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How to Prevent Kitchen Burns

It’s National Burn Awareness Week, so I wanted to share some simple safety tips – Kitchen burns can happen when removing something from the oven or from draining boiled pasta and they always happen at the worst times like holidays or when you have a houseful of hungry guests.

A few reminders:

  • Never touch the stove-top with your bare hand to see if it is cool . . . or hot!
  • Keep pot handles turned inward. If the handles point out over the edge of the stove, someone (you, your husband, a helpful holiday party guest, a child – or even your dog!) could bump them and send a pan full of hot water or food flying over themselves and your kitchen.
  • Keep potholders or oven mitts near your oven and stove and use them! They don’t have to be cute or trendy – just practical and cover your hands and at least part way up your arms.
  • Steam burns! (We eat a lot of pasta at our house and I’ve learned this lesson once or twice) Wear an oven mitt and tilt the lid away from you and stand back from a hot pan when you remove the lid. When you are ready to drain the pasta – use mitts on both hands and pour the pasta out of the pot and into a colander in the sink.
  • Also be very careful when pouring hot liquids like soup from a pot into a bowl. A splatter of boiling water, hot soup, or hot oil can and will burn you!
  • Never mix hot liquids in a blender. They can explode out of the blender container, even with the lid on.
  • Stand back from hot grease and boiling liquids, including water. These liquids can spatter and burn you, so keep your distance and wear long sleeves. I swear the simmering tomato sauces get me every time.
  • Always use oven mitts when taking things out of the oven or removing things from the stove. I prefer the mitten/glove type because they protect the back of your hands as well. Like when you’re bent over removing multiple beautiful little broiled desserts with a kitchen towel (mistake number one) and you come up and out of the oven to quickly (mistake number two) and fry the back of your hand on the very front edge of the oven. I have a memento of this very situation – I call it my Christmas Crème Brule scar, circa 2004.

WebMD has a great article regarding prevention of burns that would happen in the kitchen . . . and quick first aid tips for if they do happen!