Sadly I was born hella clumsy–like trips over the air clumsy. I even burned my hand twice in the kitchen in one day…on the same object. Fortunately for me, I’ve found tons of hacks to prevent me from seriously hurting myself in my kitchen. Here are a few tips and tricks on kitchen safety to help you stay alive and avoid cooking injuries.
In my humble opinion, burns are the worst of the cooking injuries. They should be avoided at all cost and treated ASAP.
1. Always, always, always turn the handles of pans and pots inwards.
This was one of the first things I learned about cooking. It’s easier than you think to run into a handle that is sticking out and toss hot food on yourself. No one wants to deal with third-degree burns.
2. Always use an oven mitt when grabbing hot dishes.
Even if the dish shouldn’t be hot, use an oven mitt just to be safe. I’ve accidentally burned myself on pans because I forgot they were hot.
3. Avoid taste testing things with your finger.
Save your skin and just get a spoon. Also make sure you wait for it to slightly cool what you’ve spooned out so you don’t burn your mouth either.
4. If you do get burned:
- Aloe is your friend
- Figure out what type of burn it is
- First and second-degree burns can be treated at home, but you need to see a doctor for third-degree burns
To be honest, the best way to avoid cooking injuries like cuts is to stay away from sharp objects. But since it is kind of impossible to avoid sharp objects when cooking it’s better to figure out how to safely use them.
1. Put knives and other sharp objects away from the edge of the counter.
Doing this will make it much harder for you to accidentally cut yourself or drop any sharp objects on your feet.
2. Use a cutting board.
Cutting things in your hand seems cool but it’s the fastest way to slice open a hand. Also make sure that the board is stable.
3. If you drop your knife (or any other sharp object tbh) NEVER try to catch it.
Back away from a falling knife as fast as you can because cleaning a knife that fell on the floor is much easier than a trip to the ER.
4. NEVER put your hand in the garbage disposal.
You could seriously hurt yourself. If you drop something down the garbage disposal and you urgently need it back quadruple check that it is off, grab a pair of tongs or long tweezers, grab a flashlight and retrieve your lost item. If it’s not that urgent call a handyman (or handywoman #feminism) to get it out for you.
5. If you do cut yourself:
- Clean the area to prevent infection
- Put pressure on the bleeding area to stop bleeding
- Elevate the wound above your heart to stop bleeding
- Wrap with an appropriate bandage and go to the emergency room if necessary
1. Invest in a kitchen ladder
If you are on the shorter side like me then you are accustomed to climbing on counters to reach things. This is super dangerous and has caused me to fall many times. Save yourself the trouble and just invest in a kitchen ladder.
2. Clean spills as soon as they happen
This includes wet and dry spills. Trust me, slipping on rice is just as painful as slipping on water.
I set something on fire once in my kitchen and it was incredibly traumatic. So much so that I will never do it again.
1. Do not put miscellaneous objects on your stove whether it’s turned on or off.
Leaving things like towels on your stove is an incredibly bad habit. They can catch fire and cause major kitchen disasters. Get in the habit of keeping random objects from your stovetop while you are cooking by avoiding the dangerous habit even when it is off.
2. Never EVER put water on a grease fire.
You’ll thank me later when your entire kitchen isn’t engulfed in flames. In case a grease fire does occur try using baking soda or a pot to smother the flames.
Cooking can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be safe because a fun time can quickly turn awful when someone starts bleeding. Do your best to avoid cooking injuries and know how to fix them if they do occur.