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kitchen OWIES!?!

After 1-2 experiences, KNOW to LEAVE a pot holder over lid of casserole dish. That split second between KNOWING your fingers are getting bruent and being able to put down that lid go on FOREVER!! Can't even imagine the PAIN people go thru with serious burns, cuz a lid burn HURTS!!

Sliced into my thumb last SUnday. Was a nice sharp knife so there was a delay between actuall cutting and realizing I had hurt myself?? Nothing spurting, but decent amount of BLEED... as my niece called it as a kid. Have been "doctoring" it myself as a MAJOR "paper cut" since then. Right index finger on a right-handed person... cut just waiting to be re-opened.

How have you injured yourself in the kitchen??

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  1. My old CH friend jfood gave me and others the advice to immediately put a hot pad over the handle of a CI skillet that just came out of the oven. We ALWAYS do that. Minor accidents with the mandoline that were caused by user error. Pay attention!

    4 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      I miss jfood . . . and especially, his enthusiasm for salmon pie (near and dear to my roots). I will make salmon pie tomorrow, in honor of jfood. Thanks for the reminder, c oliver!

      1. re: MrsPatmore

        I must've missed something... What happened to jfood? I always loved his posts.

        1. re: FattyDumplin

          you and me both, dumplin - what's the story on jfood?!

      2. re: c oliver

        This is very good advice. I can't tell you how many times I've done the following:

        Warned everyone to stand back as I bring a screaming hot cast iron pan out of the oven.

        Set it down on the stove and again warn everyone to stand back.

        A moment later, barehanded, grabe the handle!

        1. Yes. ...More often than I'd like to admit.
          I'm getting better at remembering to use pot holders on items previously removed from the oven. I'm also better at remembering where my fingers are when dicing. However, (mostly when making pizza) I'm still not paying enough attention to how close my hands/arms are to the upper heating element of my electric oven.....just a little trouble remembering that - a) even if it's not red hot it will still burn if everything else in the oven is 450+. and b) I have a pizza peel.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

            Ok - That's pretty funny, Bryan, although pain is such a rush that you WILL remember a) and b) !

            I've moved the first aid kit from the bathroom to the kitchen at my house. I've cut, burned, sliced, diced, broke a freakin' toe!!! pulling the frozen vodka out of the freezer.

            Funny - I work construction and wear a hard hat, safety vest and steel toed boots, at work, but I've hurt myself WAY more in my own kitchen.

            1. re: JerryMe

              Done the same with my first aid kit. :-)

          2. i burn myself on a regular basis. spattering oil is a given and even though my fingers are mostly made of asbestos sometimes a certain thing is just that much too much. lol.

            and yes, more than once i had that special mark from a cast-iron handle.

            1. For years, I had matching burns/scars on the top of my hands, just below the lowest thumb joint, from touching the oven rack while handling foods cooking on the middle rack. No sooner would a scar fade than I'd get another burn on one hand or the other. The unused rack was in the topmost slot. It took multiple burns for it to occur to me to move the unused rack to the LOWEST slot.

              Avalanches from the overfull freezer, onto my ingrown toenail, were frequent until I put wire mesh baskets (from office supply stores) side-by-side in the freezer. 4" deep, they restrained the lower bags and packages, which is enough to keep the whole pile more stable. I designated one for frozen produce, one for meats, and another for odds&ends meant for stockmaking. It has decreased the frequency of *losing* stuff in there until it's unidentifiable or too freezer-burned to use.

              4 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                Oh boy. I am as I type looking at a scar at the base of my right thumb from that touching the upper oven rack thing. Maybe I should think about moving it down. . .

                1. re: cookie monster

                  Unless I'm using multiple racks, the top one is in the middle and the other two below it. If I'm using two racks, I remove the third one entirely.

                2. re: greygarious

                  My maternal grandfather died from an ingrown toenail. They lived out on the farm and did not have running water or electricity. My mother remembered seeing a tornado destroy the barn and kill several cows.

                  Back on topic, last December I sliced into my left index finger with a knife while chopping onions. I sliced into the top of the nail but stopped before going all the way through. I've been waiting for it to grow out without accidently tearing it off.

                  1. re: John E.

                    Ingrown toenails are not to be trifled with. I had them and fortunately, a small procedure saved me from a lifetime of them on one side of both big toes.

                3. I can not tell you how many times I have LITERALLY sliced off the tip of my right thumb (I am left handed) while cutting onions!!

