NPR : News

Filed Under:

Disposable Pans Can Cook More Than The Christmas Goose

For no muss or fuss clean-up, a disposable aluminum roasting pan seems like a great way to reduce holiday home chef stress. But beware: Burn specialists say many such pans aren't built to handle the oversized birds or other hunks of meat on your menu.

"These pans bend and tip really easily, and we see the serious results," says Lenore Ammons, a head nurse at the Burn Center at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. On reason why this type of burn is so dangerous is that grease sticks to the skin and burns longer than something like water, which is more likely to roll off the skin.

Ammons and her colleagues were so alarmed by a 41 percent spike in grease-related burns they saw around the holidays in 2004 that they teamed with the local firefighters to create a cautionary video. (Warning: The burns pictured are tough to see.)

They also published their data in the journal Injury Prevention last year.

"What makes things worse, is that often the people who are doing the cooking –- older women — are least likely to heal well," says Burn Center surgeon Jeffrey Shupp. "If you're a grandma with a frail skin, and maybe diabetes, a grease burn like this isn't just painful, it can require amputation."

There's a simple solution, Shupp and Ammons say: Use a sturdy pan (check the weight it's designed to hold to make sure the bird matches the pan). And put a rimmed cookie sheet beneath it in the oven to make lifting easier and help catch leaks and splashes.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.
WAMU 88.5

World Leaders Meet For The UN Climate Change Summit In Paris

World leaders meet for the UN climate change summit in Paris to discuss plans for reducing carbon emissions. What's at stake for the talks, and prospects for a major agreement.


Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.