Jacques Torres' Safety Tip To Prevent Burning Yourself When Preparing Hot Food - Exclusive

We've all done it — burned ourselves with hot food. The number of times we've had to tend to our fingers after accidentally touching a scorching roll or pastry is something we'd like to forget. But worries about future burns can be a thing of the past, because Jacques Torres has a tip on how to prevent burning yourself altogether. At the now-closed Netflix Bites restaurant in Los Angeles, Tasting Table attended the "Making the Perfect Pastry" event with the "Nailed It!" host, and he was happy to share a tip to save your fingers.

During the event, Torres made some decadent and mouthwatering pastries — one of which was fried and rolled into sugar. Due to the fact that frying includes dipping your pastry in intensely hot oil, it's a pretty easy way to char some fingertips. How do you avoid this? Torres advises that you "always have a bowl of cold water" on the counter when dealing with hot food — especially if it's a fried pastry that requires you to roll it in another ingredient while still warm. And it's not just a precaution: Pre-wetting your fingers can help stave off mild burns if you touch a piece of food that's just a little too hot.

A bowl of cold water goes a long way

At this point, it's pretty much common knowledge that cool water can ease the pain of simple burns — that's what most of us instinctively do, right? But why wait until after getting burned? Jacques Torres recommends dipping your fingers in a bowl of cold water in between the process of handling hot foods, such as if you have to grab a hot croissant, dip beignets in sugar, or pick up a piece of fried dough after it's spent some time in sizzling oil.

Of course, it's not a fail-safe — having cold water on hand won't protect you the same way an oven mitt will, and it certainly won't prevent more severe burns or let you safely touch a hot stovetop or pan. But during food prep where heat-resistant gloves aren't an option, periodically dipping your fingers in cold water will aid in coating your skin so that you can avoid the dreaded hot food burn. Aside from fried pastries, you can utilize this method for any type of cooking or baking where you might have to touch a piece of food that's still on the warm side. So keep a cold bowl of water on hand as Torres suggests, and check out his other helpful cooking tips — like his advice to pastry lovers to stockpile on bench scrapers.