Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Poof! Fire In The Oven!

There are so many things to learn about cooking and although there are many resources available for us to gain the knowledge we need, I've discovered that experience is still the best teacher.

I joyously doused a tray of large cut potatoes with extra virgin olive oil. Mixed in the salt. A scene from Kitchen Boss played on my mind - "Be generous, Sharon!"  Buddy advised in his robust voice.

La dee dah ..  shoved the tray into the oven at a temp between 180c to 200c.

Just about half an hour into it (or was it less), it burst into flames! I happened to be right next to the oven when it happened, and instinctively flipped the oven switch off. Just as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared.

I waited awhile just to be sure the fire was completely out before attempting to open the oven door, all this while my heart was pounding furiously. I don't recall how long I stood there with my jaw dropped open. Imagine my astonishment. It didn't cross my mind then that olive oil could be the cause. I just assumed that my oven was faulty. But after some reading up, since I couldn't find anything wrong with the oven, I've learned that all oils have a smoking point whereafter it begins to burn, olive oil being faster than most.

This article on smoking points helped me understand what it was all about.

Smoke Points of Olive Oil

In case I have a repeat experience, I'm keeping in mind that one of the most effective ways to put out a grease fire is to pour baking soda over it or to keep a lid on things, that is, don't open the oven door and if it is a burning pot, cover it completely to cut off the oxygen supply. Note that this is only advisable for small grease fires. Don't hesitate to call for help if you feel it's unsafe or too big to handle.

Here are more useful tips I found here:
- How to Put out a Grease Fire: 6 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow

Happy reading! 
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