Turkey Day is almost upon us (hurray!) And with so much activity in the kitchen, now is a great time to review some safety tips to make sure you have an injury- and crisis-free holiday. After all, you have more pressing things to worry about, such as cooking the perfect turkey!
When it comes to kitchen safety while preparing a large meal, keep these tips in mind:
*Don’t let clutter pile up on the stove or range. It’s hard to do, because you probably have several dishes going at once, along with their accompanying mixing bowls and utensils. Yet make sure you only have pots and pans on your stove. You’ll lessen the risk of knocking something over or accidentally pouring grease on the surface, which could easily catch fire.
*In the event of a grease fire, do not pour water on it. If the fire is in a pan or pot, put on an oven mitt and put a lid over the pot to smother the fire. If the fire is in a more open area, smother it with baking soda. You may also want to keep a fire extinguisher handy, too, which is an ideal tool with which to put out any fire.
And speaking of fires, I have a quick tip to share with you (sadly enough, from personal experience.) Take a few minutes in the days leading up to Thanksgiving to give your stove burners and oven a good scrub. If you have an electric range, take off your burners, remove the burner pans and thoroughly wash them with soap, water and steel wool. While boiling water at a high heat, one of our range pans caught fire. It was completely unexpected — and took a few minutes (and the calm thinking of my rational husband) to extinguish. Since you’ll likely have your stove on for a prolonged period of time, it’s best to start with as clean an appliance as possible.
*As you prepare dishes, keep your work surface as tidy as possible. Avoid contaminating other foods with juices from raw meats. It’s a good idea to reserve a particular knife and cutting board for raw meat, so that you can prepare vegetables, herbs and other items on a separate area and eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.
*To fry, or not to fry? Deep-fried turkeys are becoming more and more popular, but it’s a good idea to keep the risks in mind if you’re opting for this preparation method. The Underwriters Laboratory does not certify any turkey fryers because of the risk of a number of safety concerns. If you can’t resist the allure of a deep-fried turkey, make sure the bird is completely thawed before you put it in the grease. Set the fryer up on a level surface that’s surrounded by concrete. And keep an eye out for frolicking children or pets who may be at risk of knocking over the grease-filled fryer.
From all of us here at C&H, we wish you and your families a safe, happy and delicious Thanksgiving!