Cooking phobias?

angelaidAugust 14, 2012

I am deathly afraid of pressure cookers. I've never had one in my adult life. Mom had one in the sink when I was a kid, running cold water over the top to cool it down and the lid blew off.

I know a lot of people don't deep fry at home. (I do, way too often)

I know some people absolutely will not use a crock pot because they won't leave an appliance plugged in unattended.

Any cooking/kitchen phobias?

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I have the pressure cooker phobia, but not so drastically. My mother used to make popcorn in it, and once my sister tried that but did not get the lid on properly, and so it came off during the middle of popping, and popcorn went flying all over the kitchen. It was a bit like firecrackers going off and was sort of exciting, but we didn't have any popcorn to eat.

I have a Cool Daddy deep fryer and also deep fry fairly often, but not what I consider TOO often. I do not think that all fried foods absorb that much oil, and I eat them in small quantities anyway.

I also do not have a crock pot and do not want to leave an appliance turned on unattended. My sister cooks a lot of things in a crock pot - most of them inedible for me, and this is probably what really puts me off from it. She has completely different taste in food (and decor) from me.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:04PM
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I have a deep frying phoebia, I guess. I detest the mess of stovetop frying so much I've never wanted to purchase a dedicated fryer even though logically I realize they would be less messy. We hardly ever eat fried foods & I imagine if we had the fryer we'd be eating French fries, fish/chips, etc. just to say we used the darn fryer.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:18PM
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I have a phobia about pressure cookers, too. My mom had one, and I can't remember whether it ever actually exploded, or I was just afraid that it *might* -- but I hated that hissing sound it made. You can tell me that modern PCs are totally safe, and I'll believe you, but I still won't get close to one!

(And yet, I can remember times when a shaken bottle of soda really did explode--all over the ceiling and walls--yet, I still drink my root beer. I guess phobias are not logical.)


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:23PM
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I have the pressure cooker phobia and know I will never have one. I also have a natural gas phobia. I grew up in a home with natural gas and learned to cook on it and I HATE cooking on an electric range - have for the last 45 years! But, growing up, I always could smell gas in the house; sometimes the gas heater in the living room wouldn't light, or a burner or the oven wouldn't light and I always thought the house was going to blow up. Natural gas isn't available on my street, but if it were, I'd be so conflicted about having it installed in my home. I'd want to enjoy the benefits of cooking with it, but knowing I hate the smell of it and I'd always be thinking that when I do smell it there is a leak somewhere. It's irrational, I know.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:35PM
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I actually did blow the vent off a pressure cooker and lived to tell the tale. Modern pressure cookers have all kinds of safety features to keep you from harm even when you're as bobbleheaded as I was and allow the pot to boil dry.

I also have a deep fryer which I got to make fried chicken. That's the only thing I make in it, and we eat it perhaps twice a year.

I leave slow cookers unattended as long as I'm home. I don't know why being around but not paying attention makes it safer, but I would never go out and leave it plugged in.

Friends of mine had their house burn down when their automatic coffee maker with timer turned on by itself. It was switched off, but plugged in. You could set it to start making coffee at a preset time. The timer malfunctioned and turned the coffee maker on in the middle of the day when no-one was home and there was no liquid in the machine. The house was set back surrounded by trees. No-one heard the fire alarms. Only when smoke rose above the trees did a neighbor notice. The house was completely incinerated, taking with it my Vermont woven pie basket.

As a result, I am phobic about electrical fires. I'm always nervous when I'm away and envision flames leaping into the sky around my home.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Oh dear, from a little different view point, these sound more like appliance phobias than cooking phobias. My mother didn't scare me with a pressure cooker, she didn't have one. She barely cooked :) - only when necessary. I have three pressure cookers, two of which I can in, and an electric that I cook in that is multifunctional - I also brown and slow cook in the same appliance. Love it. And I do leave the house with it plugged in, cooking. Slo cooking that is, not pressure cooking.

I think more than what I'd call phobias, I've got a lack of skill/experience in more than one cooking technique, which keeps me from trying some dishes. I learn more quickly when shown something, I'm pretty visual, and not wanting to fail or waste ingredients will keep me from something that sounds complicated on paper. Which in truth could be very simple, if I could just watch someone prepare or assemble the dish. And, nearest interesting cooking classes are an hour from here (here being my very small town), most of them two hours ...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:34PM
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Another pressure canner phobic here. My grandmother canned a lot, and she always sent us kids out of the house when she did so we'd be safe if it blew up. Now that I'm (a lot) older, I realize she was probably just getting us out from under her feet, but I still (infrequently) use my canner with fear and trembling.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Pressure cookers are nasty exploding monsters, so said my mother, and I believe her!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:48PM
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My mother only used the pressure cooker in the basement because it might explore. Never did, but I have the same fears! I've never owned one.

I have lots of fears about the dishwasher leaking (I'm in a second floor condo) and the crock pot or toaster catching fire. I only run stuff when I'm at home.

