Generally speaking, working in the kitchen is dangerous work. With all those sharp knives, erstwhile blenders, the always dangerous Mandolin slicer, and not to mention that hot stove, accidents are bound to happen. Well, one Redditor, who we'll call Denise, had a kitchen mishap of her own at work, though she only had herself to blame. As an experienced chef, she should have known better than to improvise her own fryer, and she definitely shouldn't have made the deadly combination of 600-degree oil and water. Some things just don't mix, as Denise learned the hard way.
This Is One Fiery Experience She’ll Never Forget
Generally speaking, working in the kitchen is dangerous work. With all those sharp knives, erstwhile blenders, the always dangerous Mandolin slicer, and not to mention that hot stove, accidents are bound to happen. Well, one Redditor, who we’ll call Denise, had a kitchen mishap of her own at work, though she only had herself to blame. As an experienced chef, she should have known better than to improvise her own fryer, and she definitely shouldn’t have made the deadly combination of 600-degree oil and water. Some things just don’t mix, as Denise learned the hard way.
She Didn’t Let The Lack Of A Deep Fryer Slow Her Down
At the golf club where Denise worked as a chef, they had a weekly tradition set up by the head chef. Every week, the chefs took turns working the BBQ during lunch. This way, according to the head chef’s logic, the other chefs could “make their own menu to practice creating their own stuff and preparing it, under the supervision of the chef, of course.”
This week was Denise’s turn to take control of the BBQ helm. She had a brilliant idea for what to make for lunch: deep-fried tuna burgers. There was only one problem – the golf club didn’t have a deep fryer on hand for her to use. That was ok, though. Denise had improvised deep fryers before and she’d gotten her plans okayed by the head chef, ironically because she was usually so careful “with this kind of stuff,” so she was confident that she could pull this off without a hitch. She probably should have turned that confidence down a bit, considering the harrowing adventure this seemingly mundane act would spark.
She Got All Caught Up In Her Prep Work
Denise went out to where the BBQ was set up on an outdoor patio. She had plenty of counter space to work with, a refrigerator, a plate heater, and a parasol. The day was unseasonably cold, however, and Denise correctly guessed that she wouldn’t have too many guests braving the elements to come outside.
Denise started up the BBQ and set her improvised fryer, which was filled with oil, on the corner of the BBQ. To keep herself busy, she decided to work on some of the evening prep. Time flew as she cut up veggies “and all that” and before she knew it, two hours had passed by. She’d completely forgotten about the fryer, but the smell of burning oil soon jogged her memory.
She Didn’t Register The Smell Of Burning Oil
The smell of burning oil wafted past Denise’s nose, but she was so caught up in her work that she didn’t even notice. It wasn’t until she went to the fridge to put the cut vegetables away that she realized something was amiss. As soon as she opened the refrigerator doors, she spotted her tuna burger patties, sitting innocently on the shelf. “Now, we’re not in a cartoon,” Denise wrote, “we’re in real life. But I swear I must have pulled a face that would have been no stranger on an animated character.” This was the moment that the heated oil smell began to really sink in.
Denise didn’t even want to turn around to face the fryer, she just knew that it would be really bad. She took a moment to psyche herself up. “I know what to do, I told myself. I clenched my teeth, fully prepared to face a raging fire.” Denise spun around, her eyes already scanning the surroundings for something to smother the fire with. Luckily for her, there was no huge fire yet, only a hint of small, licking flames and plenty of thick, black smoke. Denise breathed a small sigh of relief, but she shouldn’t have felt so reassured.
She Was Determined To Keep The Guests From Knowing What Was Going On
With sweaty palms and a racing heart, Denise quickly grabbed a metal plate and slammed it on the top of the fryer to smother the fire. The fire wasn’t out quite yet, so Denise knew she’d have to do something. She knew the one thing she should never do was throw water into the fryer. That was the only certainty in her mind as her thoughts whirled around in a panic. In this state of mind, she completely forgot to turn off the BBQ.
Denise took a moment to look around, trying to subtly check to see if anybody had noticed her little mishap. Despite the cold, there were a few people outdoors and close enough to see what was going on. She was happy to discover that no one was paying her any attention at all, but their presence only added to her anxiety. She swore to herself that she would do whatever it took to keep the guests from realizing that anything was amiss. This would prove to be Denise’s downfall.
She Thought She Picked The Best Option
The metal plate Denise had covered the fryer with was blackening at a rate that alarmed her, so she knew she had to get rid of that oil before something really bad happened. She looked around for somewhere to dump it. “Floor is out, flower bed is also out, and I was not going inside the building with it. So I kept frantically searching for a place until my eyes settled on the sink.”
Any reasonable person could list several reasons why the sink would be a bad place to pour boiling hot oil, but Denise wasn’t exactly in a reasonable state of mind.
