Deep cuts – from the comments
May 12th, 2011
11:45 AM ET
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In response to yesterday's feature Glue the wound, skip the stitches, a few cringe-inducing anecdotes from chefs, culled from the comments.

As 30-year kitchen veteran, The People's Chef wrote, quoting Jesse Ventura, "It's not a macho thing at all...I ain't got time to bleed."

A round of shots for the kitchen, please!

When you're in the weeds, you have no time to get stitches. You're already pissed at yourself for getting cut, so you just want to get back on the line and keep cooking. My old chef used to joke (i hope he was joking) that whenever he cut himself, he'd just sear the wound on the flattop, cauterizing, and go back to work. Sure, a lot of it is about machismo, but really it comes from not wanting to let the customers, or more importantly, the other kitchen staff down. If I'm gone to get stitches, they're screwed. - Gastrodude

Currently a line cook at a popular neighborhood bistro in Chicago...I can say I will have no hesitation to cauterize a cut with a non-stick or a knife held over the flame. Compared to oil or sugar burns, contact burns don't hurt at all. - Glenn

I used to keep a box of finger cots in the kitchen. (basically latex finger condoms.) If I ever got a cut. I washed it really fast. Wrapped it a couple of times with paper towel. Put the finger cot on and wrapped the top a couple of times with waterproof tape. I was good to go even if the wound didn't stop bleeding for a few minutes. When you are staring at 10-15 tickets you don't have the option to go to the hospital or take the time to "properly" bandage your wound. - Sir Pluto

A fellow line cook once closed the door to the pizza oven on my arm while I was reaching in for a pan. I plunged my arm in ice water wrapped it up and finished the shift. The chef was angry I didn't go to the hospital for treatment, yeah right! - Thomas

Early on I went to get three stitches. I have also super glued a nasty cut that probably should have gotten stitches. Done the duct tape thing too. Sure beats waiting a lonngg time in ER. - MattS.

Got a kitchen war story to share? Serve it up in the comments below.



soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. carlacooks

    The worst thing about cuts is the blood. Getting it stopped or trapping it inside something so you can continue to work. No time to bleed.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  2. JoelB

    I've gone to the bone twice (different fingers, different days) and not bothered with stitches. Clean the cut, tape it shut. Fingers have a wonderful way of healing themselves quite quickly and the two pieces of skin/flesh will fuse back together within 48 hours if you don't mess around with it. Chefs have more scars from burns than cuts. Whereas cuts are accidents, burns are guaranteed. when you're holding a pan and faced with the choice of dropping it or a 2nd degree burn you think of a cool green field and suck it up. Completely agree with Glenn, sugar burns are the worst.

    May 13, 2011 at 3:40 am |
  3. Popeye

    Come on now! We've seen the finger picture (nice needle point btw) but where is photo of the most dangerous bourbon measuring tumbler? Is particular model from you Klingon memorabilia collection?
    May you keep your knives sharp and your tumblers toddler safe.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  4. Aaron

    I have duct taped my sous chef while he held the hand in the air and continued to saute; he has duct taped me after crushing my fingernail in the latch of a refrigerated truck. Hospital was never a consideration.

    May 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • AleeD@Aaron

      Didn't it hurt like a b!tch when the time came to take the duct tape off? I would imagine it would reopen the wound if you didn't pull it off just right.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
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