If cooking oil catches fire, what will you do to minimise damage
Do you know what to do if cooking oil catches fire, for this we are here to tell you possible safer steps.
Cooking does not normally present a lot of danger. You might nick your finger while chopping vegetables or manage to burn a pan of roasting potatoes, but in terms of actual danger to ourselves or our homes, not so much.
A grease fire happens when cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils first start to boil, then they’ll start smoking, and then they’ll catch on fire. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450°F, while animal fats like lard or goose fat will start smoking around 375°F.
The very best safety is prevention. During heating oil for pan-frying or deep-fat frying, stay in kitchen. Use a heavy pot with a lid and clip a thermometer to side so you know temperature of oil.
Keep an eye on oil as it is heating. If you see wisps of smoke or smell something acrid, immediately turn down heat or remove pot from burner completely. The oil won’t immediately catch fire once it starts smoking, but smoke is a danger sign that it’s well on its way to getting there.
If worst happens and your oil does catch on fire, then turn heat off. Don’t try to move pot. You might accidentally splash yourself or your kitchen with burning oil. And that would be bad.
Cover pot with a metal lid as fire cannot exist in absence of oxygen. With lid on and heat off, fire should quickly consume all oxygen and put it out. Use a metal lid since glass will shatter.
Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they’re small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do job.
Spray pot with a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher. This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen. Still, it’s better than alternative if fire is getting out of control.
Get out and call rescue team. If fire does break out of control, don’t try to be a hero. Get out and find a phone to call.
Moreover, do not use water as it can cause oil to splash and spread fire. The vaporising water can also carry grease particles in it, also spreading fire.
Do not move pot or carry it outside. Throwing pot outside might seem logical in frenzy of moment. But trying to move pot might splash burning oil on you, your home and anything outside.
Do not throw any other baking product on fire. Flour might look like baking soda, but it won’t react same. Only baking soda can help put out a grease fire.
Now we are clear on all of that, hopefully you’ll never be in a situation where you have to actually use this advice. Be safe, fellow cooks!