As in most anything you teach your children/grandchildren to do, it is essential to stress to them how best to be as safe as possible when cooking. Sharp instruments, boiling liquids, extremely hot containers and the possibility of accidently creating a fire are just a few of the dangers lurking in your kitchen every time you cook.
Joan D’Amico and Karen Eich Drummond noted the importance of following safety rules in their book, Math Chef. Their rules are paraphrased below.
Around stoves and ovens
- Children should never use a stove or oven without first getting an adult’s permission.
- Don’t wear baggy clothing while cooking as it could catch fire.
- Do not turn your back (or leave unattended) a frying pan that contains oil.
- Do not fry with oil at a high temperature.
- When spraying a pan with vegetable oil, do not hold the pan over the stove or near heat. Since oil burns at high temperatures, always spray the pan over the sink.
- If a fire should start in a pan on the stove, it can be smothered by covering it with a pan lid or by pouring baking soda on it. Never use water to put out a fire in a pan with oil – it only makes a fire worse.
- Always use pot holders or oven mitts when using the oven and are handling hot items. Ensure neither the pot holders or oven mitts are wet. When wet, they transmit the heat from the hot item you are holding directly to your skin.
- Do not overfill pans with boiling or simmering liquids.
- Always open pan lids away from you so the steam can safely escape.
- Always keep pan handles turned away from the edge of the stove. Otherwise, it is easy to knock against them and splatter hot food (which can cause serious burns).
- Stir food with long-handled spoons.
- Keep pets and small children away from hot stoves and ovens while cooking. (Be especially safe and bar them from the kitchen altogether until it is time for the meal to be served.)