As to a more direct cooking fear, I am afraid of a grease fire on my gas stove. I think I would, unthinkingly, throw water on it in my panic--and, of course, probably kill myself in the process. I heard of someone who died this way a few years' ago.

I sometimes wonder what kind of radiation we are "really" getting by standing in front of the microwave. A mild fear.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Here is one person with no pressure cooker phobia! My mom used hers all the time when we were kids. I've used my Presto for six or more years now. Can't wait to pull it out when the weather gets cooler!

But.....after a major mess from an exploding 3 liter soda bottle about 18 years ago, I have never again had large bottles of soda in my house! There was sticky in the fridge, on the walls, on the cabinets, in the cabinets, behind the fridge, under the fridge, on the ceiling, etc. etc.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Same as most of you, pressure cookers and what triciae said about deep fryers although also gas stoves. I won't use one.

It took a long time to get over the fear of the gas grill.
Charcoal doesn't bother me at all.

Crock pots don't bother me.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I got over any fear of pressure cookers when a friend and I cooked soybeans in her canner many moons ago. The foam plugged it up and it blew soybeans all over the ceiling. Fortunately, they were cool by the time they fell...on her brand new baby who was in his infant seat on the counter. We ran...she forgot the brand new baby. I don't think she ever forgave herself for that, even though no harm was done.

I learned to read the directions, and once I started canning I knew what to expect if I didn't follow them, lol.

I absolutely hate those biscuits in a tube. The few times in my life I've used them I've made someone else pop them open. Hate jack-in-the-boxes [jacks-in-the-box?], also.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:29AM
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Just an aside to Morz8..I am always amazed at the things I can find on youtube. You mentioned you like to see someone rather than read directions and I would bet no matter what the cooking technique..someone on youtube has posted a video of it!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:52AM
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These posts are making me nervous. I never had any concern about pressure canners because they have the rocker that seems safe in it self and the little rubber blow out seal seems completely foolproof. And I have always had gas without any concerns. But now with these stories about at least electrical control failures, I am wondering if there could be issues.

On the other hand, assuming all houses have some form of heat, that heating fuel could ignite in some odd uncontrolled manner so I suppose we are all at some risk.

My one dangerous story came from my college shared flat. My room was just accross from a kitchen. A family had moved into a couple of rooms. The wife had forgotten that she was frying bacon which produced a vast enveloping smoking fog. Fortunately, the husband knew where the pot holder was and after crawling on his hands and knees was able to grab the cast iron smoking skillet and began carrying it out to the front door. As he passed my door, the moving air ignited the grease but fortunately the flames were not enough to impede him and he got down the long narrow hall and out the front door with the conflageration.

When cooking with grease or oil, I ALWAYS know where the appropriate pan or pot lid is.!!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:24AM
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We unplug small appliances like the toaster, blender, etc. after use but I consider that a normal safety procedure rather than a phobia.

I don't own a pressure cooker or a deep fryer because they're not necessary kitchen equipment for me.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:00AM
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I guess I'm one of the few that loves and uses a pressure cooker. My daughter even asked for one when she was in college because I used mine so much (at the time). I stopped on the way to her appartment and bought her one so I could show her how to use it while visiting. I was not impressed with the thin soft gasket, but used it anyway. That is the one and only time I've blown up a pressure cooker.....LOL. I had to stay an extra day to make sure all the broth was cleaned off the ceiling, walls, floor, behind the fridge, etc.. I took that pressure cooker back and later got her one with a good gasket. I will say that didn't stop either of us from using one either. She has two and I have three and we do use them.

I don't know that I have any cooking phobias. I'm not wild about leaving my roaster cooking when I leave the house but have done it but not for a long time. I have a house full of animals and am more concerned about them than the house itself. And I'm not sure I would leave with the oven on since I tend to get distracted and usually take longer than planned. I don't even go out to mow with the oven on and check on the roaster often if it's going.

I don't leave the house with the dryer running either, not even to mow.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:11AM
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I didn't think about gas grills. A good friend's father was horribly killed a few years ago when his grill exploded. I still use mine, but I stand back as far as possible when I turn it on, and then I run away for the first few minutes it burns.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:39AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Slow, that's the thing that scares me too about gas and particularly grills, that exploding thing!
What makes that happen?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Not strictly speaking cooking, but still food related. I have siphon for carbonated drinks phobia. Knew somebody who lost her eye to it.
I use pressure cookers for long time. Had several models. Really love my current one. No phobia here. I believe they are pretty safe this days.
No gas applience phobias too. Have elctric stove now, but miss my gas one. Unfortunately this is not a possible option in my house

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Never had a pressure cooker because of my Mom's fear of them. When I was very young, 1950's, her cooker blew up in the kitchen. She never would have one in the house after that. All I remember is a loud noise and mess everywhere. I don't remember what she was cooking. I use a crock pot all the time and never worried about leaving it plugged in all day. I have a deep fryer but have never used it because I am not suppose to have fried foods (though I love it!).

