PSA: Cooking oil

Everything that doesn't fit anywhere else!

Postby mnp13 » February 17th, 2011, 3:59 pm

A good friend of mine was recently cooking dinner and she and her boyfriend were trying a new recipe out for crab rangoons. The final cooking step was to deep fry them.

They heated the oil on her stove... and ended up overheating it. The lid was on, but it was smoking, and they decided to take it off of the stove and bring it out to the deck to let it cool. Everything was fine until they took the lid off – and a literal fireball instantly came up out of the pan. Her hair caught fire and she has second degree burns over a good deal of her face.

That sounds bad, but it could have been much much worse. She told me that her first instinct was to grab a handful of snow and put it into the pan when he took the lid off. Now, oil flash combusts at over 600 degrees (http://missvickie.com/howto/spices/oils.html), and water is heavier than oil. What would have happened if she threw snow in - the snow/water would have hit the oil, and instantly turned to steam – blowing the burning oil out of the pan in a literal fireball. There are frightening youTube videos of exactly that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecvG7sb4H4M

I know about oil fires because I bought a deep fryer a few years ago and Demo showed me those videos as a warning about how to deal with it if it ever caught fire. He wanted to be sure that I took what he told me seriously. I never would have known previous, and I think a lot of people don’t either.

So… if you ever have oil or grease catch fire on your stove (or even start smoking) turn off the heat and cover the pan. If it’s covered, don’t touch it, moving the cover could allow oxygen in and cause a blow up.
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Postby LMM » February 17th, 2011, 4:18 pm

Whoa.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 17th, 2011, 4:20 pm

Wow. How scary.
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Postby iluvk9 » February 17th, 2011, 5:38 pm

Sorry for your friend's accident.

I thought you wrote: "crab raccoons" and wasn't sure what kind of food that was. :giggle: Not that I know what "crab rangoons" are, but you get my point. :dance:
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Postby madremissy » February 17th, 2011, 6:07 pm

I am sooo sorry for your friend. Burns are very painful and I am sending her healing thoughts. My brother-in-law was burned and I have seen it first hand.

I learned my lessson with oil. I caught my kitchen on fire about 25 years ago. Carrying a pan outside when the oil is on fire is not a good idea either. :shock:

Like Michelle said. Find something to cover the pan with.

Tip for turkey fryers. Test how much oil you will actually need by using water first. Fill the pot up with water. place your turkey in and not how much less or more you will need. Then when you actually put your turkey in the hot oil (slowly) it will not be too much.
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Postby BigDogBuford » February 17th, 2011, 6:10 pm

So sorry for your friend. Scary. People burn their porches down every year deep frying turkeys. Can't put something frozen in hot oil cuz it will go boom.
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