Chatelaine Kitchen

How to set up your kitchen for success

Challenge #8: Get an organized, clean kitchen for the holidays with our month-long kitchen fix. Today's task? Check your tools and appliances to avoid last-minute malfunctions and disasters.

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How to set up your kitchen for success.

There’s nothing worse than being knee-deep in recipe prep only to discover the tools and appliances you rely on aren’t working properly. So avoid a kitchen disaster by making sure everything is in perfect working order.

1. Check: Thermometers, timers or milk-frothers alike – if it needs a battery, make sure it’s properly powered up, and replace any old batteries if needed.

2. Calibrate: It’s so important to be able to depend on your oven’s cook times, especially when the holidays arrive and the pressure is on. Luckily, calibrating your oven is easier than it seems. Position a reliable thermometer in the centre of your oven and preheat to 350F. Once it comes up to temperature, note the temperature every 20 minutes, without opening the door. When you have three readings, calculate the average and if it’s between 325F and 375F, your oven is calibrated. If not, consult the owner’s manual on how to adjust.

3. Sharpen: There’s nothing more dangerous than a dull knife in the kitchen, so I always make sure mine are razor-sharp. Take your knives into a shop to get them properly sharpened, wrapping them well in newspaper for the trip. Once they’re back in working order, it’s a good idea to invest in a steel. By giving your knife a quick run over the steel after every use, it will maintain the sharp edge and give you longevity between each sharpening.

Bonus: Invest in a scale! Whether I’m baking a cake, making bread or cooking custard, I always need my measurements to be accurate, so I count on my scale to give me perfect precision down to the gram. There are so many affordable options to choose from and once you make the switch, you’ll never want to use a measuring cup again. Check out our best ever tips on how to properly measure flour to get the best results every time.

For more ways to prep for success (and make your best cookies ever!) get our 5 tips for making the best holiday cookies.

Good luck and don’t forget to share your progress with us on social media using the hashtag #kitchenfix!

Michelle,
Assistant Food Editor

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