As I was cooking dinner in a daydreaming trance in the kitchen, my hubby brought my attention to the smoke that was streaming up from the burner I was using to massacre some food. I flipped on the fan, as per his suggestion, and while investigating what was smoking (likely a stray piece of macaroni that had landed under the burner during my wild display that somewhat resembles meal preparation) *BAM*.
Fire erupted from underneath the element.
Ahhh!!! What does one do when a fire breaks out on your stove top? Take action to extinguish said flames? No, no. Clearly what is necessary is to scream and flap your arms while exclaiming “What do I do! What do I do!” (Note: this isn’t actually what you should do.)
I had the thought of dousing the fire with a pile of flour while I flailed, but luckily, Hubs ran to the rescue and poured a good splash of water from a pot onto the flames, putting out the fire and creating an exquisite soup a la stovetop.
Although this may have worked for the time being, we worried about the flood that had now claimed our stove top and if it would be a hazard with the electrical stove, and wondered what we really should have done to return our surprise fire-cooking burner back to the electrical element we are used to.
So, what does one do when you want to know anything nowadays? You ask Google.
This is what our scholarly search turned up about dealing with a kitchen fire. You can find this information here, directly from eHow.
Kitchen Safety Tips
When flames surprise your culinary adventures, what you should do is the following:
Either cover the fire with a metal pot lid (if the fire is in a pan, this should work well, but I’m a burner where there is other access to air it might not work), pour baking soda on the flames (you will need a lot, so if not readily accessible you’re probably better off not wasting your time finding it), or use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. If you have an extinguisher and use that, remember it will contaminate your food and kitchen and should be properly cleaned up.
What you should not do is:
DO NOT pour flour on a fire. Flour is a great explosive, apparently, and is a great way to turn bad to worse with a *BOOM*.
DO NOT pour water on a (grease) fire. If the fire is burning on grease, the water will cause it to splash, spreading the grease and the fire.
The majority of kitchen fire calamities happen because the stove was left unattended. Stay focussed and stay by the stove, friends. And keeping a canister of baking soda next to the stove might not be a bad idea, either.