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Cooking Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving meals are often the largest meals a chef will prepare throughout the year. Whether you are the chef responsible for preparing the whole meal, or just a portion of it, it can create a lot of pressure to get everything just right. For first time cooks, there are some important things that should or should not be done in the kitchen that they might not be aware of. Here are some tips for having a fun and, most importantly, safe Thanksgiving.

  • Perhaps the most important tip: If a grease fire starts in your kitchen, do not put it out with water! Turn the burner off, smother it with a lid or douse it in baking soda or a fire extinguisher.

  • Understand how to thaw your turkey. It can be thawed by refrigerator, microwave or cold-water method. The refrigerator method is recommended and requires one day per 4-5 pounds, so make sure you allow enough time.

  • Keep the raw turkey away from all other foods using separate cutting boards, plates and utensils when handling the raw meat.

  • Cook the turkey until it reaches 165 degrees, measured by a food thermometer. To ensure the turkey is done all the way through, insert the thermometer into three parts: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh and the innermost part of the wing.

  • If you choose to fry your turkey, do it outside and away from walls. Make sure you are protected from splattering grease so you don’t get burned.

  • Ensure your smoke detectors are working. If you have sensitive smoke detectors, it may be tempting to take the batteries out while you’re cooking, but they are just doing their job!

  • Don’t carve the turkey right away. Give it at least 20 minutes for the juiciest turkey possible!

  • Be aware of what to do if children or even adults choke at the dinner table. Here is a quick rundown of the proper procedure.

  • Keep the turkey bones and fatty foods away from your pets. Feed them before the guests arrive and avoid feeding them table scraps.

  • When cooking on the stove, make sure pot and pan handles are facing inward so children can’t grab or bump them and burn themselves.

Most importantly, have fun and don’t stress too much. Thanksgiving is about being with friends and family, so enjoy your time together. Don’t spend the whole day fussing over the details and completely miss out on the fellowship aspect of the day. Plan everything out ahead of time, but if things go wrong, just make the most of it with your friends and family and try to laugh it off. We at Ace Grease wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday!

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