So, my wife is out of town for the next week and a half visiting family. While my wife did leave some meals in the fridge to help me get through the next few days, I’m afraid I’ll have to venture into the kitchen to find and cook up some food eventually! So naturally, the first thing I, said male, did was research some safety tips for cooking in the kitchen! It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet.
So, what are the best safety tips for (men) cooking in the kitchen?
- Know how to use a fire extinguisher – PASS
- Wear the appropriate clothing
- Wash your hands
- Use the correct tools – knives!
- Use the appropriate footwear
- Technique matters – (stirring and mixing)
- Know certain do’s and don’ts
- Know when to asks for help – 911
- First Aid Kit – A must!
How to use a fire extinguisher – PASS
For us men, it’s not ‘IF’ but rather ‘WHEN’ a fire will break out while you are attempting to cook the tried and proven staple of Top Roman. Therefore, logic indicates that we need to know how to operate the fire extinguisher and when to use it! Because we men (like how I lumped you in with me😊) don’t want to be burdened with the reading of instructions, we should at least take a few minutes before any attempt at cooking to learn how to properly extinguish a fire. Of course, this must be done privately where no one else can witness our efforts.
I have written a simple article titled, “How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher – PASS” and you guessed it, it has pictures explaining each step, so you don’t have to read the whole article. Cool, huh? So, in my efforts to save you some time, I have summarized the article below.
P – Pull Pin
A – Aim Low at the base of the fire
S – Squeeze the lever
S – Sweep from side to side
Wear appropriate clothing
You can think of this as your Personal Protective Equipment or PPE. Cooking in our underwear is not advised! Nor is it a good idea to wear clothing that is loose or baggy. If OSHA guidelines were to be applied to the kitchen, they wouldn’t allow it either!
Cloths that are loose or baggy can pose a risk for injury! For example, you turn to get an item out of the fridge and the free-flowing tail of your shirt catches the handle of the pot with boiling water in it and spills it onto you. Not good and may even result in a joy ride to the hospital.
Need another example? Let’s say that you are baking that pre-made casserole that your wife left for you in the freezer. You preheat the oven to 325 degrees as directed and go to place it in the oven. As you do so, you notice the un-buttoned sleeves of your shirt hanging down catch fire when they contact the hot coils.
You may want to invest in a nice fire-retardant shirt such as the one to the left I found on Amazon. Otherwise, you may have to consider buttoning your sleeves and wearing an apron like the ladies do. Your choice.
Wash your hands
I totally understand that some men may find this safety tip to be a bit invasive – but yes, you need to wash your hands to prevent the oil and grease on your hands (from the time you spent working on your car) from getting on your food!
If you are working with raw meat, it is extremely important that you wash your hands and avoid touching things around the house until your hands have been thoroughly cleaned. Failing to do so could possibly lead to food poisoning, an experience not worth trying or risking.
If you still have questions about this, I would suggest you read our other article titled, “How to Properly Wash Your Hands and Why”
Use the correct tools – knives!
Before you pull out your Swiss army knife and cut up the meat and vegetables, consider this simple and easy to understand safety tip – A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. Additionally, choosing the best knife for the job is just as important as the knife to use.
For more information about knives and how to use them, read our other article titled, “How to Use Knives Safely and Properly”
Use the appropriate footwear
This is a safety tip that could have be placed with PPE, but I felt it was worth mentioning separately! Meal prep is mostly done on a countertop. If you’re like me, you really like to get into your work – similar to how Mrs. Doubtfire vacuums – and meal prep is serious business. The possibility that some things will fall to the floor during the intense activity of meal prep is a legitimate concern for the male cook. Whether it be a falling large glass bowl, a meat cleaver, or other heavy item that could cause serious foot trauma due to impact forces, or a sharp knife with the potential to penetrate, your feet that are so vital in transporting you around need to be protected. Seems to me like nothing less than some steel toe boots should be used by a real man when cooking in the kitchen.
If you’re looking for a great birthday, anniversary or Christmas present for your wife then look no further! Below are some great steel toe boots I found on Amazon that would make the perfect gift for your wife as I’m sure she wouldn’t mind sharing them with you when the high-risk experience of cooking is forced upon you!
Technique matters – (stirring and mixing)
Remember the movie karate kid? Of course, you do! This is a MEN’s blog post after all! Anyways, that moment when the master is teaching the student the fundamentals of karate and has him wash and wax his car – “Wax on…Wax off”. He teaches him to do so in a motion that sends the movement away from his body, deflecting any incoming punch. You must do the same when cooking! Always stir or mix using the wax on wax off method! This will prevent any hot water, soup or anything else you may be cooking from getting splashed on you, and in the process, you will be honing your personal defense skills that we are often called upon to use because of the adventurous life that we lead.
Know certain do’s and don’ts
There are some things you just don’t do when your cooking. For example, you never place a hot pan or pot on Formica countertops as it will melt the Formica and may even start a fire. See why the PASS Technique was previously mentioned. Some additional do’s and don’ts are:
- Don’t place a hot glass pan in cold water. This will cause the glass to crack. The Mrs., well they don’t like it when that happens.
- Don’t Leave the oven on after cooking is all done. Less of a problem in the dead of winter, but not the way to heat your house.
- Do clean up after cooking, including the work area to kill any germs or bacteria that may be present. Also, leave a mess and you are bound to catch the wrath.
- Do cook meat fully. I know, in the movie Dances with Wolves the heart of a bison was eaten raw as part of a celebratory experience for success. Kind of cool to see I will admit. However, sciences teaches us otherwise so we best obey.
Know when to ask for help – wife or 911?
It can be tricky knowing when to call 911, especially for us guys. But performed some exhausting research and came up with some important guidelines as to when is the appropriate time to call and ask for help.
- If you are unsure of how long to cook something – call your wife.
- You didn’t cook the chicken long enough and have begun experiencing the full force of food poisoning – call the wife and then Call 911
- Not sure if two different ingredients should be mixed together before placing the substance in the pan – call your wife.
- You believe you ate something your severely allergic to and the swelling has begun along with respiratory distress? Call 911
- You cut your finger and need a band-aid from the kids first aid kit – this one get yourself.
- You cut OFF your finger using a dull knife? – Call 911
- You accidentally burned your wife’s favorite kitchen mitten – Call 911 or hid long enough to not need to call 911
- You started a fire in the kitchen and forgot to read the section about how to use a fire extinguisher? – Call 911
First aid kit – a must!
Now that I think about it, this should have been the first safety tip mentioned! It would have saved you when you burned your arm when your shirt caught fire or when you cut your finger while using a dull knife!
Either way, if you have cut your finger and need a good first aid kit, below are some great first aid kits that have saved many a man over the years when their wives were out of town – I highly recommend getting one!
I hope these highly effective and well thought out safety tips will prove helpful to you physically as well as maybe help save a marriage to two. If you know of any safety tips that I have forgotten to include, please let me know in the comments below!