Respect boiling water. It can hurt you badly!

Yes it’s obvious to be careful, but sometimes you need to regain respect for things.

After making tea for the gazillionth time I ran out of regular clean ceramic cups and had the lazy/brilliant idea to use 2 stacked solo cups. It worked fine until I picked it up with 2 fingers around the edge per my usual hot cup carrying method and the edge of the cup collapsed just enough to fly out of my hand onto the floor and splash my ankle.

Just a splash hit my left ankle, (and I had thin socks on) but it took the skin right off my ankle as if I had gouged it out with a chisel. My skin peeled of me as if I was a grape and the area around it developed huge blisters. Now I’ve got a chunk of nuked skin on my ankle about the size of a playing card.

Several months ago I leaned over a lidded pan steaming veggies and got a third degree steam burn on my right boob. Third degree burns don’t hurt.

astro, I am so sorry to hear that happened to you, and your description is appropriately gruesome. I will remember never to put boiling water in doubled-up plastic solo cups!!!

Thank you for sharing your lesson with us, and, I hope you recuperate without any infections and further painful incident.

Oh, yes, respect boiling water very much. It’s nothing to play with.

I also wish to add a similar reminder about frying in hot fat. That stuff will splatter so always place the food into the pan facing AWAY from you.

Also, do not wear anything that you will regret getting fat spatters on. That stuff will NOT come out in the laundry, and I’ve lost many a beloved T-shirt that way.

Ya know what else hurts…boiling propane. A few years back I was having a problem with our forklift at work. It runs on LP. During my troubleshooting I disconnected the fuel line from the tank and I needed to know if there was gas in the line. “hmmm” I thought “I need to push that little button in there and relieve the pressure, if it hisses, there’s fuel, if not, no fuel” I pushed it in with my car key. It blew out with enough pressure to knock my hand back and launch my key about 5 feet away from me. I didn’t know what hit me it was so hard. At first I thought I burned my hand and then I realized I’d actually frozen it (and this was winter to boot). It was about 10 minutes before it warmed up again and probably 2 hours before it felt normal. I contemplated going to the hospital but it looked normal so I figured it would be okay after a while.

Probably not as bad as boiling water, but it still hurt like hell. Oh, and like your sock, it got on my sweatshirt so it took a few extra seconds to boil while it was being held against my skin by my wrist (and my sweatshirt stunk for the rest of the day).

A few weeks ago I was telling a forklift mechanic about that and he said that he normally uses a screwdriver to do that. I thought I was an idiot for even attempting it but he assured me that as long as you keep your hand out of the way and are aware that it’s going to happen with that much force (which I wasn’t, at all) it’s not a big deal.

I can’t tell from the OP whether the solo cups were placed in the microwave, but just to add to cautionary tales, don’t do that, either. I’ve seen someone put their doubled-up Starbucks cups in there to reheat and the bottom portion of the second cup, where there’s a little empty space and no liquid, apparently superheated and caught fire.

I can help you with that problem - dishwashing detergent (for handwashing, not dishwashers) poured straight on the grease stain and rubbed in well, then wash in hot water. I’ve had great success with this method. :slight_smile:

Sorry about your burns, astro. I hate burning myself - burns hurt like a mofo! Well, unless you take off all the layers of skin, I guess, and I don’t want that, either.

When I was five, I wanted to look into the pot where my Grandmother was boiling eggs. I wasn’t tall enough to see down into the pan, so I turned it towards me.

Luckily I wasn’t wearing a shirt, so the only third degree burns were at the waistline of my pants where the water soaked in and stayed in contact with my skin for longer.

NEVER assume that your kids can’t or won’t reach up to the stove in your absence. It happens all the time.

Somehow I wasn’t scared off from food preparation for life; as early as second grade my mother would call if she was working overtime and walk me through making the pot roast or whatever (with me dragging a chair and the long phone cord around the kitchen). I’ve actually somehow ended up with a lifelong love of cooking. AND a healthy respect for the inherent dangers.

Ouch, sorry that happened to you.

