I hope you have been getting acquainted with your kitchen and that the love affair is off to an exciting start. Before we begin our food journey, it is important that you know a little kitchen safety. If you are already familiar with safety in the kitchen – a refresher course always does the spirit good.
Shall we begin?
General kitchen safety tips
PAY ATTENTION and FOCUS: common distractions while cooking are – children, taking care of the elderly, watching TV, answering the door and any other activity that might take you away from your stove while the pots are bubbling over. If you find yourself distracted, turn all of your pots and pans off (especially when heating oil). Never leave your pots and pans unattended while cooking. For those of you with children – try involving your kids in the cooking process. This can be their chance to learn many cooking techniques (like shucking corn or peeling a potato). It will also save you lots of time as your children get older and more experienced in the kitchen they can act as your personal chef . If you are not able to focus in your kitchen, your meals will take longer to prepare and you will make more mistakes in the preparation of the meal. It’s simple – TiVo that movie you wanted to see and concentrate on cooking.
Get a fire extinguisher.
You may never use it but it’s better to be safe than sorry. At least if your wig catches fire you will be able to save those precious follicles.
Invest in a smoke/carbon monoxide detector.
This device is a necessity for your home. It will save your life.
Invest in pot holders/oven mitts.
The cheap ones will only result in blistered hands and other extremities. Here’s a radical idea – when your current pair of pot holders/oven mitts get old – REPLACE them!
Clean as you go.
Not only should you clean up as you are cooking meals (this will save you time) you should also wipe down the stove and the surrounding counter tops to minimize debris that might feed a kitchen fire.
Clean up spills immediately.
A slip n’ slide and your kitchen just don’t mix.
Mind your pot handles
These nifty inventions should always face inward toward the back of the stove. Trust me! Lava hot food does not make a good spa treatment.
Keep your knives sharp.
If your knives are dull, it will be difficult for you to use them and may result in chopping your fingers or the tops of your knuckles off!
Be smart and use your knife correctly.
Don’t cut toward you; if the knife slips you will most likely lose some skin. Cut away from you.
Store knives properly
Don’t throw your knives into the drawer unless they are in a sheath; not only will they become dull but you (or someone in your household) may get their fingers sliced off when you reach into the draw.
Drop your knife?
Contrary to the natural human reaction, DO NOT attempt to catch that knife. Unless you work in the circus, step away from the knife as it falls.
Working with a knife
When using a knife, lay it down with the point facing away from you. Do I really need to explain this one?
Last but not least…
Steam can melt your face off! Be Careful when boiling or steaming your food. Kitchen burns can be devastating!