Grease Fire Safety 101: Smother, Don’t Spray – How to Properly Extinguish a Grease Fire

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Grease fires can start up in a sauté pan on the stove, under the grates of the grill or on the surface of frying oil. It is important to know how to put out these fires to save your snacks and your home!

All cooking fats have a maximum temperature they can reach before they become too hot, smoke, and eventually catch fire. A little smoke is not the end of the word, simply remove the pan from the heat until cools down. Read more about cooking fat smoke points here.

Grease Fire: Now What?

When your oil catches on fire it can send you into an all out panic. Your first reaction will be to spray it with water. That is the worst thing you can do. Spraying water at a grease fire splatters fuel onto your cooktop and walls leading to a much larger fire!

Instead, remain calm and turn the heat off but do not move the pot. Fire needs oxygen to burn which means that smothering the fire will allow the fire to consume the remaining oxygen and put itself out. We have a couple of options for that in the kitchen:

  1. Slide a metal lid or cookie sheet across the top of the pan (glass can explode under the pressure). You can also use a soaked towel on top
  2. Pour on Baking Soda – best for small fires – great in a pinch on the grill, it takes quite a bit to put out a fire and makes a mess.
    1. Do not use other baking ingredients. Flour is extremally combustible.
  3. Fire Extinguisher – This is a last resort option due to the extreme clean up you will have to go through. Every kitchen should have a functioning fire extinguisher in an easy to grab area. They release a lot of pressure so stand back.

Worse comes to worst, get out of the house and call 911. Do not be a hero.

If you are more of a visual learner, PBS Fire Rescue has a very easy to follow video on how to put out grease fires! Check it out below.

Credit PBS Fire Rescue

Prevent A Grease Fire!

The number one way to prevent a grease fire is to stay in the kitchen while you are cooking to keep from overheating or overflowing oil!

Thank you for being here and check back often! All blog posts are subject to updates with FAQ, more pictures and additional details!

I love to see and hear about your adventures in the kitchen! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram with @TheFryFarmette and #TheFryFarmette so I can cheer you on!

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