Simplify Cooking with Appliances that Multitask

Buy based on how you cook most days.

When buying appliances, people often focus on two days of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What matters at that moment to you is finding a range whose oven accommodates a massive turkey.

Or, thinking about overflow casseroles and Christmas cookies, you opt for double ovens.

But what about the other 363 days of the year? If you’re not a serious baker, that second oven sits cold. And warming up that range with the huge oven capacity for a couple of baked potatoes wastes time and energy.

Appliances that Multitask

Instead, a trend we’re seeing is assembling a team of appliances that can work alone during normal operations but also can multitask for occasional holidays and parties.

So instead of a giant range, combine a double oven range and convection microwave.

The smaller upper oven of the range can be used for one-dish meals. Come Christmas, you can bake a dessert up top while a roasts monopolizes the lower oven. The convection microwave can bake a casserole.
A convection microwave also works overtime when paired with a single oven, perfect for those who won’t make enough use of a double oven.

Better yet, make that second oven a speed oven for the ultimate versatility.


This GE Advantium cooks up to 4 times faster than your grandmother’s oven – covering all 4 bases: warming/proofing, true convection, sensor microwave (that can rotate a 9×13 casserole on its turntable!) and of course, speed cooking.

Comparison of Cookware Materials for Baking

If last year’s holiday breads and cookies didn’t turn out exactly as you hoped, don’t blame it on your oven – at least not yet.

The type of cookware material you choose affects cooking results.

Consult this handy comparison of cookware materials from Whirlpool so you know what to expect when using different pans and sheets.

Light-colored aluminum:

Light golden crusts and even browning. Use temperature and time recommended in recipe. This durable and affordable baking sheet makes great chocolate chip cookies.

Dark aluminum and other bakeware with dark, dull and/or nonstick finish:

Brown, crisp crusts. May need to reduce baking temperatures 25°F (15°C). Use suggested baking time. For pies, breads and casseroles, use temperature recommended in recipe. Place rack in the center of the oven.

Insulated cookie sheets or baking pans:

Little or no bottom browning. Place in the bottom third of the oven. May need to increase baking time.

Stainless steel:

Light, golden crusts, uneven browning. May need to increase baking time.

Stoneware:

Crisp crusts. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Ovenproof glassware, ceramic glass or ceramic:

Brown, crisp crusts. May need to reduce baking temperatures 25°F (15°C).

Are Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Safe to Eat?

leftover Thanksgiving sandwich

Because leftovers only remain safe to eat for four days, you’re going to want to eat up all your turkey, stuffing and gravy by Monday.

(The importance of Thanksgiving leftovers as immortalized in pop culture by the Friends Moistmaker episode)

To ensure your Thanksgiving leftovers are safe to eat, you should freeze them as soon as possible. If you throw the leftovers in freezer-safe bags or containers, they will be good to eat for another six months.

Food technically remains safe to eat forever if it’s frozen. It just loses flavor and moisture over time.

Reheating Leftovers

The USDA wrote these guidelines for safely reheating stored leftovers:

  • When reheating leftovers, be sure they reach 165° F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the food. Reheat sauces, soups and gravies by bringing them to a rolling boil. Cover leftovers to reheat. This retains moisture and ensures that food will heat all the way through.
  • Thaw frozen leftovers safely in the refrigerator, cold water or the microwave oven. When thawing leftovers in a microwave, continue to heat it until it reaches 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Any leftover “leftovers” thawed by the cold water method or in the microwave should be reheated to 165 °F before refreezing.
  • In a real hurry? It is safe to reheat frozen leftovers without thawing, either in a saucepan or microwave (in the case of a soup or stew) or in the oven or microwave (for example, casseroles and combination meals). Reheating will take longer than if the food is thawed first, but it is safe to do when time is short.

Make sure to occasionally stir foods when microwaving them, because foods won’t heat evenly (especially if you don’t have a turntable) and cold spots will develop in which bacteria hasn’t been properly killed.

What to Do If Your Stove Dies on Thanksgiving

Many stoves choose to stop functioning right around the time you’ve finally finished thawing, brining, trussing and stuffing that huge bird on Thanksgiving morning.

Now your oven very well might be dead, but sometimes you just need to give it the ol’ Fonzie treatment.

Oven Troubleshooting

Now, I’m not actually suggesting you punch your juke, er…range; but try shutting off your circuit or unplugging your appliance for 20 minutes. It’s always the first advice I give customers before we attempt service – and it’s worked before! Best case scenario, you’re back in business once you plug it back in or reset the circuit.

If you have a gas range and the cooktop is working but the oven isn’t, flip the regulator switch (which automatically cuts off the flow of gas at a certain pressure).

If you’re still getting an error code or the unit is still dead, you’re probably going to need service. You can call us on Friday at 651-222-0011 (opt. 4).

But at least you tried. In a pinch, fire up the grill.

Follow These Microwave Safety Precautions

We love microwaves, but some methods of microwave cooking and reheating can be harmful or downright dangerous. This becomes especially important knowledge for college students now away from the watchful eye that kept them from blowing up the house for 18 years.

Microwave Safety Tips

Here are some basic microwave safety precautions, adapted from the USDA and Food Network.

DON’T put metal in a microwave…ever. You will cause sparking and potential damage. This includes aluminum foil and those portable coffee mugs.

DO microwave by number. Avoid plastics No. 3, No. 6 and No. 7, as these could leach chemicals into your foods. Plastic wrap and Styrofoam can also melt. Transfer to a different container and use a glass lid to cover the food.

DON’T heat acidic foods, like tomato sauce, in plastic containers.

DO choose containers made of glass, ceramic or plastic that’s made for microwaving.

DON’T cook large cuts of meat on full power. Instead, use medium power (50%) for longer periods to ensure heat reaches the center without overcooking outer areas.

DO stir or rotate food halfway to eliminate cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive.

Do you have any other microwave safety tips? Share them in the comments below!