We’ve officially hit the stage of at-home cooking where people have begun to dig not only into their cookbook and recipe archives, but also into their arsenal of little-used (or never-opened) kitchen gear. I am generally a big proponent of this and have been doing some of it myself. For example, I finally busted out the pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, and am delighted to report that homemade pasta is back in the rotation at my house.
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That said, not all kitchen tools are created equal. Some, in fact, are on the dangerous side (particularly if you’re fairly new to cooking). Just as slicing your sourdough bread can be risky business, so can playing with these in the kitchen. And no one wants an unplanned trip to the emergency room these days. Let’s keep these 6 products in the box (or drawer) until you’ve had time to get to know them better.
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These sharp little suckers are on the top of every ER doc’s list of the easiest way to lop off parts of your fingers. Even the ones that come with guards are super dangerous, and probably the only thing on this list that I say you should currently avoid even if you have used one successfully for years. They are just an accident waiting to happen.
How to stay safe: Don’t buy one. Don’t accept one if offered. Just say no.
2. Oyster shucking knives
Jacques Pepin is on your Insta feed popping open oysters like they are spring loaded, and oyster farms like Island Creek are shipping straight to your door, often with some excellent sales. If you’re a longtime shucker, have at it. But if you have never shucked an oyster before, now is not the time to risk jamming an oyster-juice-covered knife through the center of your palm. May I recommend a good quality tinned or smoked oyster for the moment?
How to stay safe: If you are craving fresh oysters, consider grilling or steaming them until they pop open of their own accord.
3. Deep fat fryers
While the sight of firemen setting a parking lot on fire with a turkey fryer may be pretty funny, a pot of hot oil exploding in flames in your kitchen is nothing to laugh at. Nor is getting spattered with scalding oil if something releases moisture. Frying is one of those things that should always be undertaken with the most serious attention.
How to stay safe: Stick to recipes that say “oven fried” or “shallow fried” or leave the deep fryer in the box. Check out your air fryer instead.
RELATED: Our 28 Best Air Fryer Recipes
4. Box graters
These old-school tools are just waiting to quickly and efficiently remove many layers of your flesh in service to slaw or shredded cheese. If you have a food processor, use the grater blade on that instead.
How to stay safe: Pre-grated cheese, anyone?
5. Shish kebab skewers
As we move into prime grilling season, you may feel the urge to shove slippery chunks of meat and veg on long, sharp metal swords. But like the oyster knife, the skewer can be an enemy to your tender flesh. There's stabbing during prep, and there's potential burns post-grilling. Stitches and burn care? It’s possible with skewers.
How to stay safe: Kebab grilling baskets are a smart (and injury free!) grilling alternative: here’s a set of two at a great price to get you started.
6. Whipped cream dispensers
I know, these seem super innocuous, and what is more fun than freshly whipped cream, or experiments with those molecular gastronomy foams that refuse to die? Perhaps you are thinking this is a shortcut to the new Dalgona coffee craze? But there have been all sorts of injuries related to faulty connections of the nitrous canisters, both related to user error and mechanical defect. Getting hurt on whipped cream sounds funny until you see the litany of tinnitus, concussions, broken teeth, lost eyes, and even the death of a blogger.
How to stay safe: Stick to the aerosol cans you can buy in the store or make your own whipped cream with your electric mixer or an old-fashioned hand whisk.
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