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Prepping Your Kitchen for Thanksgiving Dinner

Before the guests arrive and the meal is served, here’s what you need to know about preparing your kitchen before your upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday meals.


We use them throughout the year cooking and preparing meals, but it’s important to make sure your stove, oven, refrigerator and dishwasher are all in working order before the big day.

  • Use the self-cleaning function on your oven to clean it before Thanksgiving.
  • Clean out your refrigerator to make room for food prep and leftovers. An easy way to do this is to temporarily move your condiments, dressings and other items you’re not using for Thanksgiving into a cooler with ice in your garage.
  • Make sure your dishwasher is empty and ready to fill with dirty dishes from your Thanksgiving meal.
  • And if you’re planning on using your turkey fryer this Thanksgiving, take a look at this list of safety tips.


Gather your menu and recipes needed for your dinner. Make lists of items that you need to purchase and figure out what ingredients you already have. As a way to save counter space, utilize your cupboards as recipe stands to easily look up and see when you’re cooking, especially when cooking multiple recipes. You can use painters tape or the inside of your cupboards to avoid peeling paint or ruining the stain.


Based on your guest list, make sure you have enough plates for the main course and dessert, as well as flatware for everyone attending. It’s important to make sure you clean or polish any plates or silverware that you use for special occasions and not the every day.

It’s also important to make sure your kitchen knives are sharp and ready to carve the turkey. Good Housekeeping offers tips for sharpening and carving the main course. Of course, it’s important to be mindful of where you’re slicing and how. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand offers tips for carving the turkey…safely.


Feeling stuffed after the end of a delicious Thanksgiving feast? No worries. Since you cleared all of that extra room in your fridge, you get leftovers!

Speaking of leftovers, be sure to purchase leftover containers (for you and your guests), bags and foil or plastic wrap to send home extras, or better yet, really plan ahead and have them bring their own.


Most importantly, there are some safety tips to follow as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment, with four times the average number. Three out of five of those fires are caused by ranges or cook-tops. Additionally, keep these cooking tips in mind.

Here’s wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving and start to the holiday season. Be sure to check in with your Independent Insurance Agent to make sure your kitchen and everything else in your home is properly covered for the holidays and beyond.