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3 Kitchen Tools You Probably Didn’t Know Are Highly Dangerous

3 Kitchen Tools You Probably Didn’t Know Are Highly Dangerous

Kitchen gadgets are not a novel invention. Besides the decades following the invention of electricity, manual tools have been in use for centuries. For instance – the Romans used elaborate steamers, cheese graters, and colanders.

The balloon whisk is a unique gadget that has been a part of Italian kitchens since the 16th century. Some tools like the mortar and pestle have been around for thousands of years. However, the past century has seen such major advancements that innovative kitchen tools have entered the market.

From boiling eggs perfectly to mincing garlic like a chef, it seems like there is a gadget for every mundane task around the kitchen. What many home cooks are unaware of is that some appliances/gadgets are more dangerous than others.

In this article, we will discuss kitchen gadgets that have been in a negative light for some time now. This list, in no way, implies that such tools cannot be used at all. However, they must be used with much caution as any neglect or ignorance may come at a high price. 

The Sharp Little Mandoline

Every household kitchen has a sharp tool used for slicing down firm vegetables like carrots and beetroots. This is called a mandoline slicer, perfect for securing neat juliennes, slices, or disks. Though innocent-looking on the outside, a mandoline is notorious for causing severe injuries.

These often include deep cuts and skin lacerations. It happens mainly due to the razor-sharp blade of the device and the repetitive action of running the vegetables over it. Let’s take an example – the first couple of times you slide a potato across the mandoline slicer, you may go slow.

But, as you gather speed naturally, there is a high chance of accidentally having your finger run over the blade. It is a common kitchen gadget because of the impressive slices or juliennes the slicer can achieve.

Yet, it’s crucial to use this tool safely. Let’s see how to do that –

  • Allow for ample control by placing the slicer perpendicular to your body. This means its slant should face away from you.
  • If the vegetable does not have a naturally flat surface, first use a knife to even out the surface for more stability.
  • Secure the item within the holder or guard that comes with the tool.
  • Position the item neatly in that holder or guard.
  • Maintain even pressure as you run the vegetable in an upward and downward motion.
  • Make sure your palm lies flat, and the fingers are lifted while slicing long strips.
  • For round slices, ensure your knuckles are bent, and the fingers stay tucked in.
  • Finally, buy a reliable mandoline slicer, preferably one with a V-shaped blade.

The Trusty Old Pressure Cooker

This device (even in its electric version) has been around for quite some time now. One of its main features is that it cooks food within a short period. This is made possible due to the steam pressure that builds up inside.

The steam makes all food contents moist, which is why a pressure cooker or instant pot is ideal for cooking stews, risotto, and cheesecakes. The instant pot can pose safety concerns despite being a kitchen staple for thousands of US households concerns.

This has to do with the inherent design and function of the tool. In other words, a pressure cooker is a sealed chamber in which steam gradually builds up until the temperature inside is driven past the boiling point of water. There is a lot that can go wrong with this process.

For example – an exploding pressure cooker is not an uncommon occurrence. This may happen due to issues like overheating, defective gaskets, faulty pressure cooker valves, excessive pressure build-up, improper ventilation, improper wiring, and digital malfunctions. Recently, numerous cases of manufacturing-related defects have come to light.

Injured people have even filed product liability lawsuits against manufacturers like Tristar, Crock-Pot, and Instant Pot. Plaintiffs have suffered injuries like severe burns, lacerations, electric shocks, and scarring. According to TorHoerman Law, some brands have recalled their products whilst others have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to a sharp drop in sales.

In light of such hazards, it becomes imperative to use a pressure cooker or instant pot carefully. Some tips in this regard include –

  • Always follow the instructions manual that comes with the appliance.
  • Ensure the cooker is clean and in good working order before each use.
  • Fill the cooker with sufficient liquid needed to generate steam. Never overfill or underfill the cooker.
  • Do not cook foods that easily froth. These include oats, cranberries, or applesauce.
  • Never try to pressure-fry inside the cooker as anything more than a little oil can melt the gasket/other parts and become dangerous.
  • Release the cooker’s pressure safely before taking off the lid.
  • Clean the cooker thoroughly after each use.
  • Purchase a cooker after proper research and comparison between different brands.

The ‘Innocuous’ Whipped Cream Dispenser

This one may also come as a shock to many. After all, what could go wrong with a fun-filled session of whipping up thick foamy cream that melts in the mouth? There have been several cases of injuries from whipped cream dispensers, including tinnitus, broken teeth, concussions, and even death.

The nitrous canister and siphon of this tool make it prone to an explosion. The French fitness blogger by the name Rebecca Burger (33) had her whipped cream dispenser explode. What’s worse is that the device hit the woman on her chest, leading to a heart attack. Despite being rushed to the hospital, she died the following day.

Though this incident happened six years ago, the problem persists because defective siphons are everywhere. In another similar case, the victim lost one of their eyes. It is important to take safety precautions regarding using a whipped cream dispenser seriously.

Let’s look at some safety tips for using the chargers –

  • Only use them in well-ventilated areas.
  • Never use them close to an open flame.
  • Used chargers must be disposed of quickly.
  • Only food-grade N20 or nitrous oxide must be used. The N20 must always be stored in a cool place.

In today’s day and age, hundreds of kitchen appliances exist. They are designed to make lives easier, food tastier, and the prepping process faster. No wonder people can invite over plenty of guests for a fun brunch or dinner party.

However, the danger involved with some of these gadgets makes it imperative that you use them carefully. Read through the instruction manual carefully before using any of the above-mentioned kitchen tools. 

Above all, do not let fear be your guide. If you stick to the instructions, there is little that can go wrong.  

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