growing sedum during the winter is a fun idea if you have a south-facing window in your shed. Sedum plants need eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Fill a ten-inch clay pot with potting mix made especially for succulents. This will help with soil drainage. Sedum is a drought-tolerant plant, so it rarely needs watering. Touch the soil to see if it's dry before adding any water. One tip to remember when growing sedum is to get rid of any fallen leaves right away. Unfortunately, sedum is susceptible to many diseases, so it's best to take away any dead growth that can become a home to pests that carry disease.
  3. Peonies. Peonies are a colorful choice to grow in your shed. Choose a large pot that allows the roots of your peony to spread. Make sure the pot has a hole in the bottom to help with soil drainage. Your plant needs about six hours of sunlight per day. Be sure that your peony is in an area with adequate air circulation, or else it may develop fungus. Peonies are hardy flowers with a lovely fragrance that will give a lift to the atmosphere of your shed over the winter.
  4. Coralbells. These plants flourish in filtered sun or partial shade, so they can be put in a shed window that doesn't receive much sunlight. Coralbells can be grown in a small plastic receptacle such as a yogurt or cottage cheese container. These plants grow in soil that is moist but not soaking wet. Though these plants can grow in partial shade, it's important that they have access to sunlight to prevent the development of fungus.

Try growing some plants in your shed this winter. It may turn into a fun hobby you can expand upon every year. Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: plants to grown in shed during winter

Here's How to Make A DIY Key Holder

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Wed, Dec 30, 2015


Now that winter is here do not forget to protect your cars, boats or other valuable items from the inclement weather.  Alan's Factory Outlet metal carports are a great affordable option to protect many things besides a car or truck.

With the arrival of the cold temperatures and snowy weather, it's a great time to stay inside to work on some creative projects. One idea is a DIY key holder for your house and car keys. Just because a key holder is a practical item doesn't mean it can't be attractive as well. Consider a few ideas to get you started on a fun new home for your keys.

Recycling Your Utensils

Do you have some old silverware or utensils you don't know what to do with? If so, you can use them to create a unique key holder. Your supplies for this project include glue, a few small squares of unpainted wood, acrylic paint, triangle hangers, and a few old forks or spoons. The amount of forks and spoons you need depends on how many keys there are in your collection.

Frame Your Keys

If you're looking for a simple yet creative way to store your keys, this is the option for you! The supplies for this frame key holder include several screw hooks, a nail, a sawtooth picture hanger, a hammer, and a wooden picture frame without the glass. You could use a modern picture frame for this project or go with a vintage-looking frame complete with chipped paint. This key holder instantly turns your plain car keys into a work of art!

Birdhouse Key Holders

If you're a bird enthusiast, you're going to love these key holders made with mini-birdhouses. You can find all the supplies you need, including mini-birdhouses, washi tape, and primer, at a craft store. If you don't want to use decorative tape, you could enlist your children or grandchildren to paint each of the birdhouses. Be sure you have plenty of space on the wall of your kitchen or hallway for your collection of birdhouse key holders. You can even hang a birdhouse in your shed to hold the keys to your riding lawnmower. I suggest purchasing a tiny plastic bird to put in the opening of each birdhouse to make your creations all the more entertaining!

A Key Holder for Dog-Lovers

The next DIY key holder is ideal for a family that loves dogs. The supplies for this key holder include an unpainted piece of lightweight wood in the shape of a dog bone, several screw hooks, a sawtooth picture hanger, a nail, and a hammer. Simply insert the screw hooks in a line across the bottom of the wooden dog bone and attach the sawtooth picture hanger to the back. If you want to make your dog bone key holder more interesting, give it a colorful coat of paint or paint your dog's name across the top. Hang it on a nail in your garage or inside your house near the front door.

Give an Old Window Shutter New Life

You can give an old shutter a new lease on life by making it into a mail holder as well as a key holder. Transform your shutter using a piece of sandpaper, some paint, a paintbrush, a paper bag, a couple of nails, a sawtooth picture hanger, and some screw hooks. You can organize your incoming mail in the slats of your colorful new shutter. Plus, your keys will be secure on screw hooks at the top, bottom, or sides of your shutter.

