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Tips For First Time Friers

Updated on June 14, 2010

What Not To Do

It was the spring of 2002 and a beautiful day outside. The kids were napping, the house was clean and it was time to start working on dinner. On the menu that night was fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, and green beans. It is very important to mention here that I had been married for a year and a half and was still learning how to cook.

As per recipe instructions, I filled the pan with oil and turned the heat on. Turning my back to the stove I began to prepare the freshly peeled potatoes for boiling. Once that was out of the way I opened the cans of green beans and got them in their pot. Returning my attention to the chicken, I saw foot high flames shooting from my pan just as the fire alarm alerted me to my predicament.

Panicking I scrambled to recall whether it was baking powder or baking soda that put out stove fires. I tried both and neither worked. Of course I found out that I did not use enough but that is no longer relevant. My next thought was to put a lid on it. Right. The only lid I had that would fit over that pan snugly enough to smother the air out of the fire was glass and I was afraid that would shatter. So I did the only thing left to do, the one thing I knew I should not do. I threw water on it. A lot of water. The fire swooshed up higher then did actually go out.

The whole time the alarm is going off which woke the children. Thankful that it was a beautiful day I grabbed the kids and set them outside. I went back in just long enough to open the windows, turn on the fans, and grab the phone. The house I was in I was renting from my now ex-husband's parents.

I let the in-laws know that I nearly burned their house down and we sat outside on the front porch enjoying the beautiful day as though nothing had happened. The in-laws were kind enough to bring us McDonald's for dinner. After going inside to inspect the damage and determining that nobody was injured, they had a good laugh at my expense. It was determined that I let the oil get too hot and that was what caused the fire itself. As for the water, my case turned out good but it very well could have, and should have, not turned out so well. This is the reason you should have an approved fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Shy of that, use of either powder or soda will do the trick but you must use a lot of it.

As for the house, there is still a smoke stain behind the stove all the way up to the ceiling!


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    • Chaotic Chica profile image

      Chaotic Chica 7 years ago

      Sally's Trove~they were very understanding and had a good laugh about it!

      As far as the baking soda-I keep a fire extinguisher handy instead!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I think your in-laws were pretty extraordinary folks. Their house, your fire, and they bring Micky D's.

      Your lesson is a good one for all of us. It is SOOOOO easy to put that oil on to heat and forget about it, and also easy to not take preventative steps like putting an extinguisher in the kitchen.

      Have you bought that five-pound box of baking soda anyway?

    • Chaotic Chica profile image

      Chaotic Chica 7 years ago

      Carolina~My former father in law came close to doing that the first year he used one of those outdoor deep friers! LOL Frying can be dangerous and that is why I will no longer attempt it! LOL

      Habee~Don't feel bad laughing at me for this! I still laugh at me! No, technically, it isn't really that funny....but it is! LOL Thanks for the accolades!

      Winsome~Some people do not have common sense! I may not have known much about frying food on the stove but I know about fireplace safety! Goodness! I'm glad you enjoyed the read (and the menu!).

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Ha ha Chica, very fun read. It reminded me of a house I bought once very cheaply because the owners decided to burn their mammoth christmas tree in the fireplace--a foot at a time--they thought they could just keep feeding it in as it burned. Needless to say it burned a stain from the mantle to the ceiling. Like your menu--great man-friendly comfort food. =:)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I enjoyed this! I know it's not really funny, but I couldn't help giggling a little! Thumbs up!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I once watched a guy down the street burn down his deck while frying a turkey.. it went up like a matchstick !!