I absolutely love gas stoves, hate electric, and wouldn't cook on anything else. The new models with the electronic ignition are very safe today, no standing pilot. I don't like to leave anything cooking when I leave the house, even if it is just to go outside to the garden. Our house burned down when I was 5, so never forgot what that was like. A mouse chewed through very old wiring, not a cooking accident.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Nope, no phobias here. I have a crockpot which I left on all day regularly while I was at work. I do the same with my Nesco roaster when making stock or apple butter.

I use a pressure cooker and a pressure canner and don't know anyone who has been injured or killed or even scared by one, at least not personally. I've been using a pressure canner since I was about 10 or 12.

I never unplug anything, including the toaster or the coffeepot. Heck, you don't unplug the refrigerator or freezer, do you?

I leave the dishwasher running when I leave the house, same for the washer and dryer, even though I did flood the kitchen once when the dishwasher outlet got plugged and I had a kitchen fire from the dryer vent once.

I hate to grill so I don't, not because it scares me but because I'm too impatient and don't want to stand there tending the stuff, so it ends up black on the outside and raw in the middle.

I don't have a deep fryer, I'm more risky than that, LOL, I use a cast iron dutch oven full of hot grease and a themometer.

Right now I have a bushel of corn in the kitchen so I'm going to go get a really sharp knife, cut it off the cob and put it into glass jars and pressure can it. If I'm lucky I won't cut myself, break a jar or burn myself and the canner won't explode. Hopefully no one will get botulism from the final product either.

I have a gas stove. I am not very comfortable leaving it on all day as I do know a family who blew up their house doing that. Elery says the worst that would probably happen with the crockpot would be that I blow a breaker, although anything is possible.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:03PM
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I have a weird phobia of setting the smoke alarm off. I generally have lived in apartments and the smoke detector is usually pretty close to the kitchen so really hot ovens or toasters or caramelizing sugar will set it off. You don't actually have to burn anything for it to start going.

I think it bothers me because I'm so easily startled and I hate the idea of my neighbors hearing it. Or maybe a general fear that it would set off the entire building alarms or the sprinkler system!

It's a little bit irrational but now I keep my oven squeaky clean so there's no residue and I won't really turn it up above 400 degrees. I can't wait till I can own a house and get one of the heat detecting kind and not have to worry about it anymore.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:18PM
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I'm with Annie.....I leave the house all day with a slow cooking roast set at 200, I have a deep fryer, but seldom use it...more likely to use a dutch oven full of oil, Don't can, so the pressure canner is moot, did have a pressure cooker, never used it, don't like pressure cooked stuff, so I gave it to my daughter. I cook with gas, have a gas grill that occasionally goes "Whoosh!" when I light it.
Oh and I do make jams and jellies without processing...I pour the hot stuff into sterile jars and top with wax. In 45 years of doing that I have only had one jar mold....after several years on a shelf.
And I eat rare hamburger....when I know where the meat came from and nearly raw steaks, runny eggs, and slightly pink pork....but never pink slime nor commercial ground turkey.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:30PM
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I don't like pressure cookers or crock pots. I don't like food cooked to smithereens. I don't want it cooked one second longer than absolutely necessary. I have a couple of deep fryers but I also fry in a cast iron dutch oven. I don't use a thermometer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Is there a word for the opposite of "phobia"?

I am born to have a lack of the fear gene. For instance, not only that I am not fearful of pressure cookers, I actually have modified my PC to go higher in pressure.

Recently, I have succeeded in running my 110VAC blender on 220VAC to increase blending power and RPM.

Germs, dirt, pink slime, non-organic food, low temperature cooking (sous vide) --------- all OK with me.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:52AM
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@dcarch: courageous, and often in your case, technophillic; and I think you should have inserted 'organic food' into your list after 'non-organic food'!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Re antomym for phobia. I had done my best above, and I have to admit that I googled to get help. I didn't think there really was an antonym. And then on angelaids newer thread 'Loves and hates...' came this line from donna_loomis

'Maybe my parents didn't pass on their love of certain foods, but they did pass on the interest in trying everything. I am fearless.'

There it is 'fearless'. Thank you Donna

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:41PM
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I agree with Annie on all items except, leaving a clothes
dryer running when no one is at home. The number ONE
cause of home fires is lint in the clothes dryer.
And, no matter how well you think you've cleaned it out,
it's still there. Mother cleans the lint filter religiously. But when the dryer quit working, I had to
diagnose the problem. Well, I pulled the dryer from
the wall and removed the back plate. Down near the
discharge of the hot air, was about 3 pounds of lint,
(no, I am not exagerating). This was a gas dryer,
but I don't think it makes a difference as to the fuel
that operates the dryer. BEWARE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:06PM
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