Tips to stay safe while preparing a Thanksgiving meal

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Chief Deputy Fire Marshal said the amount of home fires double on Thanksgiving day because so many people are cooking. There are some things you can do to stay safe. Turn the handles over the stove on pots and pans, make sure the kids stay out of the kitchen, and don't leave anything cooking unattended.

One thing people tend to forget about is leaving pot holders or food boxes around the stove, which can easily catch fire. Hinkle said if a fire starts, it's so important for a home to have a working smoke detector.

"With the plastics and other things in the homes nowadays, it grows so much faster than the legacy or the wood materials used to be," Hinkle said. "The plastics, the styrofoams, and that smoke is what gets you more than the fire will."

Hinkle said that when majority of South Dakota is taken care of by volunteer fire departments, it's important to have a smoke detector to give you an advance warning to get out of the house. It's also important to know where to exit if a fire starts in the home.

Mark Lambert, he creator of Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ said he's biased when it comes to cooking a turkey because he likes it smoked. But it all comes down to taste and what you like.

He said with poultry, you really can't go wrong with baking or smoking it.
The first thing to make sure you have though is a good pair of gloves because you can get juices underneath your fingernails and it's a safety concern. Then, you're able to take out the neck, heart, liver and gizzards safely. If you leave them in, he said that's okay but it's important to keep in mind that adds extra cooking time. You can either cut the excess skin or tuck it into the turkey.

When it comes to adding spices, Lambert said don't be afraid.

"You're not going to ruin it. It's just going to enhance it. It's going to continue to enhance it," Lambert said. "Any spice you add - parsley, cilantro. Anything is going to enhance it."

The four main spices to start with are salt, pepper, garlic and onion. Lambert encourages people to try something different each year whether that's adding butter or thyme or rosemary.