A kitchen might be a cook’s playground, but is quite a dangerous place to dwell in, for a novice person. With things like sharp cutters, hot pans, breakable and burnable items, oils and acids and not to forget the most dreaded fire around, being safe and secure should be the topmost priority for anyone. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are a top notch professional chef or an amateur polishing your culinary skills, safety should be the first thing that should strike your mind when in the kitchen. In order to enjoy a happy cooking experience, certain safety tips would come in handy. Accidents might abound in any possible way within the premises of a kitchen. So, besides maintaining general safety in the kitchen, this article also provides you with tips on how to prevent accidents as a result of knives and other sharp edges, fire and hot oils. Read on to find out more.
General Cooking Safety Tips
- Keep your children and pets out of the kitchen area. Besides being a major distraction, they are prone to get hurt easily because of their intense active state. In case you want to teach your kids how to cook, it is advisable to begin with simple recipes that do not involve a lot of cutting or heating.
- Wearing the right clothes and footwear is an essential thing that you should keep in mind before you begin to cook a dish. Do not wear loose clothes, with long and flowy sleeves. Flammable fabrics like synthetic should be avoided as well.
- Do not ever leave your cooking unattended. Turn off the stove after the dish is prepared or when an unavoidable errand pops up in between. If you’re baking, wait till the dish gets baked to turn off the oven, even if there’s an automatic timer.
- Use well insulated hot pads and oven mitts whenever necessary. While taking out any pot, bowl or pan from an electrical appliance, hot pads are essential. Even microwave safe bowls can get quite hot at times. So, it is safe to wear a nice pair of hot pads so as to save your hands from getting burnt. Since a wet pad can transmit heat easily, wait till it dries before using it.
- Make sure that the stove top is always clean and clear of inflammable items. Greasy stove top is prone to fire.
- A glass casserole or a lid kept on the burner can spell danger. Once hot, it will explode sending shards of glass in all possible directions.
- Cross check the kitchen every day before you go to bed or while leaving the house to ensure that none of the appliances are in working mode. Turn off the gas cylinders as well before moving out.
- A working smoke detector is a must for every kitchen. Get it checked every month and replace it once in every decade.
- A fire extinguisher or an automatic fire suppression system is another necessity in a kitchen. For small fires, one can smother baking soda to extinguish it.
- Always make sure to repair or replace any electrical appliance with damaged wiring or cords. Also, do not ever overload the circuits. One circuit per appliance serves safe and right.
- Keep a stocked first aid kit as well as ice in your fridge to cool burns. Growing an aloe vera plant on your kitchen window sill would not only add aesthetic value to your kitchen space, but would also help you get over minor burns.
Knife Safety Tips
- Avoid using dull knives. A sharp knife can easily slide through whatever you’re cutting, without much effort.
- Do not use a knife with its edge towards you or your fingers. In case your hands slip, there can be a serious accident.
- When you are working with a knife and you lay it down after use, make sure its edge is not pointing upwards.
- Leaving sharp knives loose in a drawer can be dangerous too. Besides its sharp edge getting ruined, it can hurt someone who is busy rummaging the drawer for something else.
Fire & Hot Oil Safety Tips
- A golden rule of cooking is, when the fat is on the fire, beware. Most kitchen fire occurs because people forget after setting the pan filled with oil or fat on heat. Once the oil gets hot and hotter, it bursts into flame.
- Remember not to spill any kind of liquid other than cooking oil into the hot fryer. If you do, the liquid will instantly turn into steam, spilling hot oil dangerously all over.
- Beware of pressure cookers, steam pipes, boilers or water in super heated environments. Steam is a highly pressurized form of water which moves very fast once it is free from a confined vessel and can cause nasty burns. So, allow the pressure to subside and steam to cool down to room temperature.