How careful are you in the kitchen?
I like to think I am but sometimes I find myself doing stupid stuff…. Like pounding the cleaver through a butternut squash with my hand without checking that I have the sharp side down.
Or deciding that a pan is cool enough to grab with my bare hands and I find out, halfway to the table, that it’s okay to touch but too hot to carry.
I used to argue with my sister about which is more dangerous a sharp knife (her opinion) or a dull knife (my opinion).
Here are a few tips to remind you all to be careful….
Five Safety Tips When Cooking in the Kitchen
For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Food brings us closer together as we cook favorite family recipes and teach our children how to make those recipes. However, the kitchen also has the potential to throw a wrench in your family’s everyday life.
Your kitchen also happens to be one of the most dangerous rooms in your home, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid spending time there! You just have to know how to keep you and your family safe, no matter what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Be Mindful of Aerosol Cans
Did you know aerosol cans in the kitchen can be dangerous? They can! That’s why it’s a good idea to be mindful of the cans you have in the kitchen.
That includes cleaning and other household supplies that are kept underneath the sink, as the chemicals in them can be dangerous to children and pets, but it’s especially important to pay attention to seemingly innocent aerosol cans that are left out.
A can of Pam cooking spray can explode if left on the stove. In addition, there are fire risks with cooking spray. It’s best to store cooking sprays in a cupboard instead of storing them on the stove, and spray pans before you put them on the stove, far away from any flames or a heat source.
Turn Pan Handles Towards the Back of the Stove
Having pots and pans in use on the stove isn’t a problem if you’re standing at the stove stirring their contents. However, we usually walk away from the stove, leaving hot contents to bubble away until they’re ready to eat.
Although there are a lot of stove safety tips, one of the most important is to turn pan handles towards the back of the stove when they are being used. It’s extremely important if you have small kids at home, as they can pull handles and possibly get burned as the contents splash to the floor. Turn handles even if you don’t have kids, though, as it’s just as easy for adults to knock a pan to the floor by walking by.
Know How to Use and Store Knives
The heat in the kitchen can be dangerous, but only while the stove or oven is on. Knives can pose a danger in the kitchen all the time.
First, know the right way to use knives. That includes doing things like:
- Keeping knives sharp, as dull knives can slip while cutting.
- Keeping the tip of the knife on the cutting board when mincing.
- Curling your fingers under and using your knuckles to guide the blade.
- Securing your cutting board to the counter to keep your knife steady.
You also need to know how to store knives. Keep them in a block at the back of the kitchen counter, and keep them out of drawers that can easily be reached by little hands.
Know the Right Way to Use Small Kitchen Appliances
Think you know how to use a microwave? Think again! You could be putting yourself in danger, as well as compromising your health if you are using your microwave improperly.
There are many things that shouldn’t go in the microwave, metal being the biggest no-no. That includes aluminum foil and silverware, but that also includes dishes with decorative metal paint and takeout containers with metal handles.
Plastic shouldn’t go in the microwave unless you know for sure that it is microwave safe. Paper plates, parchment paper, and paper towels are okay in the microwave, but brown paper bags are not as they can easily catch fire, in addition to emitting toxic fumes.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the Kitchen
Rental apartments almost always contain a fire extinguisher, and for a good reason. Having a fire extinguisher in the home can help you fight a fire before it spreads, keeping your family and your belongings safe. You should purchase one to put in your house if you don’t already have one.
The best place to put it is in the kitchen because that’s where a fire is most likely to start. Place it under the kitchen sink or right next to the stove so you can easily pull it out if you end up with a grease fire or something catches fire in the microwave.
Cooking in the kitchen should be fun! Be prepared for what might happen in the kitchen so you can take care of any problems that may crop up while you’re making dinner.