Disasters in our home are devastating, but most of them are also completely avoidable with some pretty simple prevention tips. One of the most devastating disasters that can occur is a grease fire, which is caused by grease in your kitchen overheating. Grease fires can spread rapidly, leaving little time to put them out while keeping yourself safe. You can see why then it’s extra important to be mindful of these prevention tips.
Prevention Tip #1: Clean Your Drip Pan Before Cooking
First off, before turning on your stove burner, clean your drip pan thoroughly. We tend to forget that grease accumulates in the drip pan – after all, that’s what it’s there for – but the bottom line is that what remains in there is very close to the flame of your stove, which means a very high risk of ignition. Use a cloth to wipe it down thoroughly, and only do so when the stove is cool to avoid burning the cloth.
Prevention Tip #2: Use the Right Oils for Cooking
A lot of people don’t realize that different types of cooking oils are able to handle different temperatures. The smoke point refers to the maximum temperature an oil can reach before it begins smoking, and once it begins smoking, it can easily turn into a fire. For example, extra virgin olive oil has an incredibly low smoke point, and is absolutely not made for cooking at even somewhat high temperatures. Make sure that if you’re going to be cooking at a high temp, you find an oil that can accommodate the heat without smoking and putting your home at risk.
Prevention Tip #3: Remove Smoking Pans from the Heat
If, while cooking, one of your pans starts to smoke, turn off the heat immediately and remove the pan from the heat by placing it onto an unused burner or a temperature resistant surface in your kitchen. A smoking pan can quickly turn into a fire if it keeps accumulating more heat, and that fire can spread rapidly.
Prevention Tip #4: Clean Up Spills as They Occur
Sometimes, a bit of grease spills or splatters while you’re cooking. However, the problem is, just that little amount of grease can become a huge problem if it’s too close to the flame. To be safe rather than sorry, any time there’s a grease spill, turn off the heat, wait for the stove to cool, wipe up the grease thoroughly, and then you can resume your cooking.
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Prevention Tip #5: Use the Right Equipment
This goes without saying, but you want to make an effort to use all of the right equipment when cooking with grease. Why? Because you’d be surprised by how much the equipment itself can play a role.
- For one thing, if you’re deep frying, make sure that you have a pot that can hold all the oil needed while still leaving several inches of space at the top. Otherwise, the grease is at risk of spilling over the sides once you place the food that you’re planning on frying inside of the oil, and that’s highly dangerous.
- Also, make sure you’re using long utensils that can place food in and out of the pot without forcing you to drop it into the oil, causing a huge splatter.
- Use a lid, too, whenever possible, in order to avoid splatter altogether. Simple as that.