How to Treat Cooking Burns

Even the most experienced chefs sometimes fumble. Accidents happen. Here’s what to do.

Accidents Happen to Everyone

Cooking can be a lot of fun, but nobody has fun when they get hurt. Maybe you tapped your wrist against the side of the oven while taking out a casserole. Maybe you burned your hand with hot water as you drained pasta. Or maybe you accidentally picked up a very hot pan. We’re human, (presumably), and accidents happen.


Treating a burn soon as possible is very important as it may help the injury to heal more quickly, it subdues inflammation, and it reduces the appearance of scarring.

But it’s important to note that we’re talking about minor burns here. If you’re inflicted with more serious burn, like a first-degree or second-degree burn, then you should consult a medical professional.

Here’s what you should and should not do if you find yourself with a (minor) cooking burn.

First Thing's First: Is Your Tetanus Vaccination Up to Date?

Minor and major burns can lead to tetanus. Tetanus is a bacterial disease and it can be prevented by ensuring that your vaccination is up to date.

Consult with your doctor if you think that you need a tetanus shot. Like the age-old idiom goes: It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Do NOT Put Ice on Your Burn

When an injury occurs, it’s almost instinctual to want to put ice on it. Resist this instinct!

In an experimental study published in the journal “Burns” in the 1990s, researchers compared soothing burns with ice to soothing burns with other remedies. Other remedies included soaking the burn with tap water.

The study found that “after an ice cube [was] applied for 10 min, [it] resulted in the most severe damage.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, applying ice to a burn may result in frostbite, due to the delicateness of the skin. Skin that is burned is especially sensitive so applying ice to it can be compared to exposing your skin to ultra-extreme weather.

Now that we told you to ditch the ice, you might be wondering what the proper treatment is…

Run Cool (Not Cold) Water Over the Burned Area


Very soon after the burn is inflicted you should run cool water over the area. This will ease some of the harsh pain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should keep the cool water running over the burned area for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

10 to 15 minutes may seem like a long time but it is necessary. The cool water will gently heal the burn from the outside in and it will also prevent the burned area from spreading and inflammation.

If Blisters Form, Don’t Pop Them

Blisters that form on a burn are usually filled with pus, but this is not the only reason why you shouldn’t pop them.

When you pop a burn blister you are further exposing your skin to harm and it can eventually cause an infection. If the blister is bothering you then you can consult your doctor and she or he can potentially take care of it for you.

Reading about health can work up an appetite. If you’re getting hungry, we have just the thing. Explore our meal kits and find the perfect fix. Accidents happen, but we can make them easier to avoid them.

“Live Long and Prosper”

If you’ve ever made a mistake in the kitchen is there a piece of advice you wish someone had shared with you? Share it with us! Start the conversation by leaving a comment or a question before.

Additional Source: Advanced Tissue