Cooking is one of those necessities of life that can be both enjoyable and rewarding. Knowing that you’re feeding your family nutritious homemade favorites that make them smile is an incredible feeling. However, as with any activity that includes hot surfaces and knives, there are inherent dangers that come with cooking. So here are a few things to keep in mind as you explore the fascinating world of cooking.
Hot surfaces abound in the kitchen, from the pans that you are cooking with to the surfaces on which you are cooking. Major cuts and burns are a common occurrence in the kitchen due to cooks not paying attention to the little things, such as pan handles that hangout over the edge of the stove, or oven racks that might be just a little too close. That’s why paying attention to the little things in the kitchen is so important.
Whenever you are using a stove top, your pan handles should always be turned in to avoid accidental bumping, or little children grabbing handles and pulling scalding food down upon themselves. Additionally you want to make sure that any hot baking dishes or pans that might be fresh out of the oven are positioned to cool on a stable flat surface out of the reach of little hands.
Get into the habit of always using a pot holder anytime you are holding your pots and pans or taking baking dishes in or out of the oven, even if the dish may not be hot. By developing this habit, you could save yourself a nasty burn from grabbing a pot handle that you didn’t realize had gotten hot.
Knives and other Sharp Objects
A professional chef’s number one possession is his knives. They must be exceptionally sharp, as this helps avoid cuts in the kitchen while attempting to cut through tough, slippery, or thick food items. This is no different for the home cook. The difference comes in the training in how to handle and store these dangerous objects. So here’s what you need to know about knife usage and storage;
- Store all Sharps Together – By storing all sharp cooking instruments together in one organized location such as a magnet lined drawer that will hold blades in place as the drawer is opened and closed, you maintain control of the blades even when not using them and avoid accidental cuts.
- Sharpen Knives Regularly – The most dangerous knife is a dull knife. This may sound counter intuitive, but when it comes to knives the sharper the better. Dull blades will slip making them difficult to control and increasing the chances of a cut when using them.
- Keep Finger Tips Tucked when Slicing – One of the easiest ways to cut yourself is while slicing produce. Professional Sous Chefs are trained to tuck their fingers while holding whatever they are cutting in order to avoid slicing finger tips. This is something that every cook should do for their own safety.
- Cut Away from the Body – Knives should always be pointed away from the body, and any cutting movements should be smooth, fluid, away from the torso motions to create clean cuts and avoid accidental stabbings.
Cooking can be an enjoyable way to pass the time, however as with any activity that uses heat or sharp instruments it is important to keep safety in mind at all times. Following these basic safety tips will keep you unharmed as you master the joys of cooking.