Have you heard of the Thanksgiving Murphy’s Law? Anything that can go wrong with your turkey, will, especially with your entire family and a group of friends gathered in your home.
The solution is simple. For the tastiest turkey and most succulent stuffing, be sure to do some quick kitchen maintenance to ensure your appliances are working properly before you start cooking.
From turkey to green beans to pumpkin pie, your oven is there for you through every course. Here’s how to make sure it’s running on all cylinders.
DO: Make sure your oven temperature gauge is working properly. Place an oven thermometer at the center of the oven and set the oven to 350F.
After 15 minutes, check the temperature on the thermometer. If it’s not within 5 degrees, you'll need to adjust the oven's temperature control. If you’re pressed for time, you can simply tweak the oven setting required in your recipe to match your oven’s actual temperature.
DON’T: Don’t self-clean your oven the day before Thanksgiving. We know it seems counterintuitive, but self-cleaning can cause damage to the temperature gauges of electrical ovens. Just give the oven a good old-fashioned wipe down and save the heavy-duty cleaning until after the turkey is basted and baked.
For many, mashed potatoes are the crown jewels of the Thanksgiving feast. To ensure this dish is delicious, don’t be stingy on the butter and make sure your cooktop is working like a charm.
DO: If your electric stove burners are caked with spots from former tenants, it’s time for a quick clean. Remove the burners when they’re cool and wipe them down with a warm, damp cloth and mild dish soap. Be careful not to get any part of the electrical connection wet and don’t submerge the burners! Let them completely dry before cranking up the heat. NOTE: Refer to your owner’s manual for help safely removing electric coils.
DON’T: Don’t start cooking before you’ve inspected your gas burners. Clogged burners are a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and associated injuries. So, gently unclog each “port” in the burner with a straight pin or open paper clip. Your owner’s manual can provide more details on how to care for your specific cooktop.
The best part about Thanksgiving is that it’s the holiday that keeps on giving, so make sure your refrigerator is ready for leftovers.
DO: Locate your drip pans under the refrigerator and clean them. Then, vacuum dust off the coils (located under or behind your fridge depending on the model). Why is this important? A fridge with caked coils requires about 25% more energy to function properly than one with a clean underbelly.
DON’T: Don’t put your sweet potato casserole into the fridge until the dish is properly cooled and covered. Your fridge is an energy hog and uses 15% of your home’s total power. Don’t make it work harder than it needs to!