While it’s a festive time of year you spend celebrating with family and friends, Thanksgiving can be stressful and expensive, especially for the person in charge of cooking. There’s the unavoidable cost of ingredients, but even the process of cooking, baking, broiling and roasting pushes your energy bills sky high. Pursue these top five gadgets to make Thanksgiving cooking easier and more affordable this year.
They’re a lifesaver when it comes to cooking multiple dishes at once. Equip your kitchen with several digital timers and set them for precisely the right amount of time each food item needs to cook.
To save energy and make cooking easier, put multiple dishes in the oven at once. As long as the temperature requirement varies by no more than 25 degrees, you’ll be fine. Set separate timers for each dish so they don’t end up over or undercooked.
Also, if your oven doesn’t beep or buzz to let you know it’s preheated, set a timer for five to eight minutes when you turn the oven on. This reminder prevents you from forgetting to put the food in the preheated oven while you’re distracted preparing other dishes. Remember, you don’t need to preheat the oven for broiling or roasting.
This is one of those gadgets you find in every kitchen, but it’s a more useful tool for preparing Thanksgiving dinner than you might imagine. Microwave ovens consume less than half the energy conventional ovens use. They also cook food faster, which saves time. Free up the oven and stovetop by cooking baked potatoes, reheating gravy and warming rolls in the microwave.
Countertop Convection or Roaster Oven
Having a second oven on hand lets you get more cooking done in less time, but if you aren’t lucky enough to have a double oven, you can invest in a countertop version. Small convection or roaster ovens use much less energy than their larger counterparts, but they’re still fully capable of cooking large food items.
Convection ovens come in different sizes, so if you plan to cook your turkey inside, make sure you choose a large enough model. Smaller dimensions are still perfect for baked potatoes, casserole dishes and even cookies.
Roaster ovens look more like slow cookers, which are perfect for buffet style serving and keeping dishes warm for hours at a time without overcooking them. They’re perfect for roasting a turkey, ham or chicken with moist, succulent results.
You’ve liking got a lot of slicing and dicing to do in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner. Use a food processor to speed up the process of chopping vegetables, grating cheese, crushing ice, chopping nuts and mixing pie crust ingredients. It may take more electricity to complete these tasks with a machine instead of doing them by hand, but with an energy-efficient food processor, the time and physical exertion you save are well worth it.
Digital Meat Thermometer
Not sure if your turkey is done? Even if the outside is golden brown, the inside might not be fully cooked. You can’t be sure without a meat thermometer. Choose a digital variety for an instant temperature reading after sticking the probe into the bird. An analog version takes longer to deliver a reading, and all the while the oven door is hanging open and losing heat. The minimum safe internal temperature for turkey is 165 degrees.
Clearly, as long as you have the right kitchen gadgets, cooking a Thanksgiving meal doesn’t have to break the bank. Be sure to implement these tips from Mr. Electric® for the best results this upcoming holiday.