From cooking a feast to cleaning up and storing the leftovers, Thanksgiving is a time when your appliances work overtime. Having an appliance break during the holidays is a huge inconvenience, and might even make it impossible to host your Thanksgiving dinner. Keep your appliances running perfectly and get your party off without a hitch with these tips.
Skip the self-clean.
Unfortunately, the self-clean cycle is one of the biggest culprits for broken ovens during the holidays. We recommend that you don’t use the self-clean feature up to 2 weeks prior to the holiday. This will give you time to schedule a repair before the big day, if necessary. If you’re within the 2 week window, but you must have your oven cleaned, then use an oven cleaner instead.
Why does the self-clean cycle break ovens? The self-clean feature can raise the oven temperature to 1000 degrees, causing certain components (such as fuses and thermostats) to fail. To completely avoid disaster, your best bet is to wait to use the self-clean feature until after the holidays. If the oven really needs to be cleaned, try this non-abrasive method below:
Use vinegar steam to clean your oven. Put a bowl of white vinegar in the oven and turn it to 270F. After the oven is preheated, turn it off without opening the door and let it sit for several hours. Then you can open it up and wipe off the food residue without any elbow grease needed.
Go easy on your dishwasher.
Don’t use too much soap. Overloading the soap dispenser doesn’t give you extra scrubbing power – it just clogs up the drain or produces too many bubbles.
Do scrape off your plates before you put them in the washer. Too much food will clog the drain. But at the same time, don’t hand-wash your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. The enzymes in the soap need a little bit of food present to activate. Just scrape off everything that might cause a clog, and let the machine take care of the rest.
Load your refrigerator right.
Prior to the holiday, make a plan to create smart storage. If you don’t already have a variety of Tupperware sizes, invest in an assortment of containers to accommodate large and small quantity leftovers. (Gallon size bags also make for great, inexpensive leftover storage, and they take up less space).
When storing food, place foods that you don’t want to freeze near the front of the refrigerator and foods that can freeze near the back. Since you’ll have the refrigerator so packed, you will likely have items close to the air duct, which is the coldest area in the refrigerator.
Finally, make sure to check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer before Turkey Day so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises on Black Friday. The thermometer in your refrigerator should be at least 40F, but ideally around 35F. The freezer should cool to 0F.