It’s time to talk about the basics of kitchen safety. I know that you know—that I know?—that it’s probably common knowledge. Don’t catch falling knives. Don’t touch things that are hot.
But despite all evolutionary know-how, we still do dumb stuff. For example, I cut my hand again and this time it was much worse than the “Gummy Worm Incident.” It was the Messy Cooker, in the kitchen, with a peeler. A PEELER. Peeling fancy food, right??
NOPE! Just peeling the world’s tiniest potato and completely missed the darling little spud and took out a chunk of my index finger.
I won’t go into details because frankly, it was pretty gross, but just know that eventually the tip of my finger grew back (fingers do that, apparently). Now that I’m a reptile and can grow back body parts, I’d like to share some basic kitchen knowledge with you. Mainly how to handle sharp things, hot things, and things that are frozen.
Tip #1: Keep your knives lookin’ sharp.
The worst accidents occur simply because you were dull and let your knives get dull. When this happens, not only do you space out when cutting things (that’s the “you being dull” part), but you will exert extra force to cut potatoes—a random example—and the knife may slip and cut you instead of your food item. Not talking from personal experience at all here…
So! Be on the cutting edge and sharpen your knives every week, if not every two weeks.
Tip #2: Tuck, everlasting
Never underestimate your knives’ (or PEELER’S) abilities. Tuck your fingers in at ALL TIMES. That way, the knife will hit a knuckle, not a nerve, if it comes in contact with your body. Plus, you’ll have a much better grip on your food item by tucking your fingers in. (See pictures, below).
*Note: I thought that a peeler wasn’t sharp. NEVER underestimate the power of any piece of cooking equipment. I hear you can cut a heart out with a spoon…
Tip #3: Don’t catch falling knives.
Just don’t do it. Also, move your feet out of the way, too.
SOME LIKE IT HOT
Tip #1: Don’t stick your face above a steaming item.
For those of you who cannot stand sad, luke-warm soup, this will apply to you. Whenever you are heating up food, regardless of the method (microwave, pan, oven) never look directly at the hot item. It looks like a nice mist, but is instead a very hot vapor.
Anna Faris learned her lesson the hard way. You shouldn’t have to.
Always keep the hot item two heads distance away from your own head.
Tip #2: Use mittens.
Hey. I saw that eye roll. You’d be surprised how many people decide to “man up” and grab things straight out of the oven, stove, pan, microwave, etc. Better yet, get mittens with kittens on them. Purely because it rhymes.
Tip #3: Help me, I’m pour-ing things wrong.
That was a Bridesmaids reference, in case you didn’t catch that (which is NOT what you would do with a falling knife).
Refrain from pouring boiling liquids into glass, unless you are 100% positive that it’s heat-resistant. Otherwise, it’ll crack! Don’t remember chemistry from high school? Here’s a quick refresh: when you pour a boiling liquid into glass, the inner part of the glass gets excited and starts to expand, but the outer part of the glass is still cold and motionless. When hot meets cold, and the expanding parts of the glass meet the solid parts of the glass, everything cracks up.
So, be sure to pour hot liquids into ceramic bowls or mugs. Also, avoid using metal, as it heats up way too quickly.
Before you lick that frozen food, remember this image.
Don’t let this be you. For real though, if you’re handling frozen food, make sure your hands are extremely dry. And don’t lick things.
Why? When your hand (or tongue) touches a frozen item, the moisture from your body quickly becomes frozen as well. This is because heat likes to travel! In this case, the heat spreads from your body to say, a frozen pole, binding the two together. For a detailed description of this process, clickers heres to learn more.
I HURT MYSELF. NOW WHAT?
If you cut yourself (with a peeler, for example):
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and warm water
- Hold your hand above your heart and apply pressure to the wound
- Keep applying pressure until the bleeding stops
- Rule of thumb: if the bleeding lasts longer than 15 minutes, go to the emergency room!
- Daily care: Once the bleeding is under control, apply Neosporin or hydrogen peroxide to your wound to disinfect/sterilize it, respectively. Then, stick a band-aid over it. Make sure to give your wound some air every now and then.
- There’s such thing as a finger band-aid, by the way.
- Let it heal!
If you burn yourself (advice from healthline.com):
- Run your wound under luke-warm water for 5 minutes (NOT hot, NOT cold water)
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen (otherwise known as Advil) to relieve the pain
- Apply lidocaine (an anesthetic) with aloe vera gel or cream to soothe the skin
- Don’t have aloe vera? You can try putting honey or black tea bags on your burn.
- Use an antibiotic ointment and loose gauze to protect the affected area
*Note: NEVER use ice or cotton balls to treat a burn. Ice will reduce blood flow and cotton balls will get caught in your skin (gross, I know).
I poured boiling hot liquid into glass and it shattered everywhere.
DO NOT touch the glass with your bare hands. Or else I’ll re-direct you to “If you cut yourself…” (above). Use a broom or a shoe if you have to! Just don’t touch it.
THAT’S THE END TO THIS GUIDE. Hopefully this will stop you from slicing off a part of your finger.
Stay sharp, everybody.