Getting Your Kitchen Ready for Thanksgiving

Prepare your kitchen for Thanksgiving. Follow these simple tips to save time, energy and a great deal of stress, allowing you to simply relax and enjoy the day.

Turkey sitting on oven

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and along with it, comes great food, great company and a LOT of time spent in the kitchen. Especially if you’re the one hosting the holiday entertaining on the big day. 

You’ll be doing a lot of cooking, warming up, freezing, storing, etc., which can up your stress level and lessen your enjoyment in the holiday. It doesn’t have to be like this. Follow these simple tips and you’ll save time, energy and a great deal of potential angst, allowing you to simply relax and enjoy the day.

Appliance Maintenance

Make sure your oven isn’t losing heat.

 If your oven door doesn’t seal properly, you could be losing over 70% of its heat. Inspect the seal for breaks, tears or abnormalities and look for possible leaks. If you spot a problem, replace the seal, which is available for purchase at most home improvement stores.  

Check your exhaust fan

Is it working properly? This is important, as you'll be simultaneously using your oven and stove top and will need maximum ventilation. If you hear rattling, make sure the fan is securely bolted to the hood and any filter is installed correctly. If your fan is no longer working, refer to the manufacturer's manual and check all wiring connections and fuses. If the motor has burned out and you must replace your fan, make sure you identify the correct part number when ordering a new one.

Organize your refrigerator for maximum efficiency

A clean, tidy refrigerator and an organized freezer will make after-dinner leftover storage easier, but keep the following in mind while loading it: Your fridge will likely be packed, meaning airflow will be more limited than usual. Foods that can safely freeze should go closer to the back of the refrigerator, where the cold air duct is located. Place foods that should not freeze closer to the door, where the air will be warmer. 

Give your icemaker some attention

 Ice can become polluted with flavors from all the food in both the freezer and refrigerator (unless they have separate climate controls). Avoid nasty-tasting ice and/or running out of ice by following these tips a few days ahead of time:  Empty out the compartment and allow it to fill with fresh ice, pack the fresh ice into sealable plastic bags, then store the sealed ice (now protected from circulating air) on a freezer shelf.

Don’t forget to clean your microwave

Keeping your microwave in good working order is  essential as you’ll most likely be doing a lot of reheating: Cleanliness takes no time at all. Simply give it a good wipe down on the inside, and if you have a rotating plate, make sure it’s on the track and functioning properly.  

Be kind to your dishwasher

This is your post-meal workhorse, so make sure it’s working at top efficiency. Use the proper amount of soap, scrape off all food scraps and properly load the dishwasher.

Follow the above tips and not only will your kitchen be ready for Thanksgiving — so will you! 

General Kitchen Maintenance

Cleaning kitchen counters for Thanksgiving

Clear off kitchen counters

This is the best and easiest place to start, to lose the clutter and boost your momentum. Load dishes in the dishwasher, clear away bills and other paperwork, give the counter a good wipe down and there you have it: A nice, clean spot to plan your Thanksgiving menu. 

Clean oven/stovetop

 Did you know there’s a system to cleaning your oven? Wipe down the stove top with a commercial cleaner or go toxic free with vinegar and water. Remove the racks and clean off any loose grime from the oven’s bottom and walls. With a paste made from baking soda and water, clean the really dirty areas. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then scrub with warm water and rinse clean.                           

Declutter drawers and cabinets.

You’re going to need the extra space, so throw out any old food and wipe down the shelves. It’s a good idea to give yourself some extra drawer space for any additional tableware.

Vacuum carpets and floors.

This is a relatively easy task, but an important one. Direct your attention to the areas your guests will actually see, like the kitchen, family room and living room. And keep in mind, if you’re using a vacuum, use a hard floor attachment to avoid scratching or dulling the floor’s finish. And for stains — save money by making your own stain remover

Follow the above tips and not only will your kitchen be ready for Thanksgiving — so will you!  

One more thing: did you know that an American Home Shield® Home Warranty Plan helps cover many of the items homeowners insurance leaves out?  Things like major components of home systems and appliances, - so you can rest easy and be “holiday ready” this Thanksgiving, knowing you're ready for whatever breakdowns may occur.



AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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New Jersey Residents: The product being offered is a service contract and is separate and distinct from any product or service warranty which may be provided by the home builder or manufacturer.