Your appliances probably get a workout during the holidays. There are pies to bake, side dishes to heat and lots of leftovers to store. It's hard to imagine how you'd do all these tasks without your stove, microwave and refrigerator. To make sure that you get the most out of your appliances as the holiday season approaches, use these steps to prepare and maintain your kitchen.
Take your oven's temp
If you've noticed that your meals aren't cooked thoroughly in the suggested baking time, you should check your oven's temperature. Real Simple magazine explained that ovens commonly run up to 25 degrees too hot or cool as they get older. If this is the case, you'll need to make adjustments in temperature settings or cooking times to ensure your holiday dishes are just right. To test your oven, place an oven-safe thermometer on the middle rack and turn the appliance on to 300 degrees. When the preheat light turns off, carefully remove the thermometer and check the temperature. If it's too low, you'll need to set the oven a little bit higher or cook your foods a little longer, or the opposite if the temperature is too high.
Declutter the fridge
Take some time before a family gathering to clean out your fridge and make room for new leftovers. If you end up stuffing the refrigerator to its limits or leaving the door open for 15 minutes while you rearrange all your plastic containers, you'll compromise the effectiveness of the appliance. To cut down on wasted space, Good Housekeeping recommended stashing leftovers in square, stackable containers and using single-serving bags whenever possible. If you have a lot of one particular dish, store half of it in the freezer so it doesn't go bad before you can eat it.
Clean the stove top
There's no way to avoid all splatters and spills on your stove top, so be diligent about cleaning up messes after holiday feasts. Remove the grates and wash them in hot soapy water to get rid of any caked-on food. While the grates are drying, you can clear any blockages in the burners of a gas stove with a paperclip to keep the heat even. Finally, wash down the surface of your stove with a damp sponge or cloth to wipe off any grease.
The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage."
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