                  1. I got a really bad steam burn, draining something over the sink, and the lid slipped in my hand, and directed all that steam right up the arm holding the pan. I should have dropped the whole thing but didn't, I just repositioned the lid. It didn't look too bad at first, just hurt a lot, but by the next day, it was the worst burn I had ever had. 4x8 inch area of just raw flesh. Took at least 6 months to heal to where it wasn't immediately noticeable.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                      As a former paramedic and Navy Corpsman I can tell you, steam burns are THE WORST burns you can get.

                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                        It was pretty shocking how terrible it was. My nurse-girl friend saw it a week later and told me I should have had it looked at and been on antibiotics, since it was so big. I had no idea it was that serious.

                      2. re: jeanmarieok

                        Speaking of steam burns, I just discovered that wearing an Ove Glove does not protect you from steam. Yikes, that hurt.

                      3. Knifeskills #101: A falling knife has no handle. You can do more damage with a dull knife than with a sharp one.

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: Cheflambo

                            As they say on the street, "You run *towards* a gun fight, and *away* from a knife fight."

                            (or so I'm told; mileage may vary according to how your own kitchen is organised!)

                          2. I'm really good at self-inflicted kitchen injuries. When I first moved into my own place I was making French onion soup. I sliced the tip of my left index finger so that it was barely hanging on. There was too much blood so I had to stop with the soup. Some of the onions were already cooking so the house was filled with the scent. It lingered for months!

                            The other notable kitchen injury was on a Father's Day at my brother's house. We were cooking some Peruvian steak dish. He had just taken the skillet out of the 500 degree oven and set in on the stove. Even though I'd seen him do this, I reached for the handle and pulled back in time to only burn my left thumb. I looked at the pad of my thumb and it was snow white. He took me to the ER, which at the time was the Grossman Burn Center, and they triaged me ahead of everyone else there. Apparently, I managed to get a third degree burn which, though small, was excrutiatingly painful. The nurse shoved my throbbing thumb into a glass of ice water. The hardness of the ice made the pain much worse. A few seconds later, I was shot with morphine. Pain? What pain?

                            1. I am bleeding at this moment. I burn myself on the oven at least once a year. I wear my scars proudly.

                              1. My husband had a doozy about a month and a half ago. The bottom heating element in our oven cracked (a friend of ours said, I am the only person he knows who uses their oven enough to actually manage to break it) and he ordered a replacement part off of Amazon to install himself. He got the old, damaged element out and the new one installed and turned the oven on to see if it worked. He had the oven on for about 5 seconds when he realized that the element was slightly crooked, and also that the bottom of the oven was kinda dirty, so he decided to clean/straighten everything up while he had the oven torn up. Turned the oven off -- again, had only been on about 5 seconds at this point -- and reached in with the tips of his forefinger and thumb to grasp the bottom element...

                                Instant second degree burns.

                                We did not have to go to the ER but he was in a lot of pain for the rest of the evening. Fortunately, I keep a big bottle of aloe vera gel so between that and a lot of cool water he recovered pretty well after a couple of days, the blisters didn't pop for about two weeks, and there was no scarring.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Last week I was preparing a Mexican lasagna and while heading toward the recycle bin with an empty can, it started to drop, I grabbed at it, forgetting that I had the can's lid in my hand, as well. The sharp edge of the lid went right into the crease at the base of my long finger. Hubster was taking a nap, and I didn't want to wake him up, so I bled pretty good for a while before I decided I'd better wake him up and go to the Urgent Care center. Got one stitch. It absolutely was not going to close up on its own. The doctor told me that they say if you just need one stitch, you don't need a stitch. But he said he's giving me a stitch anyway, because I needed one.

                                  1. I have a few scars on my hands and forearms from hot cast iron pans and ovens and have only had minor cuts from knives.

                                    The worst pain I've felt was when, in the middle of seeding and stemming some dried chiles using just my hands, I stopped to vigorously rub my hand into my itchy eye. There were a few seconds between "uh oh I shouldn't have done that" and the ensuing horrible burning that actually made me involuntarily double over before I got to a sink and flushed my eyes out. I was laughing about it a few seconds later because that's how I react to pain that isn't serious and stupidity is funniest when it's you.

