Create a safer cooking area

Outside of the bedroom — where you spend eight hours of your day sleeping — the kitchen is probably the room where you spend most of your at-home time, whether it’s to cook a meal or to sit down and eat it. But there are hidden dangers lurking in this culinary corner. Here are the top three kitchen items that pose the most risk on a daily basis.

Cutting produce - Kitchen knife

Deep-fat fryers

What a great idea — a contraption that allows you to deep-fry foods in the comfort of your own home! These appliances have been popular with chefs for the past year or two — but they’re incredibly dangerous to use. For one thing, you’re using oil, which is a notoriously temperamental medium to cook with – it can pop, explode and swirl about in all sorts of unexpected directions. On top of that, deep-fat fryers generate a lot of steam, courtesy of the superheated moisture coming from the foods you cook in them.

If you want to use this appliance, the best idea is to wear oven mitts at all times. If you know you’ll be bending down close to the contraption, wear goggles or some other kind of eye protection. And keep a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby.

Knives

Yes, we know knives are a kitchen necessity (how else are you supposed to slice, dice and chop ingredients for your dishes?), but if you don’t use your blades safely, you could end up seriously hurting yourself.

Some key safety tips:

  • Keep your knives sharp. Sharp knives cut through objects easier, which means you’ll have to apply less force (and there will be less opportunity for error).
  • Angle the blade away from you. Whenever you’re chopping something, cut away from your body.
  • Don’t drop knives into the sink. If you drop a blade in soapy water, you’ll have to fish around to find it again, risking a finger slice. And, you likely won’t have a firm grip on it to wash it.
  • Store knives in a locked cabinet. This will keep them out of reach of little hands.

Grater

On the surface a grater may not seem dangerous — until, of course, you swipe your hand or arm across one of its grating surfaces by accident. Yes, we love cheese as much as the next person, but graters can also do a lot of damage, especially if you don’t use them properly.

When buying a grater, consider what you’ll be using it for. Do you want one of those four-sided graters, which can slice and grate in a variety of ways? Or can you settle for multiple, smaller, hand-held styles? Once you have a grater, spend some extra time keeping it clean by clearing it of dried or hard-to-remove cheese and veggie bits. This will keep your grater in good and sturdy shape for a longer period of time.

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