The biggest food day of the year is approaching. We’re talking about Thanksgiving, of course! You may also be getting ready to celebrate Friendsgiving. Whether you’re preparing a feast with all the fixings or cooking a dish to bring to a larger meal, these holidays usually involve time in the kitchen for most of us. Fortunately, all our apartments for rent boast spacious kitchens that offer lots of space to make incredibly delicious meals.
As you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday or Friendsgiving, we thought it would be helpful to share some cooking safety tips. These reminders are great for veteran and novice home cooks alike.
Safety During Meal Prep and Cooking
Cooking safety begins before you get started. It’s important to follow a few rules when prepping and making your meal. Here are five tips you can’t forget:
- Carefully read all recipes in advance and write out a cooking schedule so you can keep track of everything.
- Contain contamination from raw meat by using separate cutting boards for meat and non-meat food items.
- Use zones to stay organized by prepping different dishes or components in different areas of your kitchen.
- Practice good hand hygiene by thoroughly washing your hands, cooking instruments, and surfaces after they are met with raw meat or eggs.
- Disinfect all surfaces after you’ve finished cooking, so germs don’t stick around.
These tips are great to share with kids if you plan to get them involved in Thanksgiving meal prep too.
Cooking the Turkey
The turkey is the main event of most Thanksgiving tables and there are a lot of ways to cook your turkey. A popular method is to deep fry a turkey. We strongly discourage residents from deep frying turkeys. If you decide to use this cooking technique it must be done outside, and the turkey must be fully thawed before you submerge it in the deep fryer. PBS has a great set of safety tips specifically for frying turkeys.
Preventing Home Cooking Fires
Did you know that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires in the United States? According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are over 1,600 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving. Most of those fires are caused by unattended cooking. You should never leave the kitchen if you’re cooking, especially if you’re using the stove. If you do have to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove. If you see or smell smoke, turn off the stove and/or oven immediately. Grease fires are very common on Thanksgiving. If a grease fire starts when you’re cooking, don’t try to douse it with water; that will only make it work worse. Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet to cut off the oxygen flow to the fire and then turn off the heat source. If the fire is small, you also can pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the fire. Of course, we always recommend having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. If you cannot control the fire, immediately call 911 and leave your apartment home with anyone else and any pets.
We believe it’s how you live that matters, and we want to share resources that can help you make the most of your Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving holiday. These meal safety tips will ensure you spend more time enjoying a great meal and not stressing.
Cheers to terrific Thanksgiving celebrations to all!