How to Safely Use Cooking Oils
By Mallory Sosinski, eHow Contributor
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Oil is a necessary part of cooking--whether used to grease cake
pans, flavor pasta or fry just about anything. It can also be one of
the most dangerous parts of cooking because of its ability to burn
the cook, the food and sometimes even catch fire. With a few basic
cautions and tips, you can safely use cooking oil in your home.
1. Cooking Oil Safety
Monitor cooking oil closely. The National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA) says that 43 percent of all fires on stoves or
ranges started with cooking oil. The closer you monitor your
cooking oil, the less likely you are to have a fire. Never leave the
kitchen when cooking with oil. The NFPA also lists some more tips
on cooking safely with oil that are summarized below.
Know the signs of overheating oil. They include oil that is starting to
"bubble or froth excessively and/or smoke." The NFPA states you
should immediately remove the pan from the heat if you see these
signs. Just turning the heat down won't let the heat drop quickly
Dry all pots, pans and utensils before using cooking oil. If a fire
starts, you should never use water to try and put it out. The NFPA
recommends, "wearing an oven mitt, carefully slide a lid over the
pan to smother the fire," and then remove the pan from the heat. If
you can't, get everyone out of the house and call 911 immediately.
Use a pan big enough to leave space for the oil and whatever food
you're cooking. Always go with a bigger pan rather than a smaller
pan, as it will prevent the oil from jumping to the burner and igniting.
Wear clothing with either short or tight-fitting sleeves. Clothes with
loose or long sleeves can catch fire.
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