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How to Safely Set Food on Fire
Pay attention to what kind of alcohol you use. It should be 80 proof (things below that won't usually ignite).
Most brandy, cognac and rum fit the bill, but not Bacardi 151.
Don't heat the alcohol first. Doing so could make the liquid burst into flames before you want it to. Stick to room temperature.
Next: The importance of using a measuring cup
Never pour directly from the bottle onto the thing you're igniting. Measure the alcohol out carefully into another container first. And use the amount the recipe calls for. This isn't an instance where "if a little is good, a lot is great" since too much alcohol would be a fire hazard and would also give the food an overwhelming alcoholic taste.
If you're adding alcohol to a pan that's on top of the stove, always pull the pan off the heat first. Either turn the burner off or slide the pan away from the heat. It'll ignite when you put the pan back on the burner, or you can use a long match.
Have a lid ready. If the flames are higher than you want them to be, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid. That will put the flames out right away.
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