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.