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Mar 18, 2011 12:20 PM

Absentminded in the Kitchen

I go on autopilot pretty often while cooking at home, especially during the week. Yesterday I grabbed the stainless steel handle of a skillet to toss around some shallots for a pan sauce. Sounds reasonable, except I forgot that I had just pulled that skillet out of a 400 degree oven. Oops! Funny how I expect handles to magically cool down as soon as I take the pot out of the oven (clearly, because it can't be hot and be on the range at the same time).

Do you ever do stupid, absentminded things like that while cooking? I can't be the only one!

(If you're wondering, I managed to let go before I burned my hand too terribly; it just stung for a few hours).

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  1. I've done that--heard the sizzle of my hand and thought, "Ow, that's going to hurt later." It did. I tell my husband to put an oven mitt on any handle that's hot but forgot to do it myself.

    1. I've done the "grab the handle" thing a couple times. You'd think I'd learn after the first time... Nope.
      Using a wet or damp towel to grab the handle does work either, hot handle and moisture = hot steam.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dave_c

        "Using a wet or damp towel to grab the handle does work either, hot handle and moisture = hot steam."

        yep, that's a classic one.

      2. Every time we take a skillet from stovetop to oven and back again, we are at risk of burning ourselves. We have finally agreed to ALWAYS slip an oven mitt over the handle to protect us against ourselves. So far, in six months, it has worked like a charm. But then last week I was cooking something in the oven and decided to add a cookie sheet full of walnuts for a quick toasting. Pulled the backed item out---of course can't remember what that was--turned off the oven and walked away. Found the walnuts 2 hours later, not burned but very toasted--oddly wonderful flavor and texture. Just lucky that time.

        1. Grabbing a hot handle is something I do at least once a week, it seems. I keep thinking I will learn.

          I also frequently less than vigilant about stirring things properly so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

          Another favorite is putting something in the oven on broil, stepping away to start a load of laundry or something like that and coming back when I smell the burnt aroma.

          1. Oh I am useless, I do stupid things all the time. I have left the oven for 3 days, set fire to my kitchen a number of times, incinerated more tea towels than I care to recount, exploded bottles of wine in the freezer and the list goes on and on. You are certainly not alone.