This Thanksgiving, home cooks will dust off their roasting pans and casserole dishes in preparation for the big meal. Holiday cooking can involve juggling pots boiling on the stove, pans of food baking in the oven and a microwave that’s constantly beeping. In your attempt to do it all, it’s all too easy to turn around and find a smoking pan.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year, a little safety preparation before the festive day may be a good idea. Here are some tips that you may want to keep in mind:
1. Don’t Disconnect Your Smoke Detector
If your smoke detector is highly sensitive, it may be tempting to turn it off while you’re cooking. But the smoke detector is just doing its job. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends leaving it connected and even testing the batteries before you start cooking.
2. Start With a Clean Cooktop
Grease naturally builds up on burners and cooktop surfaces over time. Consider cleaning your stove or cooktop prior to making your Thanksgiving meal to help prevent grease fires, says the NFPA.
3. Avoid Multitasking
Too much multitasking may be a recipe for trouble. Tell guests the kitchen is a no-child, no-pet zone. Keep your cooktop free of clutter, use only one pot or pan per burner and never hold a child in your arms while cooking.
4. Rethink Using a Fryer
The taste of crisp fried turkey may be a part of your family celebration. But using a turkey fryer may lead to splattering hot oil, which can put you at risk for burns and may be a fire hazard to your home, says the NFPA. If you still want fried turkey, consider buying yours precooked from the store or using other methods like a grill or smoker to cook your bird more safely, adds FoodSafety.gov.