Don't Get Burned at Thanksgiving

by Tom Simplot

Nov 20, 2016

It happens to the best of us, prepping for a big family holiday and one of the dishes in the oven overflows onto the rack and to the oven floor. By the time you smell the burning, there’s likely quite a bit of smoke filling the kitchen, quickly. The smoke detector may sound and you’ll need to be ready to put out a fire or clear out the smoke.


If there’s a fire in your oven, leave the door closed, turn the oven off and let the fire burn out. Opening the door will only feed the fire with oxygen. If your oven spill is just smoking, turn the oven off and let the oven cool down. You can remove your food when it’s cooled and pour baking soda all over the spill. In an apartment, it can be hard to ventilate and clear out the oven and smoke quickly, but you’ll likely need to open doors and windows to move air through.


Before you start the prep on your holiday meals, it’s a good time to check on your smoke detector and hit the button to test the alarm battery. (This may be good practice in case you need to turn it off because of a kitchen mishap.) Some cooks use the “low temperature” baking method for their turkey and get the bird started the night before, leaving the oven on all night. For these cooks, having a working smoke alarm is a must. You should also have a kitchen fire extinguisher handy too. It’s a good thing to check the expiration date on your extinguisher.


Despite all the warnings and the videos online of fried turkey fires, many people try deep-frying a turkey every year in large scale pot or fryer. Many apartment communities forbid this cooking method because of the dangers.