This is a great project to work on with your kids or grandkids when they're on vacation or are out of school on a snow day. Have fun, and thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: diy key holder

How to Prevent Icicles From Forming In Your Gutters

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Mon, Dec 21, 2015


One of the most familiar sights in the wintertime is a line of icicles hanging from the gutters of a home. I love to see icicles sparkling in the moonlight, don't you? Though icicles are beautiful to look at, they can also be a sign that an ice dam is forming under your roof. An ice dam is caused by a buildup of ice in your gutters. As the temperature fluctuates, the snow on your roof melts, sending water down to the gutters. The water refreezes inside your gutters, turning the overflow into icicles. An ice dam can work its way beneath the shingles of your home and loosen them. Also, a melting ice dam can leak into a home's attic, causing damage to the insulation. Not surprisingly, the presence of water in your attic can lead to mold growth. So there are plenty of good reasons to prevent icicles from forming in your gutters. I thought I'd use this week's post to suggest some things you can do to prevent icicles from taking up residence in your gutters.

Sweep Away the Snow

One of the easiest ways to prevent the formation of icicles in your gutters is to use a roof rake to pull the fresh snow off of your roof. A roof rake has a long handle that allows you to reach snow that is fairly high up on your roof. Of course, you should make sure you're standing in a safe place on the ground as the snow starts to tumble off of your roof. If any of the excess snow falls on your front walk, make sure to clear it away before it freezes.

Install Heat Cables

Another way to prevent icicles from forming in your gutters is to install heat cables. These cables run on electricity that supplies heat to your gutters. The cable runs through your gutters as well as your downspout. If you want to try this idea, I suggest you install heat cables in your gutters before the first snowfall.

Check the Attic Insulation

Warm air can escape from a home through a poorly insulated attic. The air melts the snow on the roof directly above the attic, causing water to run down to the gutters. Checking the insulation in your attic and filling in any gaps can prevent warm air from disappearing through the attic roof.

Examine the Chimney Flashing

The flashing around a chimney can deteriorate over time. This allows warm air to leak out of a home and melt the snow on the roof. Replacing damaged flashing around a chimney can prevent warm air from leaking out. Of course, you should invite a friend over to hold the ladder as you climb onto your roof. Or if you don't feel confident about climbing a ladder, there are plenty of professionals who can replace damaged chimney flashing.

Remember that taking steps today to prevent icicles from forming in your gutters can save you the hassle and expense of fixing damage created by an ice dam this winter. Thanks for reading. - Alan

Topics: prevent icicles

Deck the Halls: Turning Your Back Porch Into A Holiday Hangout

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Fri, Dec 18, 2015


"The pool may be closed for the winter but you can still hangout under a gazebo"

In many areas around the country, the temperature is dropping and snow is starting to fall. Do you find yourself looking out at your back deck, picturing the fun times you'll have next spring and summer? Well, there's no need to wait! You can enjoy your deck and backyard any time of the year. Take a look at some ideas for throwing a backyard party in the wintertime.

A Backyard Barbecue in Winter

Invite your friends over and fire up your backyard grill for a party in December. Enjoying grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and other hot dishes is an excellent way to forget about the chilly temperatures. Make your winter cookout unique by offering things like homemade mustard for hot dogs, hot slaw, and even hot fudge sundaes for dessert. The distinct aroma of charcoal in the air is sure to remind your guests that spring is coming soon! If it's a bit too blustery to dine al fresco, take your treats into the garage for a bit of shelter: A few chairs and some twinkle lights can make a functional space festive!

Celebrating Around a Fire Pit

A party around a fire pit is the perfect way to keep warm while celebrating the season with friends. I love to watch the flames crackling in a fire pit: Don't you? If you don't have a built-in fire pit, you can purchase a portable one for the occasion. Dust the snow off of your patio chairs and place them around the fire pit so your guests can enjoy the warmth. Instead of the usual marshmallows on a stick, try creating marshmallow sandwiches. If you want to go with a traditional favorite, buy some graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows to make s'mores. The aroma of the roasting marshmallows will make you wonder why you waited so long to throw a winter party on the deck.

A Gingerbread House Party

If you love to make a gingerbread house every year, why not make it a party? Choose a sunny day that's not too cold to dust the snow off of the patio furniture. You can either provide your guests with the ingredients for a gingerbread house or purchase a few kits at a craft store. Get out your CD player and put on some cheerful music with a winter theme. Your guests will laugh and talk as they construct a gingerbread house they can take home after the party. If you want to go with a non-traditional project, try making a gingerbread shed!

