Four Ways to Streamline Holiday Cooking, According to Our Editors
From decluttering your refrigerator to clearing off your countertops, these genius tips will help you stay organized this season.
Find out what's been happening in the world of 42 burners, aka our test kitchen, with our weekly series.
Regardless of whether you're cooking in a small space or a gourmet kitchen, managing holiday cooking is no easy feat. Between preparing a turkey and several sides for Thanksgiving and baking dozens of treats for a cookie swap in December, a lot of your time will be spent in the kitchen during the holiday season. We asked our editors to share their tips for how to keep a home kitchen organized during the most wonderful time of the year.
Stage Your Cooking Essentials
What do you reach for most at the stove? We're guessing the salt and pepper grinders and your bottle of olive oil. To shift into high gear for the holidays, borrow this idea from Living creative director Abbey Kuster-Prokell: Arrange them on a small lazy Susan, along with pinch bowls of salt and pepper—for single-handed sprinkling—and fancier finishing salts, as seen above. You can also nestle in a crock of utensils. All that's left to do is take your mini mise en place for a spin.
Stow It Away
"Stow appliances you won't need, like your toaster or blender," says deputy food editor Greg Lofts. By tucking away these gadgets, you will maximize your counter space and make your kitchen look neater. Plus, it saves room for other appliances that might get more of a work out this time of year, such as a stand mixer or an Instant Pot.
Clean the Fridge
Before stocking up on all of the ingredients you'll need for Thanksgiving, give your refrigerator a thorough cleaning and discard any old food. "Go through your fridge, freezer, and pantry and toss anything that's expired and combine anything open that you have multiples of," says editorial director of food Sarah Carey. Doing so will create space for make-ahead side dishes, fresh produce, and plenty of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers.
Stack and Store
Our food editors use restaurant-style pint and quart containers ($17.91, amazon.com) for food prep, meal transport, leftovers—you name it. Buy a pack and put them to work: "Get a head start on cleaning and shopping for ingredients and put them in tubs grouped by recipe in the fridge," says Sarah. "This way, when you start cooking, everything is together and at hand."