So you volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner at your house this year. Very exciting! With our strong family values here in Louisiana, and delicious southern home cooking, Thanksgiving is sure to be a festive feast for all your loved ones to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, planning and preparation will make sure your dinner goes off without a hitch. Jeff Davis Insurance wants to make sure you’re ready – read the following scenarios to test your Thanksgiving dinner preparedness:
The scenario – You’re cooking and baking multiple dishes at once, so your super sensitive smoke alarm continuously keeps beeping. Turn it off while cooking?
It might be tempting to turn off an annoying alarm that’s going off when it doesn’t need to, but it is just doing its job. It can save your life, and those of your guests in a serious situation. Leave smoke alarms connected!
The scenario – Your kitchen stove has a lot of grease build-up and needs a good cleaning. Clean it now? Or clean after cooking thanksgiving dinner?
It may seem to make better sense to clean after, especially since you’ll be just adding to the grease mess while cooking the big meal. However grease can be a very dangerous ticking time bomb fire hazard. Scrubbing the stove down prior to embarking on your Thanksgiving cook-a-thon minimizes the chance of a fire breaking out.
The Scenario – OH NO! Fire on the stove! What do you do??
Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. USA.gov suggests keeping it 10 feet or fewer away from the stove, on the side of the room with the exit. If you ever need to use a fire extinguisher, remember to sweep back and forth at the base of the fire as you spray. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
The Scenario – The turkey isn’t all the way thawed, but you’re frying it this year in a turkey fryer. Is it ok to go ahead and fry?
Turkey frying 101 says NEVER put a partially frozen turkey into hot oil, as ice and water can cause the oil to spill over and catch fire. Make sure to factor in enough time to properly thaw your turkey and know it may take longer than you may think: 24 hours for every four to five pounds. That means a 20 pound bird will take four to five days to thaw.
The Scenario – You thought you had a meat thermometer, but can’t find it. Should you invest in one, or have you cooked enough birds that you’ll be able to tell when it is done?
If your turkey doesn’t reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees, you are risking sending your guests home with a bad case of food poisoning. Temperature is not something you can gauge with your eye – a meat thermometer is the safest, surest way to know. Cooking stuffing inside the bird? This too needs to be cooked to 165 degrees to be safe.
The Scenario – You just realized you forgot a special ingredient and need to go to the store. Do you make a quick trip while the turkey is in the oven and the potatoes are still boiling?
Never leave the house while food is cooking on the stove or in the oven. Food should be attended to at all times in case something goes awry. Simply put: if no one is there, no one can respond.
The Scenario – OUCH! Just got burned pulling something out of the oven. What do you do next?
Of course if the burn is serious, go to the hospital immediately. If the burn is a minor kitchen burn and the skin is not broken, it is recommended to soak in cool (no ice) water and then cover the burn with a dry, sterile bandage. An ointment such as aloe vera cream or an antibiotic ointment can be soothing as well.
Jeff Davis Insurance wants to wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Enjoy your meals and remember to practice these safe habits to keep your loved ones and home safe. For additional ways to safeguard your home-life, CONTACT US today!