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Cooking Burns and Scars


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I've heard that the best thing is to get it under running cold water immediately. Like within 3-4 seconds for greatest effect. I find, however, that I usually spend at least the first 15 seconds trying to treat the burn with a continuous stream of obscenities.

squeat, that's the best way to treat a burn...i've always thought! sailors must heal faster than cooks :laugh: .

i always wish that i had taken care of the burns on my hands and arms better. i have racing stripes all the way up to my elbows (practically). but the one burn i did take care of was on my face (don't want to make it harder to look at me than it already is :blink: ).

i was pouring caramel sauce (freshly made) through a chinios. while watching myself doing this and knowing it was a bad idea to leave the wooden spoon in the pot, i blithely ignored the nagging feelings...in slow motion, the spoon flipped out of the pot and landed directly on my cheek! well, it did blister.

i used a solarcaine (sunburn treatment with mostly aloe vera gel and a pain killer) gel and vitamin e oil on that puppy every day, every coupla hours until it disappeared. no scarring at all!

of course, it is much easier to treat a wound on your face which isn't in the water or batter or chocolate or whatever all the time!

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I've heard that the best thing is to get it under running cold water immediately. Like within 3-4 seconds for greatest effect. I find, however, that I usually spend at least the first 15 seconds trying to treat the burn with a continuous stream of obscenities.

squeat, that's the best way to treat a burn...i've always thought! sailors must heal faster than cooks :laugh: .

I've known lots of both, and can only conclude that whoever coined the phrase "swears like a sailor" had never met any cooks!

Come to think of it, I think my beautiful young friend also used solarcaine on her facial burn.

SuzanneF: Do you really not keep ice around? How do you cool down your eggs? Crisp your greens? Shock your vegetables? Most importantly, how do you chill your martinis?

Cheers,

Squeat

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You know what else burns like crazy? Roux. Especially the dark ones.

How I decided on my username... Propped the wooden spoon against the side of the pan when reaching for the trinity while making a dark roux. Spoon popped somehow popped up (roux covered side up), and I instinctively grabbed it. I'll put that burn up against the grabbing the metal handle just out of the oven. Oil sticks. And I had to finish making gumbo left handed. It was back in my drinking days, though, so a cold beer in that hand for the rest of the day went a long way toward making it feel better.

The next day truly sucked.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Burns always used to bother me more than they do now. I would yelp and cry when they happened and be incapacitated and pouty for at least the rest of the day. Now, I say, "Ow! (expletive)" and move on. Cuts are a little more traumatic for me. I'll never forget cutting myself in garde manger and the chef told me to stick my finger in a cup of white pepper, and I thought he was kidding until he came towards me with the cup...I thought it would hurt, but it didn't.

Nice chef. Did the bleeding stop? White pepper isn't cheap. And you say it didn't hurt?

If it ain't fried it ain't food!

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Burns always used to bother me more than they do now. I would yelp and cry when they happened and be incapacitated and pouty for at least the rest of the day. Now, I say, "Ow! (expletive)" and move on. Cuts are a little more traumatic for me. I'll never forget cutting myself in garde manger and the chef told me to stick my finger in a cup of white pepper, and I thought he was kidding until he came towards me with the cup...I thought it would hurt, but it didn't.

Nice chef. Did the bleeding stop? White pepper isn't cheap. And you say it didn't hurt?

Not at all, which I thought was funny, because pepper seems to irritate anything that *isn't* an open wound. Hurts your eyes, makes you sneeze, hurts your mouth, but doesn't do anything to a cut. Interesting.

It didn't really stop the bleeding, but it kept it from going everywhere. Just kind of soaked it up, like water to dry sand.

McCormick donates herbs and spices to JWU, so I guess he could spare some white pepper :biggrin:

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  • 7 months later...

Today, at my externship, I got my first real cook's burn.

Not my first burn-from-cooking, nor even my first scar. But--I suppose you could say--my first arm burn.

It is red, raised, and in the exact shape of the oven door's corner. The 500-degree oven door's corner.

When did you get your first capital-B Burn?

PS The sous chef told me to put egg whites on it. Was he putting one over on me? The old "tell the extern to go get me a bucket of steam" trick?

Noise is music. All else is food.

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A couple of more burns like that you'll have truly developed asbestos hands/arms. Then you'll know you're a real pro. :smile:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Thanks for sharing yer pain, man. I worked a pizza oven for a couple of years in college, and the arm burns were a badge. Wear 'em proudly.

Have you gotten any good deep roux burns? I once got a thumbnail-sized splash on my finger, and when I washed it off, it took layers of skin with it. I could see bone, but it didn't bleed; I guess it cauterized it, like napalm....

