Staying Safe in the Thanksgiving Kitchen

The kitchen is often a place of relaxation, joy, and fun, but we all have our kitchen foibles. There’s not a single experienced cook who hasn’t accidentally burnt their hand on a hot pan, or nicked their finger on a sharp knife. Here’s a quick look at some simple tips for avoiding Thanksgiving related cooking follies.

Have a Plan

This is one the best things you can do for yourself this Thanksgiving. You’re going to want to consolidate all of your cooking schedules into one location so that you can keep yourself organized. When cooking gets hectic, we tend to start making rookie mistakes that can lead to a lack of awareness resulting in injury. Get all of your cooking times onto a single notecard, and write down what the actual time on the clock will be so that you can schedule tasks accordingly. An organized kitchen is a happy kitchen. If you’re not stressing, you’ll be much less likely to bump into a hot pan, spill boiling water on yourself, or knock a hot turkey off the counter.

Take Time to Prep

Don’t come into the kitchen without your supplies prepped. Have your turkey washed, dried, and ready to be dressed/stuffed. From there, make sure your veggies are all washed, peeled, cut, and separated into appropriate containers, so that you don’t have to prepare veggies on the fly. Again, the calmer and more organized you can keep things, the happier your will be.

Mind Sharp Edges

You need to treat knives with the respect they deserve. When cutting veggies, use a cutting board, and be sure to cut away from yourself while avoiding fingers. This might sound silly, but it is fairly common to nick a finger when you’re in a hurry, and nobody likes cooking with a giant unsightly bandage around their pointer finger. Bandages impede dexterity, and look flat out silly in the kitchen; besides, there are numerous sanitary reasons to avoid cutting yourself in the kitchen. Be especially careful when using mandoline slicers; I’ve seen more cuts caused by mandoline slicers than anything else.

Respect the Fryer

Never, I repeat, never drop a frozen turkey into a fryer. Here’s what will happen, so please be careful, and know that the fryer is not a toy; it’s a big, and potentially dangerous piece of equipment. Please also note, that a fried turkey is flat out delicious, and if you’ve never tried it you are probably missing out.

Recap

1. Plan out your cooking schedule to the minute.

2. Take the time to prepare your vegetables, and meats before you start the cooking process.

3. Remember that knives are sharp, and need to be respected.

4. Never put a frozen turkey into a fryer.

Happy Thanksgiving, and happy cooking!

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