Get Ready!

Six Tips To Prep Your Kitchen For Cooking That Holiday Feast

by Todd Nelson // October - November - December 2022

It’s hard enough to get a big, complicated holiday feast on the table – piping hot and tasting great – with guests milling around your kitchen. The last thing you need is an unexpected disaster, so here are six risk-proofing tips to prep your kitchen before feast day arrives.

1. Clean the oven, stovetop, and vents. This reduces risks of setting off smoke alarms (or even starting a fire!); these appliances will be working overtime and getting much hotter than usual. Never run an oven’s self-cleaning cycle right before entertaining as there are big risks of generating soot, trenchant odors, changing the taste of food, and even burning out oven-heating mechanisms or melting knobs.

2. Purge and organize utensil drawers. Make sure everything is where you expect it to be, so you won’t have to go hunting for something when you’ve got pots and pans firing on all burners. Ensure everything fits easily and lies flat to avoid drawer jams. While you’re at it, inspect and sharpen knives and test your meat thermometer by calibrating it in a glass of ice water.

3. Clean the dishwasher. Inevitably (and if you’re lucky), at least one guest will offer to help clean up. Make sure your dishwasher is sparkling clean on the inside by running an empty cycle with a citrus-based solution made for removing mineral stains and other unsightly scum.

4. Clean the garbage disposal. Your nose has likely become accustomed to any subtle odors wafting up from your drain. Your guests won’t be so lucky! Pour a combination of baking soda, coarse salt, ice cubes, and lemon juice down the drain and run the disposal for several minutes with cold water. Pull out and thoroughly clean the rubber gasket part, too, as it can harbor some truly gross gunk. When cooking your feast, be super leery of what you put down the disposal; word from plumbers is that massive quantities of potato and fruit peels are the number-one reason they get called out for clogged disposals and drains on holiday feast days.

5. Purge and organize your storage-container supply. Match covers to bottoms, stack neatly by size, and discard any orphans. Doing so will help you assess whether you need to stock up on containers to stow all those lip-smacking leftovers neatly.

6. Locate and take a quick inventory of all your serving platters utensils, gravy boats, etc. This will give you plenty of time to figure out at whose house you left that oversized platter during the last year before the very moment you’re trying to get food on the table hot.

By tackling these risk-proofing tasks before the big day, you can enjoy a stress-free feast full of joy and celebration with family and friends.

Todd Nelson

Owner of MaidPro of the Triangle