Burns, cuts, bruises, fires, scalding water & steam, and more. There’s no question that the kitchen is a dangerous room. It’s the nature of cooking and preparing meals. So unless you’re super rich and want to eat out or order in every day then let’s learn how to safely traverse the perils of the kitchen. We have 12 tips to help keep you out of harms way.
1 – Wear Clothes and Shoes
Ever thought about how sexy it’d be to have your significant other cook naked for you? Think again. Have them be naked elsewhere. I haven’t had it but getting burned on those extra sensitive areas doesn’t sound romantic to me. It’ll put those date nights out for a month or longer! Not fun. Wear shoes and safe clothes. What does “safe” mean? It means clothing that’s not flowy, loose long sleeves, or items made from synthetic material (if it catches on fire, it can melt to you skin).
2 – Always Use Oven Mits
I’ve been a witness to a number of burns just because someone (myself included) forgot to use a hot pad. It’s often the microwave that tricks us. For some reason we think that microwaves only heat the food and not the container? Wrong. Even if the bowl, plate, pan, etc isn’t hot enough to burn, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? Keep oven mits, hot pads, and grill mits handy at all times when you’re in the kitchen. Keep in mind that pads won’t protect you if they’re wet (except for a few varieties). Let them dry before using again.
3 – Steam can be Scary
Steam is strong enough to power a locomotive. It’s also dangerous enough to burn you and give you painful blisters. If you’re opening packages, point it away from your face. Same with lifting the lid off of pots on the stove or tin foil from a pan, open towards your face (so you don’t burn your hands or arms) but keep your head away. I’ve even got close to burning myself when I’m pouring pasta into a strainer. It might be wise to use oven mits when working about these too.
4 – Mind the Stiring Hand
This is going to be going against your natural instincts – stir hot liquids away from your body. If you jerk or get bumped the splashing will go away from you instead of on you. Another wise decision is to use a slotted spoon. This is actually a tip that I found as I was researching and I need to implement this. Luckily, I haven’t hurt myself more then just a drop here and there but my lucky might run out.
5 – Slow Down
This tip is a difficult one to keep. With the rush of life, all we do is run, run, run. If we do that in the kitchen we’re just asking for trouble. When we’re in a hurry, accidents happen. This is especially true when you’re using a knife and moving hot dishes. What’s another way to avoid accidents? Keep the little ones and any pets out of the kitchen. With the exception of when you’re teaching your kids to cook, animals and children shouldn’t be in your way while you’re preparing food. Not only could you get hurt but they could easily get hurt also.
6 – Teach Yourself Firefighting
Accidents can and often will happen even when we’re being careful and safe. So you need to prepared. Learn how to fight fires and keep a first-aid handy. Keep a fire extinguisher close by in case a fire does break out. Review the instructions and know how to use it. Know about different types of fires and how to deal with them. Did you know that grease fires should NEVER have water thrown on them to try and extinguish them? Instead, you’ll want to use baking soda. Fire uses the oxygen in the air so an easy way to stop it is to remove the air. Do this by putting the lid on the pot/pan or just covering the fire with something.
I keep a first aid in the bathroom but I should get one for the kitchen. You do the same. Make sure it’s stocked and has the numbers for Poison Control and your local emergency numbers.
7 – Handle With Care
The kitchen is filled with various equipment and tools. Know how to use them. Knives, for example, in the right hands, they can be powerful tools to quickly and precisely prepare food. In the wrong hands and if they’re dull, they can cause more harm. When you’re first learning, go slow and always pay attention. For appliances that fill your workspace, read the instructions and really understand how to use them before starting. Be extra careful around blades and mixers. Even grazing across them can result in a nasty cut.
8 – Keep Clean
When anything is spilled in the kitchen, it’s important to clean these messes up right away. If left alone, these can become the cause of your next unfortunate accident. It’s important to note that cooking sprays and similar items can cause the floor to be slippery. Try spraying over the sink instead.
Hopefully this list will help you stay safe in the kitchen. There’s obviously more tips and tricks to food preparation safety but this is the end of our little list. Feel free to add other helpful practices you follow in the comments below. So bake something tasty and keep the burns and cuts to woodworking.