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Wear it proudly. I have one on me left forearm that is still visible from 14 months ago and just got one last week on my right arm from a hot hotel pan I was taking out of the oven.

Barnstormer BBQ

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Fort Montgomery NY

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Thanks for sharing yer pain, man. I worked a pizza oven for a couple of years in college, and the arm burns were a badge. Wear 'em proudly.

Yeah. I got taken much more seriously as a pizza-maker once my forearms had half a dozen blisters/welts/scars apiece from the oven doors. I wear the remnants with pride.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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I got my first bad one at age 16 when I worked in a food-court pizza place, on the 600 degree pizza oven.

Almost every time I've gotten a deep burn, I've been extremely busy and therefore didn't really have time to react. Only later did I realize how bad it was.

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never heard of the egg whites technique - i have applied butter in some cases, but ice cold water until your bodypart goes numb is the remedy of choice.

never worked a 600 degree oven - but quite enjoy firmly gripping with my bare hands the tart tatin sitting on the stove moments after i've removed it from the oven.

-che

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First Burn with a capital B... Was pouring cooked sugar into a mould when a well-meaning waitron bumped in to me. Poured the goo all over the back of my hand. Worst part is you can't get the sticky stuff off. Back of that hand still has some discoloration and odd sensation 12 years later.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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First kitchen burn was as a cook in high school for the "Royal Fork". Hot baking pan full of beef liver and oil was coming out of the convection oven, I hit the door with the pan and it spashed on my hand. I've got the scar and laugh about it when people ask me "where did that come from?" and my answer is "bad liver".

Burns are a part of being in a busy kitchen and part of the kitchen lifestyle. You can't always bring your A-game, or for that matter your B-game, to work day in and day out (Cooks never stay up late, party on Friday, then have to work a long shift the next day do they : )

I wouldn't necessarily call it a badge of "honor" but I would call it a permanent reminder.

"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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TJHarris, owww sugar work can be some nasty stuff. Most cooks who've been on the line for any length of time will have their little remembrances. The hands and forearms give away those who cook for a living and many so-called chefs.

danny

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I wouldn't necessarily call it a badge of "honor" but I would call it a permanent reminder.

if it's doing what i'm passionate about then it wear it with pride, it means i'm doing what i should...that's honorable.

-che

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I once grabbed a sautee pan that I had been finishing a piece of meat in the oven with. 425 degree metal doesn't go well with bare hand-flesh. But I also did not react with quickness and felt the skin crackle as I searched for a surface to set it down on...ewwww...

A funny one....my first day at a job I was making parmesan tuilles and pulled the sheet tray out of the oven with a slightly damp towel...I fought every instinct inside to yelp and throw the tray and I calmly and quietly put it on the speedrack.

"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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I got a bad bacon grease burn on the palm of my hand that, despite a huge blister covering the entire palm, healed perfectly, no scars. I was actually in some ways disappointed it didn't leave at least some kind of mark.

I have two faint burn scars from taking bread out of a hot oven that were in places that didn't have so many nerves I guess 'cause they didn't hurt much at the time. So I didn't tend to them immediatley, and then they left scars.

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A pale white oval shaped mark covering the entire backside of my left thumb. Came from accidentally splashing myself with caramel while making a Pumpkin Flan for Thanksgiving about 8 years ago. That stuff is like napalm - it sticks and completely destroys the flesh beneath. Absolutely exquisite pain. I had it wrapped with Silvadene oitment (side note: this shit is the bomb on serious burns - prescription only) on it for two weeks until it looked even vaguely human again.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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CheGuevara, I agree, but there are those moments that aren't memorable.

This is from the same place I worked at from a post on another thread. I don't think these burns were very honorable : )

"It was a busy weekend, and we were short staffed in the kitchen. Our GM was not the most well liked guy to say the least. He was trying to help us out (he rarely helped in the kitchen) at the deep fryer. Oil level was getting a little low so he thought he would be proactive and refill it.

We had these huge 50lb blocks of lard that we put into the fryers (I think you know where I'm going with this). He decided to just drop the whole thing in (actually drop), needless to say, the fryer overflowed and also splashed everywhere, but mostly on the front of his pants. He immediately dropped his pants and underwear in the middle of the kitchen at which time the all of the servers (mostly women) came running in due to the screaming.

It was quite the site to say the least. Our GM hopping around around with his pants around his ankles and the entire service team standing around in shock.

The GM went to the hospital and ended up with some scars but a full recovery otherwise. I think in the end he ended up more emotionally scarred from the smiles and giggling he got from the wait staff for the coming years. "

"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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