Kitchen aprons are a staple in most homes, but when is the last time you actually wore one? Or even saw a family member wear one? Most people wrongly assume the only purpose an apron serves is keeping their clothes clean from the food they are cooking up. You may be shocked to learn just how important it is to wear an apron whether cooking for your family at home or cooking for hundreds of customers in your restaurant.
Avoid the Mess and Remain Safe
Sure, an apron will keep you from staining your favorite shirt with spaghetti sauce and all the other oils and messes that inhabit any given kitchen. They can also help you strain the noodles without the fear of burning yourself with the boiling water, though. A properly fastened apron provides an extra line of defense against extremely hot foods and substances for you or your restaurant team. Aprons not only prevent a hot spill from burning you, but they can help keep loose and untucked clothing away from stovetops and open flames, thus aiding in the prevention of kitchen fires.
Keep Your Meals Clean and Healthy
What you eat goes directly into your body, and we all know that keeping food germ-free is difficult and there is always a small risk of ingesting harmful particles. Think about all the places you go, all the things you touch, and all the things that touch you; now think about how you are always sure to wash your hands before you handle food. Your clothes come in contact with much of the same stuff throughout the day, but most people would never consider changing shirts or washing their clothes just to cook dinner. Aprons, however, can protect you, your family, and/or your customers from such germs by preventing any particles and germs on your clothes from fleeing to your plates, pots, and pans.
Encourage Family Bonding
Aprons are just as important for the children in your family when you all gather to prepare meals. The little ones get their clothes dirty too, probably even more-so, and they should be taught from an early age about proper cooking methods, including attire. Family time in the kitchen can be very special and fun, but make sure to keep your safety and health standards high by suiting the younger chefs up with their own aprons.
Choosing the Right Apron
We would venture to say most people also overlook the fact that multiple types of aprons exist for different purposes! The traditional apron we all think of that is worn around the neck, tied at the waist, and covers from the chest down to the knees is called a bib apron. This is the most common type of apron, and it provides protection for nearly the entire front of your body. In restaurants, however, you may see the entire staff sporting different kinds of aprons that run from waist height down to or below their knees. These can be classified into three categories: 4-way aprons, bistro aprons, and bar aprons. Many chefs prefer a 4-way apron because it provides four layers of clean surfaces on which they can wipe their hands before changing. The bistro apron can be found on most wait staffs as it runs down past the knees providing protection from spilled food and sometimes has a pocket or two for a notepad and pen. Finally, bar aprons are generally shorter than bistro aprons (knee-length) and are classified by the number of pockets they have, and they are used not only in restaurants by some waiters and waitresses but also in all kinds of labor industries where many pockets can be helpful to keep tools around one’s waist. If you run a restaurant, you may need several of each for your kitchen staff, but if you are looking for personal, home use then the bib apron might prove to be serviceable in all jobs.
While you may have thought of your apron at home as nothing more than a wall decoration, we hope that this article has shed some light upon the safety implications that come with actually taking it down from its hook and wearing it!