Water doesn’t have to boiling to be dangerous either. A couple of weeks ago I got a severe second degree burn on the back of my hand after spilling coffee on it from our coffee pot. It’s not a fancy pot that superheats either. Just a bog standard $20 coffee maker from walmart.

A few years ago I was making a recipe which called for a cup of boiling water. I used an adjustable measuring cup with no handle. There is no way to lift it when it’s full to the brim without spilling a little. Ouch!

Yuuuup, that hurts like a bitch. I dumped an entire hot pot of boiling water on to the top of my left foot…in a sock. Skin came off with the sock. Single most painful thing I’ve ever endured.

I did some water-bath canning yesterday (lemon/bay pickled asparagus, and mango salsa), and this involves a deep pot of water so that the jars have at least an inch of boiling water above the tops of the lids. And lots of sanitizing the empty jars in boiling water, with an inevitable rush of water upwards after an empty jar is plunged into boiling water (with said splash of water hitting me in the wrist fairly often). The occasional jar tipping over in the bottom of the pot and I try to fish it out with just-barely-too-short tongs. Really, it’s a wonder I don’t have any blisters today. :smack:

I’ve definitely had my share of blistered hands from hot water spills/splashes, or super-hot steam.

jar tongs are well worth having for control and safety. also good a magnet wand for rings and lids.

That was with jar tongs, sadly. :smack: Just a very deep pot - I was canning a couple quart jars so it had to be really tall, and then I kept the pot and the same water level for some pint jars.

I’m always super careful to avoid steam-burns when microwaving something (like those steamed broccoli pre-packs). I’d rather wait 5 more minutes before eating than risk it! Because steam burns hurt like a mother :frowning:

(Please may I have your recipe for pickled asparagus?)

The most painful burn I can remember was from a cheap cigarette lighter which “popped” in my hand just as I struck the flint. Luckily I wasn’t lighting a cigarette, so it wasn’t near my face, but it certainly did a number from the tip of my thumb to the first knuckle of my index finger. I can remember sobbing with pain as I tried to sleep with my hand against the cold metal frame of my bed.

I sometimes use a broiling pan as a steamer if things are big. Just put the liquid on the bottom, and put the stuff on the top and cover with tin foil.
Carrying a shallow pan full of liquid is a very good way to deliver said liquid directly into your crotch.
Also pouring boiling water onto your crotch is a very good way to drop a hot broiling pan onto your feet as well.

I now just cut the foil and remove the food with tongs until it cools.

Well, it was for green or yellow string beans, but my attempt last year with green beans turned out so yummy that I had to give it a try wih asparagus. Use pencil-thin asparagus, trim stalks off to fit the jars. (If you’re short on spears, fill in the gaps in the jars with nice, thin stalks.) I used pint and quart jars, but Ball Canning has re-released their tall, skinny pint-and-a-half jars which are good for this purpose.

Lemon and Bay Leaf Pickled Green/Yellow Beans
(From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)


2 3/4 c water
2 c white vinegar
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tbsp pickling salt
2 1/4 lbs fresh green or yellow beans, trimmed
8 bay leaves
4 tsp whole black peppercorns
8 strips lemon peel


Use a large (6-8 qt) non-reactive heavy pot, made of stainless-steel, enamel, or with nonstick coating. Add water, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Turn heat to medium-high and boil. Stir frequently until sugar and salt dissolve. Add beans; return to boiling for 1 minute. Remove beans but keep the liquid. Return liquid to a simmer; cover.

Meanwhile, sanitize 4 pint jars (and lids) in boiling water bath. Pack hot beans lengthwise into the jars. Add 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp peppercorns, and 2 strips of lemon peel to each.

Add liquid over beans in jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles, using a chopstick or other method.

Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (make sure jars are fully submerged by at least an inch; start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars and cool on wire racks.

Thank you! Asparagus season should be here at any moment - I’ll let you know how it goes!

Doesn’t even have to be boiling.

I once had a zone control valve in a hot water heating system fail on me. Because the guy to my right didn’t move fast enough, I was pinned in front of a 1 inch pipe shooting 190F water onto my chest.

By the time I got my sweatshirt (nice and absorbent) off, half the skin on my chest from waist to shoulder and most of the skin on my right arm peeled off with the shirt…