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Where you can get your Thanksgiving turkey deep-fried safely — and free

WASHINGTON — Anyone who has eaten deep-fried turkey for Thanksgiving knows it can be delicious, but the act of frying them can be dangerous. That’s one reason why a local restaurateur is offering to do it for you for free.

“I have deep fryers and I don’t want someone to get hurt on Thanksgiving,” said Mark Bucher, co-owner of Medium Rare. “Spending Thanksgiving in the emergency room or with a hook and ladder at your house is not a great way to spend Thanksgiving.”

It’s a nine-year tradition that Bucher started in part to help less-fortunate families who might receive a donated holiday bird, but have no way to cook it.

The free Thanksgiving frying will happen at Medium Rare’s location in the Capitol Hill/Barracks Row area, at 515 8th Street in Southeast.

During the event, Bucher’s kids help out. His 81-year-old father keeps track of the door and Bucher serves warm apple cider to people who watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV while waiting for their birds to fry. And the bar is open.

“It’s become this amazing day,” Bucher said. “It’s grown, and last year we did 374 turkeys.”

A few things to be aware of:

  • You supply the bird;
  • It must be completely thawed;
  • Birds should not exceed 10 pounds
  • People typically begin lining up at 7 a.m.
  • Doors open at 9 a.m.
  • Medium Rare packages your bird to transport home
  • The event ends at 1 p.m.

Bucher said there’s plenty of parking on the street.

The service is free, and the restaurant’s kitchen staff volunteers to do the work, so Bucher chooses a charity each year to support with collected donations. This year, it’s Best Buddies of the Capital Region.


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