                                    I've also used my fingers to clean stuck food from between the blades of my stick blender while it was plugged in, and it worries me to think about how much good karma I've used up in not accidentally turning the thing on while I'm doing so.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                      Bless you. It's good to know I am not the only one who has tried to clean a stick blender while it was plugged in. Only, I did turn it on. I have an ugly slice into my fingernail but thankfully it wasn't deep.

                                    2. I'm always super vigilant about putting a potholder on the handle of the pan that just came out of the oven... except once a few months back. Grabbed my SS allclad immediately after removing it from a 550 degree oven.

                                      12 hours later when I was still unable to remove my hand from an ice bath, I called the DR. 3 vicodin and a gauze wrap later and I finally fell asleep.

                                      I worked in resto kitchens for 5 years and got a variety of burns and cuts but this was, by far, the worst pain i've ever experienced. Made a sick blister, too!

                                      1. I put pot holders or oven mitts over hot vessels, just to remind me not to touch!
                                        I can forget 2 seconds later.
                                        I also drape newspaper over my oven door handle when I'm proofing bread.

                                        1. The worst thermal burn I've had involved a cast iron pan that had been heating in a 500F oven for 45 minutes. I managed to pull the pan out of the oven with a pot holder. A few minutes later I noticed the handle was hanging off the edge of the stove, so with safety in mind it was only appropriate to rotate the pan. I completely forgot the pan was more than hot and pushed the handle with the palm of my hand. I had a giant blister smack dab in the center of my palm for a few days and more days of pain and now a nice perfectly circular scar.

                                          My favorite thermal burn (yes, I have a favorite burn) involved my first roast turkey experience. I was super-ready and thought I had everything all figured out. The oven was preheated and I was ready to go until I opened the oven and realized that I forgot to remove the upper rack. I removed it safely with a pot holder but since it was hot there were few places to put it. I should have just put it on the bottom of the oven but I decided to rest it on a wooden trash can to cool. The trash can was fine but I forgot there was a hot rack just sitting around in the kitchen and the next thing I know I feel a sharp sting on my upper calf followed by a "hiss." I managed to plant my leg right on the side of the hot rack and now have a 3 inch scar on my leg to remember my first roast turkey.

                                          My worst chemical burn was an idiot maneuver. I have a thing with vinegar, like a very devoted thing. I frequently drink vinegar, usually poured into a container but one night while cooking I decided to just tip the bottle up to my mouth. Most of the bottles have shaker tops but this particular vinegar had a pour spout. Several tbsps of vinegar splashed right into the back of my throat, burning the crap out of my larynx. For a week or so, I sounded like a frog and coughed incessantly. Note to self...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Your first story echos what happened to me. Removed the pan with potholders, turned around to wash my hand, then immediately went back and grabbed the handle to put the pan in the sink. It was about 20 seconds after it came out of the oven. Ouch.

                                          2. Embarresed to say most of my kitchen owies are in my mouth! I tend to taste food while it's still boiling! Why I don't know

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Siegal

                                              I burn myself with soup nearly every time.

                                            2. Most of my worst kitchen accidents have some from using an inappropriate knife for the task at hand. Several years ago, on Christmas Day, I was cutting up sweet potatoes with a very sharp utility knife and the knife got stuck in the sweet potato. Unbeknownst to me the tip of the knife was sticking out of the end of the potato. As I turned around to get something, my left index finger drew across the end of the potato and the uber sharp utility knife sliced into my finger from the knuckle, under my nail, and out the end of my finger - down to the bone. Nothing like trying to bone out your own finger. And on a holiday, no less. I wrapped it up tight and after about an hour it stopped bleeding. No visit to the ER - no way I was spending the holiday there. It's still numb.

                                              1. My most recent finger injury (sliced finger on my dog ramp) had me stocking my home with all things needed to cook with a bad cut:
                                                disposable gloves
                                                finger cots

                                                Yes, I overreacted, but, I'm ready for anything now!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  Add a box of butterfly closures to that list, it was the only thing that finally stopped the bleeding when I sliced my pinky really deep. Bled for 2 days off & on until I bought the butterflies

                                                  1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                                                    Great idea... also I bought gauze pads!

                                                    Coban was really key, and you can get it at most drug stores now.

                                                  2. re: monavano

                                                    I always make sure I have liquid bandage in my medicine cabinet. I've stopped several finger cuts with it and was able to go back to cooking fairly soon.

