Recently I decided that we need new frying pans for our kitchen. I threw out two old ones as well as a crock pot style fry pan and replaced them with another round one, giving me two of them, and as there was a great deal on a two pack of frying pans, I picked the one that has a square pan suitable for grilling, also known as a griddle pan (you know, the one with the ridges).
As I try to cook healthy as much as possible I decided that we’d go for those new non-stick type that doesn’t need oil, and as our eldest is getting to the age where I want to teach him to cook, getting the ones with the heat resistant handles was a must. But therein, ironically, lies a problem that may cause burns.
Both of these have the metal handles with the stainless steel look to them which typically aren’t the ones that are heat-resistant. I bought another one a few months back that had one of those heat-resistant black handles. When it comes to heat-resistant handles, having the black polymer ones kind of make sense as the “plastic” wouldn’t hold the heat as much as metal would, but somehow, some clever person created a heat-resistant metal handle, and I, for one, am pleased with that.
If you have the handles facing outwards, it pays to have heat-resistant handles. As we have one of those smaller 60cm wide gas cook tops, and not a lot of bench space either side, I often have the handle pointing out. Of course, in the past, had a child reached for that their hand would surely get burned. But with the heat-resistant ones, that’s not a problem. But where the problem lies is that these give the false impression that ALL frying pan or sauce pan handles do not burn you if you touch them.
And of course, I found this out the hard way.
At a month short of 43, and having been cooking myself for well over 30 years, you would think that watching out for a burning hot handle would be second nature. And it is. But now that we’ve got the heat-resistant metal handles on these new frying pans, I didn’t even give it a second thought that our sauce pans’ handles are not heat-resistant. They are in fact the opposite.
And yes, I burned my hand. It was a very minor burn, but still, it was uncomfortable for the night.
It got me thinking that in many households there will be children whose parents have heat-resistant handles on all of their cookware. Again, that’s a great thing. But what happens when these children who have not needed oven mitts or heat resistant pot holders to pick up their pots and pans help out at grandma and grandpa’s house?
What will happen when they help out anywhere where there are pots and pans with burning hot handles?
I am not trying to make drama where there need not be drama, but I encourage parents who are teaching their kids to cook, even if you DO have heat-resistant handles, teach them that handles can be hot, and that you should always consider that the handles may be hot, and pick them up using a mitt, glove or heat-resistant cloth.
If you think other parents can learn from this, please don’t forget to share this story.