Bjs Wholesale Club Locations

November 15, 2009 by USA Post 

Members of Brevard County Fire-Rescue can fry a mean turkey.

Or at least that’s what judges and community members thought during the Turkey Fry-Off challenge Saturday at BJ’s Wholesale Club on Merritt Island.

Four teams from the department competed in the cook-off, where each was judged on taste, presentation, theme and a coveted “people’s choice” award.

There was a friendly spirit of competition going on at the event.

Dave Hover of Brevard County Fire-Rescue, and a member of Team No. 1, served up an apple pecan cornbread stuffing and green bean casserole with his savory fried turkey.

Part of the goal of the event was to teach people to properly and safely fry a turkey, and Hover had all of the instructions down.

“You get that cooker up to 350 degrees, and inject the turkey with all kinds of different seasonings,” he said. “And fry it up for 31/2 minutes for each pound.”

Hover pulled out 100 percent peanut oil. That’s the key to a good, fried turkey, he said.

Eric Wildenradt of Team No. 2, was confident his team would snag first place.

“You’re gonna slap your mama and ask her why she didn’t make turkey this good,” he said.

Along with the fun, the event also helped to raise $1,000 for the firefighters’ charity of choice, Camp Amigo, a summer camp for children who are burn survivors.

Brevard County Fire Chief Larry Collins said it also was a good way to partner with a local business and to support the community.

“Whoever wins here, it’s a good-natured rivalry between fire stations, but in the end, it’s all for the kids at the camp,” he said.

BJ’s donated $250 to each team to cook the fried turkey and two sides.

Linda Funck of Cocoa Beach couldn’t decide what she liked best: Team No. 1′s green bean casserole or Team No. 2′s turkey.

“I want them to come and cook for our Thanksgiving,” she said. “But we need a member of each team.”

In the end, Team No. 4, the administrative team, won the crowd and judges over with their moist fried turkey, sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese.

Team No. 1 won the Best Taste category. Team No. 4 won for Best Theme and Team No. 2, for Best Presentation with its Thanksgiving-themed holiday table.

Each team won a $125 gift card from BJ’s.

In true firefighter fashion, the cards will be used to buy groceries, which will then be donated to those in need.

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