                                                    My most memorable kitchen injury was when I was washing a glass pam in the sink. It slipped into the sink, broke and cut the side of my middle finger on my left hand. I should have gone to the ER that night, but I waited until the morning. The bleeding had stopped, but the wound still needed to be taken care of. It was too late to suture, so they cleaned it out and dressed it tightly. They put a splint on it and covered the splint with gauze. So for a couple of days I was walking around with a big middle finger sticking out from my hand.

                                                  3. I burned my left hand when I put an oven mitt on my right hand and reached in the oven for a hot casserole with both hands.

                                                    1. Forget dull knives, I think the most dangerous task for me in the kitchen is preheating my dutch oven for bread.
                                                      I have to focus 100% when I load the dough and when I take the top off mid bake.

                                                      1. I sliced the base of my left thumb several years ago during a camping trip. I was holding and avocado while slicing it open and the knife slipped. A lot of blood and pain, but my husband wrapped it and said we'd check it in the morning. No one wanted to ruin the evening with a drive to the ER. It took a lot if wine to numb the pain.

                                                        The next morning, the cut looked pretty bad, and a trip to the closest ER was in order. The doctor chastised my husband for waiting to bring me in since there is only a certain window of time to get stitches. I learned my lesson and no longer hold avocados in my hand while slicing. I still haven't been allowed to assist in guacamole prep while camping.

                                                        1. I've been saying yikes and ugh and OMG to a few of these stories.
                                                          I've burnt myself numerous times of course, using a wet cloth as a pot holder is a bad idea, tops of hands hitting the inside of the oven, but one of my worst was when I made coffee in a French Press. As I was holding the handle with my left hand to steady the Press, I pushed down with my right hand and I guess it hit an air pocket. A huge whoosh of hot coffee and hot grounds spouted like volcanic lava onto my left hand.
                                                          I spent the night sleeping with my hand in iced water by the side of the bed and the blister that came up the next day was over the whole of the back of my hand.

                                                          1. For burn owies, I keep a bottle of aloe vera juice with lidocaine in my fridge. Same stuff that they sell next to the suntan lotions and such. If I get a burn, I grab it right up and apply the icy cold gel. Seems to stop the burn almost every time and the lidocaine helps with the pain. Not that I've ever had a burn as bad as some here have described. But it does help immensely for most burns...

                                                            1. I haven't burned myself in the kitchen in years. Now that I've said that I probably will pretty soon. ;)

                                                              Once I made salsa with habanero peppers in it. It was my first time cooking with habaneros and I followed all the precautions.

                                                              24 hours later, after numerous hand washings and a hot shower, I touched my eye. Yowsa!!!

                                                              Oddly, I don't remember the salsa being that hot. I do remember the eye thing, however. ;)

                                                              1. I stuck a pairing knife through the palm of my hand once and it came out the other side. It was not pretty...lots of blood...but I'll be damned if I'm going to let something like that keep me from eating my dinner!

                                                                "I'll go to the ER in the morning." LOL

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Novelli

                                                                  Wow! That takes a lot of force. How did that happen?!

                                                                  1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                    Yes, quite a bit of force.

                                                                    Somehow, while prepping a prime rib roast, a pairing knife made it's way into the butcher paper from the meat. I had no idea. So, when I picked up the butcher paper and started crumpling it into a ball to toss in the trash...that's when I stuck it through my hand.

                                                                    Luckily it went right between the bones of my middle finger and my ring finger and missed vital veins, but the tip was poking out the top of my hand. No blood until I pulled it out.

                                                                    Had to walk around for 2 weeks with a chunk of gauze stuck in the wound to keep it open. The syringe flushes where the worst.

                                                                2. My one OWIEEE was in 1986 while cutting bell peppers for dinner with childhood friend, Robert. While slicing with my new Trident chef's knife, he rang the doorbell and, momentarily distracted, I chopped down on my thumb. With blood in abundance, I wrapped the thumb in paper towel to answer the door. Ice had no effect. In his taciturn wisdom, he suggested, "Let's look for the end of your thumb on the cutting board and stick it back on." Sorting through the pepper slices we found a finely-sliced little thumb end that I pushed down on the wound and bandaged with gauze. It took - and with no ER visit.
                                                                  To this day, I have the circular scar of my self-surgery and Robert will often ask me to recount the story and point it out to friends.

                                                                  1. I have the tiger stripe series of burn scars on both lower arms/wrists.

                                                                    I've also cut myself badly (& stupidly) so many times the scars have actually melded together. Got better knives and things improved greatly. I used to hold foods in my left hand while cutting with the right, hence most of my scars are on the left hand. Now, when pitting an avocado, I have a mantra--"left hand behind my back!" Sometimes I whack the knife & totally miss the pit, but I also miss whacking into my left hand.