With her course of action plotted out, Denise snapped into action. “I thought no more. To me, the sink was the best solution. I literally launched myself on the pot and wrapped my hand around it.” This would prove to be disastrous in more ways than one.
She Could Only Stand There And Watch
Denise quickly twirled to the sink, which was only about two feet away from the BBQ. She let the fryer drop and as soon as she did, she felt a sickening sensation in her hand right as the full implications of her actions hit her. “As soon as the pot leaves my hand with a sickening sound of skin tearing off, I realize just how stupid the idea was. How incredibly imbecile I just happened to be to think that a sink would be a great idea. And as I proceed to call myself every name I knew, I actually was sort of amazed at the amount of cuss and expletive I know.”
Time seemed to slow down as she watched the pot complete its descent into the sink. Denise thought that death was imminent. “There’s this clang of metal on metal, a single second of silence, and then WHOOSH, the very air seemed to take fire all of a sudden.”
The Fire Was Bigger Than She’d Expected
All Denise could feel was an intense heat on her face as a fireball shot straight up from the sink to the parasol overhead, leaving behind a huge hole. As quickly as it appeared, the fire disappeared.
“I simply stood there, sort of thankful and stunned at the idea of being alive and, to the best of my knowledge, relatively unscathed.” Denise was almost impressed with how big of a fireball she produced. It had been big enough to attract the attention of the guests sitting outside. One man stood up and cautiously called out, “You okay there?”
Despite her blackened face and burnt hand, Denise shot a thumbs up the man’s way and called back, “I’m amazing, man! Thanks!”
At this point, Denise realized that her hand really hurt. “I feel like crying and the adrenaline is still coursing through my body, giving huge tremors to my hand. But I grit my teeth, mask the pain and start shuffling around, putting out the fire.” Though the fire was out, Denise’s trial was far from over.
When The Pain Kicked In, It Didn’t Mess Around
By the time the fire was completely out, Denise was in agony. “My hand was now burning really intensely, not just inside where I knew skin is missing from sticking to the handle of the pot. The pain was also emanating from the sides and generally everywhere up to the elbow. I look at it, and I see the skin just peeling off around a good part of it.”
Every ounce of adrenaline left Denise’s body, leaving her feeling exhausted and totally shaken up. She let out a wordless gurgle of pain and finally admitted to herself, “I couldn’t do this anymore.” She’d tried her hardest to put on a brave face, but she was in seriously bad shape, so she headed into the main kitchen where she’d have to come face to face with the head chef, who would no doubt have some harsh words for her.
She Couldn’t Believe Her Coworker’s Reaction
Denise rushed to the kitchen, where she ran into one of her coworkers. With only a quick glance up at her as she entered the room, the coworker said, “Oh great! I was just about to go fetch you out. I made pasta, you want them browned?” Denise must have made some sort of noise because her coworker turned sharply to look at her more closely. As soon as he did, he burst out into laughter. Denise had no idea what to do at this point. “I was cradling a pretty heavily burned hand, tears were streaming down my face from the pain, and my coworker was just laughing his butt off.”
This little commotion caught the attention of the sous chef, who was just coming into the kitchen. As soon as the sous chef took one look at Denise’s face, his expression turned to horror. He rushed at her, grabbing her by the shoulders, and asked, “What HAPPENED to you?!”
Denise was in far too much agony to give a clear answer. “The only thing I could say, in all my misery was: ‘I’m sorry, I think I burned the parasol out there.'”
The sous chef tugged her over to the sink, turned on the cold water, and shoved her hand underneath the soothing stream. The coworker who’d laughed earlier clearly had a change of heart. He went and borrowed a compact mirror from one of the waitresses so Denise could take a look at herself. “Shouldn’t have laughed, but I couldn’t help it,” he said as he handed it over, his expression thoroughly apologetic. When Denise looked at herself in the mirror, she didn’t even recognize herself.
She Barely Recognized Herself In The Mirror
Not only was her face completely blackened, but Denise was horrified to see that her eyebrows and eyelashes were completely gone! She looked completely disheveled. After nearly every employee had made their way back to the kitchen to get a look at Denise’s face, she went to the hospital. There they gave her an antibiotic ointment to put on it and told her to keep it clean. Ironically, it took longer for her to grow back her eyebrows and eyelashes than it did for her hand to heal.
Although she’d been dreading what her boss would say to her about the incident, the head chef didn’t actually have anything negative to say. In his mind, she’d been punished enough to make the lesson stick. “My boss just told me that the wounds were part of the experience and more than enough to make me remember to NEVER EVER mix oil and water.” The rest of the staff gave Denise a bit of a hard time, but it was all in fun. Funnily enough, even two years after the incident, the burned parasol is still up, hole and all.