10 Safety Tips for Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is probably the biggest meal you’ll cook all year. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and when that happens, sometimes safety goes out the window. Here’s how to prevent that from happening.

Have a plan

Yes, Thanksgiving always ends up a little chaotic. But having a schedule written for what you’re cooking and when significantly reduces stress and helps keep you from running around and knocking something over in a panic.

Sharpen your knives

A dull knife is a dangerous knife! Sharpen all knives before you start cooking. Sawing at your roasted turkey with a dull knife could cause you to slip and cut yourself.

Have plenty of pot holders (but not near burners)

If you know you’re going to pull out that pan of brussel sprouts and put it on the counter, lay down a trivet first. Keep pot holders on the counters so you don’t have to scramble for one to keep from burning your hand. Just don’t lay them where they may come in contact with a burner.

Don’t overcrowd your pans

Put your turkey in a roasting pan big enough to hold it comfortably or you may end up dropping the whole unwieldy thing. Don’t put too many vegetables in your sautÃ?© pan either; you may fling some out while stirring and burn yourself.

Stay in the kitchen

It definitely gets hot in there. But stay in the kitchen and watch the food to make sure nothing catches on fire.

Keep your jewelry in its box

If you want to pull out the jewels to dress up, wait until after the meal’s cooked. A jingling bracelet could catch on the handle of a pan and cause it to go flying. And you don’t want to lose your wedding set in the stuffing.

Wipe up spills immediately

Spills are inevitable, but don’t wait to clean it up. There’s no use crying over spilled milk, and you don’t want to slip in it, either.

Place vegetables under your turkey

Roast your turkey propped up on a roasting rack over the pan, and place a few potatoes, carrots and onions underneath it as well. The rack keeps the turkey from scorching on the bottom, and the vegetables catch the drippings and prevent them from burning. A smoke filled kitchen isn’t safe. Plus, the drippings turn the vegetables into a tasty additional side dish.

Keep the kids busy

However you do it, keep the kids entertained and out of the kitchen. Children running through the kitchen is dangerous for you, them, and the food.

After dinner, do a kitchen run-through

Lastly, even if you wait to do the dishes, walk through your kitchen and make sure the oven, roasters, burners, and slow cookers are turned off.

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