                                                                    A friend brought me a wonderful product from her European travels: Biogaze. A little gauze with sumpin' infused bandage that helps a lot with the pain from a minor burn. Wish I could find it here. I keep it, along with a full complement of bandages, in the kitchen cabinets.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                      I bought this avocado slicer last week at Target. I used it today and it did a great job. I was particularly impressed with how it grabbed the pit.

                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                        OK, after a few days of deliberation I've decided to document how stupid I am....
                                                                        I required two "incidents" before embracing the "left hand behind my back" mantra.....
                                                                        After learning the hard way that stabbing the pit with "pointy end" of a steak knife wasn't a very good method if a miss or glancing blow occurs, I decided to do the " light chop and twist" method that research told me was a better way to go.
                                                                        So, armed with new found knowledge and an almost healed stab wound, i decided to try again.......
                                                                        Apparently, due to a pre existing crack in the pit, the chop went straight thru the pit like it was butter. i guess in sports they would call that "two for two".
                                                                        Bottomline, while I prefer puncture wounds over slashes, the avocados now stay on the cutting board whenever I can't get someone else to remove the pit for me.

                                                                        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                                          I've relayed here before my stupidest stab wound: tried opening a wine bottle by stabbing the cork with a steak knife (I was young and, yes, muy stupid). Stabbed right into the webbing on my left hand. Trip to the ER, ruined romantic dinner. ER doc laughed.

                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                            (Remaining) Fingers crossed, I have yet to require a trip to the ER.

                                                                      2. Sunday I was washing dishes. one of my santuko knives had somethin stuck on it, so I gave it a good scrub with the sponge... and it slipped. skinned the upper knuckle on my right middle finger then wham... right into the fleshy back of my finger before the next knuckle. A good amount of bleed, perhaps needed stitches but no way I was spending my sunday afternoon in the ER. It's much better today, but still kinda... open.

                                                                        1. I have multiple scars in the exact same place on the middle finger of my left hand; a result of the combo of not-sharp-enough knife and purple cabbage (I was a prep cook at a steak house several lifetimes ago, and I chopped a lot of purple cabbage for the salads...).

                                                                          In the same kitchen, I tried to catch the BIG box of plastic wrap as it fell off a high shelf, resulting in a very long slice from the serrated blade, going the length of my forearm.

                                                                          1. Years back I worked in a bakery 4am till noon shift. We girls had the light things to make such as quiches, cookies, muffins etc. It was a hot kitchen and in the days before Health and Safety we wore sleeveless dresses with aprons.
                                                                            Anyway I was waiting for muffins to come out of the oven and the head baker asked me to take out the dozen loaves that were ready in the slide in oven which was about my shoulder height.

                                                                            I used the oven mitts, grabbed the hot tray with the bread in the loaf tins and started to slide the tray out. All the loaf tins slid towards me and one slid right into the inside top of my right arm. I'm screaming like a banshee until 2 bakers came to my rescue and took the tray.
                                                                            I never did go to the ER being a tough girlie, but I still have a nice burn scar some 35 years later.

                                                                            1. This thread is starting to remind me of the 80s SNL sketch, Willie and Frankie.

                                                                              Frankie: You know what I hate?

                                                                              Willie: What?

                                                                              Frankie: I go into the kitchen, I open the drawer, you know?

                                                                              Willie: Uh huh?

                                                                              Frankie: And I take out a, uh--

                                                                              Willie: Carrot scraper?

                                                                              Frankie: Right. And I stick it up my nose, you know, and I'm rootin' it around, and, you know, gettin' all the mucus membranes out o' there, you know? And then I take one o' them, uh--?

                                                                              Willie: Mentholated eucalyptus cough drops?

                                                                              Frankie: Right. And I stick it-- wedge it up there, you know? I take a couple o' whiffs, boy. Heh, ya feel like your head's gonna explode.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. burned my wrist on the element in the oven trying to remove a pan. the scar is still visible over a year later.

                                                                                took the tip of a finger off on a mandoline.

                                                                                various minor cuts and burns.

                                                                                bacon without a shirt on - my upper half lady bits have still not forgiven me that one.

                                                                                steam burn taking the lid off a pot carelessly.