Paranoid? How to Remember Turning Off the Oven

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

We can’t count the number of times we’ve merrily left the house only to be struck an hour or two later with the sudden thought, “Did the oven get turned off?” The worry that we left it on plagues us until we finally get home and dash to the kitchen to find…yup. We did! Here are a few tricks to help us all stop fretting!

This worry about leaving the stove or oven on is largely unmerited. It’s just that it’s so automatic to turn the oven off after cooking that we hardly realize we’re doing it. And then we can’t remember later if we’ve actually done it or not!

The key is to take a moment to really notice what we’re doing. Try one (or all!) of these things as you’re turning off the stove or oven:

Say it out loud: “I’m turning off the oven now!”

Say something completely random, like “Bubblegum!” or clap your hands a few times. You’ll remember saying the silly word or the act of clapping even if you don’t remember turning off the stove.

Watch your hand as you turn the knob and focus on the fact that it’s now turned off.

Put a rubber band around the knob when you start cooking. When you turn the oven or stove off, put the rubber band around your wrist or in your pocket.

Get in the habit of a last-minute kitchen check. Just before you leave, go in the kitchen and touch all the knobs to make sure everything is off.

Do you have another trick that works for you?