A Party with the Stars

Another cold-weather party idea is to invite guests over after dark to sit on the deck and gaze up at the stars. Find as many spare blankets as you can to drape over your guests to keep them cozy. Ask your guests to bring their binoculars along with them so they can get the full effect of the star show. Serve warm chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate to your friends while they search for the Big and Little dippers. I'll admit that I love to sip a steaming mug of hot chocolate while looking up at the stars on a winter's night. Of course, it must have mini-marshmallows!

These are just a few ideas for your next cold-weather party. Remember, never let a little snow get in the way of celebrating with friends! Thanks for reading. - Alan

Topics: Backyard gazebo hangout

How to Get Holiday Lights That Your Neighbors Will Envy

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Fri, Dec 18, 2015


Putting up holiday lights is one way to share the joy of the season. Do you put up your holiday lights in the same way every year? If so, I have some fresh ideas for how you can make your arrangement of holiday lights a standout in your neighborhood this year. Enjoy!

Ropes of Lights

One idea is to put up LED rope lights. Rope lights are available in green, red, blue, white, and many other colors. You can wrap them around a porch railing, balcony railing, or picket fence in your yard. Or you can create rope light chandeliers to hang in a window of your home or over a dining room table. The flexibility of rope lights allows you to get creative when searching for places to put them either on the inside or outside of your home.

Imaginative Places for Icicle Lights

I've noticed that most people put icicle lights on the gutters all around their home. They want to put their icicle lights where real icicles like to hang out. But there's no rule that says you have to put them on your gutters. With the help of a friend, try arranging icicle lights on the rafters and struts of your pergola. I like the idea of using blue, red, or green icicle lights to give your pergola a beautiful glow on a winter's night! Or hang some icicle lights above the windows or doorway of your garden shed. There's no reason why you have to limit the holiday decorations to your home.

Pathway Lights With a Twist

If you have regular solar-powered lights that illuminate your sidewalk or driveway, try switching them out temporarily for battery-powered pathway lights. Battery-powered pathway lights are available in red, green, blue, pink, and many other colors. Some are made in the form of traditional Christmas tree lights, while others come in the shapes of delicious candy. They are easy to set up and provide a cheerful glow for friends and family every time they approach your home.

Battery-Powered Candles

If you prefer a more subtle arrangement of holiday lighting, try putting a single battery-powered candle in each window of your home. These candles are available in many different designs. One battery-powered candle may have an elaborate holder shaped like Santa's head, while another has a simple gold base. These candles will give your home a festive look on cold, snowy evenings.

Classic Tiny White Lights

You've probably seen the traditional arrangement of tiny white holiday lights draped around the bushes outside a home. But there are plenty of other creative ways to use these classic holiday lights. For example, you can arrange the strings of white lights on the bare branches of a small tree in your front yard. This design will make the tree come to life at night. Or put a string of white lights around a bird bath or a decorative bench in your yard. You may even want to dress up your favorite garden gnome with a simple string of white lights!

These are just a few ideas to get your mind working on this year's arrangement of holiday lights. Good luck, and thanks for reading. - Alan

Topics: holiday lights

Turn Your Old Shed Into An Epic Doghouse

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Wed, Dec 2, 2015


It's exciting to upgrade to a bigger shed that offers more space for your tools, lawn equipment, gardening supplies, and other items. But what do you do with your old shed? It's still in good condition and has a lot of years left in it. Why not think about transforming your old empty shed into an epic doghouse for your favorite canine? This is a great way to give new life to a shed that has served you for years. I thought I'd use this week's post to suggest items to include in the décor of your shed-turned-doghouse. Enjoy!

Food and Water Dispensers

Food and water dispensers are must-haves for this epic doghouse. You can put both dispensers in one corner so your dog has access to them at any time. Next time it rains or snows, your dog won't have to leave the comfort of its house to have a bite to eat! All you have to do is make sure the dispensers are clean and refill them every few days. I call this a win-win for you and your dog!

A Soft Covering for the Floor

A necessary part of the décor in any shed-turned-doghouse is a soft covering for the floor. I suggest you use an old area rug or maybe a large section of discarded carpeting. You may have to take the floor covering out every once in a while to shake off the dust and dried mud. Your dog is sure to appreciate a soft surface to walk on after a rough day of playing and exploring in the yard.

A Few Favorites to Make It Cozy

Add your dog's favorite blanket, pillow, or cushion to the décor of its new doghouse. This will make it feel more like home. Also, if your dog has any beloved toys, such as a rope bone, a tennis ball, or a chew toy, they can be put into the shed. These items can help your dog feel more at ease if you let it sleep in the doghouse during the warm weather months.

