Don’t Try This at Home

Even as long as I’ve been cooking, I’m still guilty on a regular basis of stupid kitchen injuries and snafus. I try to tell my children, when they cook with me, to learn from my mistakes. I show them the assortment of current cuts and burns on my hands as a cautionary tale. Perhaps they’ll learn the lessons of their father, or perhaps they’ll learn the hard way.

Don't let a shark bite off the tip of your nose!

Don’t let a tiny kitchen shark bite off the tip of your nose!

Here is a list of culinary “Don’t”s — dumb kitchen mistakes that I find myself repeating over and over. I share them with you in the hopes you might have more common sense than I and avoid them. Or at least get a laugh at my misfortune.

• Don’t test the edge of the top of that just-opened can to see if it’s sharp. IT IS!!!

• Don’t rub your eyes or nose, or go to the bathroom, just after handling those hot chiles. In fact, even though I will never heed it, that advice you’ve always heard about wearing gloves when you work with chiles is pretty good advice indeed!

• Don’t forget to tuck your fingers under when chopping. Your knife loves nothing better than the satisfaction of taking off the tip of a finger.

• If you have little cuts and abrasions on your hands — which I always do — avoid working with salt and lemon juice.

• Use the little guard thing they give you with the mandoline.

• Don’t overestimate your tolerance for heat when taking a lid off a pan, or lifting a skillet from the stove.

• Don’t point the sharp tip of your knife toward that fleshy part of your free hand when cutting something.

• Tuck your knuckles in when grating cheese or vegetables. Skin plugs don’t improve the taste of your meal.

• If you reach into a hot oven to flip something over or move things around, remember that there is not much space between the rack and those red-hot coily things up above, as your knuckles may discover.

• Don’t wear your favorite shirt when cooking with oil.

• Don’t rush — your mom was right, haste makes waste!

New hand burn from the red-hot coily oven thing

New hand burn from the red-hot coily oven thing

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dragnfli
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 02:47:02

    I, also, keep finding new ways to injure myself when cooking. It’s not good to bleed on the food. However, garlic juice in the cut does help it heal faster.


  2. Andrea Cleall
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 03:29:03

    I once cut off a slice of my finger when making soup and of course it ended up in the soup. I have a Kafkaesque side which insisted I tell my poor children there was a piece of their mother’s finger in the soup. They’re all pretty neurotic.


  3. Jessamine in PDX
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 03:53:06

    SO true! Though since I stopped cooking professionally, I am happy to have fewer battle wounds. Also — don’t ever pick up anything hot with a damp/wet towel!


  4. Michelle
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 04:07:50

    I think I’ve probably done every one of those except for “Don’t point the sharp tip of your knife toward that fleshy part of your free hand when cutting something” which Steve does (and I yell at him for) on a regular basis.


  5. rachelocal
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 11:22:02

    My mom still says, haste makes waste.

    Im not sure why I can’t remember to wrap a towel around the handle of a skillet that’s sitting in the oven before taking it out. Gets me every time.

    Hope that shark didn’t do to much damage.


  6. apriljulianne
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 17:30:47

    Last week I sliced into my left index finger while chopping veg with a nice sharp knife. The following week, that same knife landed on the same cut once again! This time, however, I was able to catch it in the act before it could do any further damage. HA HA gotcha knife!


  7. Glennis
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 03:30:05

    Even non-fancy cooks can suffer – the burst of steam when taking the lid off the microwave dish is pretty serious stuff!

    I like to pair my kitchen injuries with spectacular dropping and splattering of hot foodstuffs on the kitchen floor!


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