It’s the last thing on everyone’s mind, but the worst thing that could happen on Thanksgiving: your appliances malfunctioning. If your home is the stage for your holiday meal, your appliances are your stage crew. Keep them happy, and the show will go on.
While your recipe selection is crucial to the perfect Thanksgiving meal, those dishes can’t happen without a reliable, functioning kitchen. Avoid “pizza night” by taking a few cues from our appliance experts:
Your cooking appliances will probably work their hardest over the holidays, so take extra special care before the big day to prepare your oven and cooktop for the hard work ahead.
- Clean your oven by hand rather than running the self-cleaning function, which runs your oven extremely hot and could throw off the temperature.
- Plan your cook time with an oven thermometer. Place it on the middle rack, set the oven to 350 and wait until it warms up. If the thermometer says it’s 350, you’re good to go. If it’s off, plan your recipes accordingly.
Cleaning up after a holiday meal is just as important as the cooking part. Here are a few tips on caring for your dishwasher, garbage disposal and laundry so they’re ready for that disastrous kids’ table:
- Clean your dishwasher by removing clogged food and other debris. This will extend the lifetime of your dishwasher significantly.
- Throw food scraps in the trash or compost and avoid pouring grease down any drains.
- Rinse plates before placing them in the dishwasher and don’t overload.
- Prepare a “stain arsenal” for your tablecloths and cardigans: club soda, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and pretreatment.
And then there were leftovers. Most people don’t realize that refrigerators work their hardest when they’re stuffed to max capacity. Here are some steps on how to keep your refrigerator running at its best without breaking your bank, plus some tips on keeping those leftovers safe:
- Vacuum the condenser coils of your refrigerator to keep it running at its most efficient.
- Keep leftovers safe by letting your dishes cool off before refrigerating. Storing food in the refrigerator while still hot from the oven will create the perfect storm for harm
- Stock up on plenty of plastic containers, aluminum foil, plastic wrap and zippered plastic bags. Green tip: Reuse resealable food containers instead of buying brand-new ones.