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Kitchen Safety Can Be Fun: Fiery Recipes for the Home Cook

Dan Mangialardi
October 10, 2023

The kitchen can be a dangerous place, and safety is important

But instead of simply teaching you how to prevent kitchen fires, let's embrace the fiery spirit and harness it to create mouthwatering dishes; think of this blog as a delicious twist on safety education.

Guide to Kitchen Fire Safety

We've reached out to coworkers throughout our organization to bring you a collection of fire-inspired recipes, courtesy of the WSRB team. Whether you're a seasoned home chef or just starting to dabble in the culinary arts, there's something here for everyone.

Each recipe, accessible below, includes a kitchen safety tip, demonstrating how to better avoid the chance of kitchen fires. For more kitchen fire safety information, check out our comprehensive guide.

Five-Alarm Sweet Chili Pork Belly Tacos

The list of ingredients may look imposing, but we promise you'll love these tacos - equal parts savory, sweet, and spicy. 


Braised Pork

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-2 pounds pork belly, sliced into two-inch strips
  • 2 cups chicken broth (enough to cover the pork)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or castor sugar
  • 2 guajillo peppers (or the pepper of your choice), stems and seeds removed
  • 2 medium oranges, quartered
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste


Never leave your oven unattended

Stay near the kitchen for the duration of the cooking process and set a timer to remind you to  check on your food periodically – this helps to prevent overcooking, burning, and the potential  for fire. 


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Heat vegetable oil in a medium-high heat pan. Score the fat side of the pork and season generously with salt and pepper. Sear all sides until deep golden and crispy.

Add pork to a heavy-bottomed oven-safe pan with chicken broth, guajillo peppers, garlic, brown sugar, oranges (squeeze the juice into the pot first), orange zest, onion, and rice wine.

Cover with cartouche or foil and bake for 3 hours.

Remove from the oven and cool completely. Pat dry before cutting slices into thick cubes. Pan sear cubes again until crispy.

Add glaze ingredients to the pan with pork, and cook over medium heat until dark and sticky.

Serve over warmed corn tortillas and top with pickled red onions and cilantro or desired garnish.


NOTE: For a vegetarian alternative, replace braised pork with extra-firm tofu.

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire Lentil Soup

Want to have a hot meal at the end of the day but don't feel like expending too much effort? This recipe is the one for you. Simply throw all these ingredients together in a slow cooker and viola


  • 2 cups dry green lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • Garlic, to taste
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons smoky chipotle sauce, such as Secret Aardvark
  • 8 cups vegetable, mushroom, or your favorite type of broth


Proper slow cooker usage

Here are a few tips to ensure safety while using a slow cooker:

  • Avoid overfilling: leave enough space for the ingredients to expand and release steam during cooking, reducing the risk of spillage and overheating.
  • Place on a heat resistant surface: keep your slow cooker away from any flammable materials and allow proper ventilation.
  • Plug directly into the wall: slow cookers draw a significant amount of power, and using extension cords can increase the risk of overheating and electrical fires.

Always follow manufacturer instructions for proper usage and keep your appliances well maintained to avoid accidents.


Chop up onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Fire Side Salsa

Not an entire meal, but a fantastic staple to have on hand. Feel free to mess with the ratios to personalize this spicy sauce to your liking. 


  • 6 on-the-vine tomatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 20 Japones chili peppers
  • 20 Arbol chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon arbol powder (optional)


Avoid over-blending

Continuous blender use, especially when blending extremely thick foods, can increase the chances of your blender overheating. Don’t blend for more than three minutes.


In the oven, lightly roast 3 tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic. Add the Japones and Arbol chilies half way through the roasting process. 

Chop cilantro, onion, and 3 tomatoes and blend.

Blend roasted ingredients then combine with lime juice in a large bowl.

Add salt, pepper, and optional spices to the bowl and mix thoroughly.

Flaming Hot Wings

Whether Superbowl Sunday or a weekday family meal, these wings are sure to please. 


  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 24 chicken wing parts (12 wings, each separated into 2 pieces)
  • One 12-ounce bottle cayenne hot pepper sauce, such as Frank's
  • 1 stick butter
  • Several dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Several dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • Blue cheese dip, for serving
  • Celery sticks, for serving


Be prepared when frying

Always have a properly fitted lid nearby to the pan you are using. In the event of a small grease fire, carefully slide the lid over the pan to smother the flames and immediately turn off the burner. Throughout the frying process, never leave the cooking area unattended.

REMEMBER: Never use water to put out a grease fire - this will cause the grease and fire to spread. 


Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). Meanwhile, in a sturdy pot, heat canola oil to a temperature of 375°F (190°C) with about 3 inches of oil.

Begin by adding one-half of the chicken wing pieces into the hot oil. Fry them until they become a delightful golden brown and are thoroughly cooked, which should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. After frying, carefully remove them from the oil and let them drain on paper towels. Then, repeat this frying process with the remaining half of the wing pieces.

In a saucepan, gently heat the cayenne sauce and butter over medium-low heat. Add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to the mixture. Allow it to bubble up and meld together, then turn off the heat.

Arrange the fried wings in an ovenproof dish and pour the prepared hot sauce over them. Toss the wings to ensure they are evenly coated with the sauce. Place this dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Serve with blue cheese dip and celery sticks.


Dan Mangialardi, Inspection Services Supervisor, has inspected more than 5,000 buildings over the last 14 years. In addition to supervising WSRB's team of eight commercial property analysts, he conducts 200 inspections each year. He holds the International Code Council Fire Inspector II credential.

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