Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or a couple this Thanksgiving, we know it can be neve-racking when you’re trying to create the perfect meal. While you’re looking for recipes, shopping for groceries and prepping the sides, safety can often be forgotten. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of cooking safety reminders and tips to help you pull off a delicious dinner without disaster this holiday!
Before You Get Cookin’
- Make sure all cooking equipment, especially those your might not use often (such as toaster ovens, crock pots electric skillets, etc.) is clean and in good working order before you begin preparing the meal.
- Be sure you have enough counter or table space and outlets available for electric appliances you plan to use. Avoid over-crowding to make sure you have plenty of work space.
- Have necessary safety accessories and equipment available and ready to use when/if needed. This includes things like pot holders, oven mitts, a fire extinguisher and working smoke detectors.
As You Cook
- Keep pot handles turned inward on the stove, so children cannot reach them, and they can’t be easily bumped into and knocked off.
- Don’t let electric cords dangle off counters or tables. Children or pets could tug on them and pull hot, heavy items down on themselves.
- Never leave things cooking on the stove unattended, and don’t forget to turn off burners when you’re finished using them.
Let’s Talk Turkey
- Thawing your turkey in the refrigerator is best to avoid the risk of bacteria growing that can cause food poisoning. Thawing time in the refrigerator is typically 24 hours for every five pounds.
- If frying a turkey, be sure to do it outside—off wooden decks, out of garages and not under covered structures. Never operate a turkey fryer in rain or snow. Also, be sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry before frying it; water or ice mixing in the oil can cause flare ups!
- Make sure your turkey’s temperature is at least 165 degrees before serving. Check for doneness with a food thermometer inserted at a perpendicular angle in the crease where the leg and breast meet, deep into the thickest part of the thigh but not touching the bone.