When Things Heat Up in the Kitchen This Thanksgiving, Make Sure You Wear Protection

When Things Heat Up in the Kitchen This Thanksgiving, Make Sure You Wear Protection

This Thanksgiving it’s safety first, then seconds.

That’s right: Real men wear mitts. And we’re talking actual oven mitts, not the dirty dishtowel you grabbed off the sink, a paper towel or — say it ain’t so — the front of your shirt. Yeah, we know … we’ve seen you do it.

And it’s not (only) because we just washed that shirt that we tell you this. It’s because we care about you and we know the stats: According to the Red Cross, cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home injuries in Texas. But on Thanksgiving Day, the number of home cooking fires rises three times higher than average. So what can you do to make sure your holiday meal is praiseworthy and not blaze worthy?

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Deep Fried Turkey Tips

First, let’s talk turkey. Texas has the dubious honor of leading the nation in deep-fried turkey fires during the seven years (2005-2012) that State Farm conducted the study. Incendiary turkeys were becoming such a problem that the insurance company famously partnered with William Shatner and other celebrities to teach deep-fried turkey safety through a series of amusing commercials and videos. They’re fun and educational to watch, but the fact remains: Tossing a turkey in a tub of sizzling grease is basically mixing oil and water, especially if the bird isn’t thawed completely. Not good.

What is good is technology that has advanced so quickly that just a couple of years later we can satisfy our craving for a moister bird with an oil-less electric turkey fryer. The units use infrared heat instead of oil for a heathier-cooked bird with all the flavor, juiciness, and crispy outside of the oil-saturated version. If the five-star reviews on many popular retail sites are any indication, people are raving about the results. We like that they’re safer to use — eliminating the splash, spill and flame hazards of cooking in a vat of hot oil — but they also make cleanup easier. With a stomach full of turkey and taters and the kickoff about to start, that’s yet another reason to be thankful.

If you must deep fry your dinner, follow these seven safety measures:

  • Always use your fryer outdoors, a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  • Never use a fryer in your garage, on a wooden deck or other flammable surfaces.
  • Make sure the fryer stands on a flat surface, to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Keep small children, pets, and roughhousing away from the fryer, as even a slight bump can be disastrous.
  • Most units don’t have thermostat controls. If you use an oil-filled fryer and don’t watch it carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Wear oven mitts and keep the pot lid handy to smother any flames — don’t throw water on them.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.

We’ve highlighted that last one because nearly half of all fire injuries occur as a result of unattended cooking. Sound familiar? Most of us have walked away from a pot that just wouldn’t boil until we become engrossed in our favorite show. And while scald burns are the most common burn-related injury in young children, a grease fire has the potential to be even more harmful. So roll up your sleeves, put on your mitts, and man your cooking station at all times.

And remember, this Thanksgiving it’s safety first, then seconds. #RealMenWearMitts

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When it gets a little too hot in the kitchen, one of our many Medical City Healthcare emergency locations has you covered. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.

Find a fast Medical City Healthcare ER near you or call our free 24/7 Ask-A-Nurse hotline.

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Revised 11/21/2017