A Doorstop

A doorstop is a practical item to get for your fabulous new doghouse. This keeps the door from closing all the way, so your dog can enter or leave at any time. I suggest you look for an inexpensive rubber doorstop at your local hardware store. I like rubber doorstops because they maintain their condition even in the outdoors. Be sure to firmly wedge the doorstop beneath the door so your dog doesn't mistake it for a new toy.

Soft Music

If your dog is the type that enjoys soft background music, try setting up a battery-powered radio in the doghouse. You could put on some classical music or jazz while you're out running errands during the day. You may want to put the radio up on a high shelf so your dog doesn't accidentally knock it over. I believe that some dogs appreciate music just as much as humans do!

If you really want to get creative with your shed-turned-doghouse, you could put some artwork on the walls. Try putting up some photographs of your dog, or hang a poster of a famous dog like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin. Or maybe you could find an inexpensive copy of a Dogs Playing Poker painting. Who knows? Your dog may really appreciate your extra efforts with the décor of its new castle! Thanks for reading. - Alan

Topics: turn shed into doghouse

How to Safely Deep-Fry A Turkey

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Wed, Nov 25, 2015


"A picnic shelter can be a great place for family and friends to gather and eat turkey on Thanksgiving"

Do you like a Thanksgiving turkey that's both moist and crisp-skinned? Well, if you do, you may want to think about putting this year's turkey into a deep fryer. It's a relatively easy process that can be done in your own kitchen. I love thinking about eating those leftover turkey sandwiches a couple days after Thanksgiving, don't you? This week's post explains how to safely deep-fry a turkey that you and your family can enjoy.

Gathering Your Supplies

Of course, the most important item necessary for deep-frying a turkey is the turkey itself! Make sure that your turkey is thoroughly thawed before deep-frying it. If you intend to purchase a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving, you'll need to plan ahead so it has plenty of time to thaw. The next item you'll need is a deep fryer. Some deep fryers are very large and can be used outside, while other, smaller models are perfect for a kitchen countertop: Make sure you've got one big enough for your bird. I like the convenience of a deep fryer that fits on my kitchen counter. Other items you need include a supply of peanut oil, a pair of protective gloves, a platter, a deep pan, and whatever seasoning you'd like.

The Steps of Deep-Frying a Turkey

First, check the drain valve on your deep fryer to make sure it's closed and the device is ready to use. Next, take the frying basket out of the device and pour oil into the deep fryer until it reaches the maximum fill line. Plug in the fryer and set the temperature at 375 degrees to heat the oil. Many of today's countertop deep fryers have an indicator light that lets you know when the oil is hot. Put your thawed turkey into a deep pan in the kitchen sink and immerse it in warm water. A warm-water bath helps to eliminate any stray pieces of ice that may be hiding inside the bird. After a few minutes of soaking, take the turkey out and place it on a clean, dry towel. With another clean towel, thoroughly dry both the inside and outside of the turkey. Sprinkle seasoning over the entire bird, and put it into the fryer basket. Grasp the handles of the fryer basket and lower it into the 375-degree oil. It takes about four minutes to fry one pound of turkey, so the total frying time will depend on the size of your turkey. As an example, it should take 56 minutes to fry a 14-pound turkey. Most countertop deep fryers have a timer you can use to monitor your bird. When the timer goes off, put on your protective gloves and grasp the handles on the basket to lift it out of the oil. Most fryers allow you to suspend your turkey above the hot oil so it can drain for a few minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the interior temperature of the turkey in the thickest part of the thigh is at least 155 degrees. (The temperature will rise a bit more, ensuring perfectly cooked meat, as the turkey rests.)

Mistakes to Avoid When Deep-Frying a Turkey

Overfilling the deep fryer with oil is a common mistake when trying to fry a Thanksgiving turkey. Filling the fryer to the maximum fill line prevents displaced oil from flowing over the top of the fryer when the turkey is lowered into it. Another common mistake is putting a partially thawed turkey into the fryer. As the turkey cooks, the ice inside the bird melts and can create an overflow of oil that can be a serious hazard. Many people receive burns on their fingers and hands while dealing with a deep fryer. This can be avoided by wearing protective gloves.

Try a new way of preparing your turkey for this year's Thanksgiving celebration. Who knows? It may turn into a popular family tradition. Thanks for reading! - Alan


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