You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

Thanksgiving Prep: Tips to Help You Avoid Kitchen Disasters  

Turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing will dominate your kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. Grease clogs, a plumbing bill, and tears can dominate your holiday celebrations if you aren’t careful. So, let's explore the top Thanksgiving kitchen and home tips to keep things bright this year.  

Thanksgiving Kitchen Tips: Watch the Grease

Tip number one: avoid pouring cooking grease down your kitchen sink drain. This may instantly lead to a clog. Examples of grease to avoid putting in your drain include:

  • Melted butter

  • Oil

  • Bacon fat

  • Turkey drippings

Even if the grease doesn't cause a clog, it may still coat your kitchen sink pipes and make them drain slowly over time. A better way to collect hot grease is in glass jars or metal cans since these containers are heatproof. Once the grease has solidified you can throw away the jars or cans in your trash.

Another way to get rid of cooking grease is to absorb it with a durable paper towel. Some cooks even use the grease to create gravy for future meals.

Don't Overuse the Garbage Disposal

Tip number two: take it easy on your garbage disposal. Your garbage disposal can become overheated when used too heavily, which may cause it to break. To avoid this problem, exercise caution when putting food debris down the disposal.

To avoid overusing your garbage disposal, try incorporating an at home composting system. Save non-animal products scraps for further gardening use! You can also consider saving your veggie peels and scraps to create stock using your turkey's carcass after Thanksgiving Day. And no matter what, don't put turkey bones in your garbage disposal. The disposal may still work, but the bones will place stress on the machine over time.

Another important tip for taking care of your garbage disposal after Thanksgiving is to run it while you add food to it, not after. Some homeowners wait till their disposals are filled with food waste before turning them on. This isn't a wise idea since it might risk clogging their drains.

Turn on your faucet while adding food to your disposal to fill the drain with water. Keep the faucet water running after you've turned off your garbage disposal. This will clear the disposal of food debris, so it'll be ready for use next time.

Maintain Your Kitchen Plumbing

Tip number three: prep your home kitchen. Another top tip for protecting your kitchen plumbing on Thanksgiving Day is to perform do-it-yourself plumbing maintenance before Turkey Day. Pour a kettle of steamy water down your drain. Chop up lemons and run the pieces through your garbage disposal to eliminate phantom smells.

Remember that holiday meal preparation work doesn't always happen based on your plan. Work slowly, maintain an open line of communication with your fellow home cooks, and cook mindfully. This will keep your pipes working smoothly before and on Thanksgiving.

Use the Kitchen Sink Strainer

Tip number four: your strainer is your friend! Yet another way to safeguard your kitchen plumbing during Thanksgiving is to keep debris like grease and hair from your drain using a well-designed sink strainer. Strainers made of metal or silicone catch solid debris before they can create obstructions that require major repairs.

Strainers are especially useful if you plan to peel potatoes in your kitchen sink. Potato skins are starchy, which can make them turn clumpy if ground up. These potato peels could clog your drain.

Pasta and rice may also clog your drain if you don't use your sink strainer. These foods can quickly become wetter and become a starchy glue. This might gum up the drainpipes, rendering the pipes unusable.

Fruit pits shouldn't be placed in the sink drain, either. A good rule to follow is that no food items should be put in the garbage disposal if it can't easily be chopped up using a knife. The disposal might work once or twice, but it may soon break.

These factors combined with a larger number of guests in your home using your showers and sinks can easily lead to plumbing clogs and backups. Contacting a plumber right away is critical if you notice a major clog.

Make Use of Your Leftovers

Suppose you're stuck cleaning up your kitchen after your family Thanksgiving dinner. You might be tempted to pour your leftovers down the sink drain. Using a disposal may seem easier than using a trash can.

Throwing large amounts of waste into your drain may overwhelm your plumbing system, leading to a clog. Throw the waste into your garbage can or compost pile instead.

Composting Best Practices

Learning the art of composting allows you to put waste into a home garden instead of sending old food scraps to a landfill. This can help prevent global warming by preventing greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

Compost acts like a natural fertilizer, giving your soil a major nutrition boost. The compost can help your soil retain moisture, leading to less watering. It may also keep away pests.

Composting is an excellent way to increase the connection between your children and the earth and make them feel like they can help the planet. It's the perfect activity for kids whether they love planting garden flowers and crops or like getting dirty.

Create a Bin

Develop a bin to hold your old food scraps. A plastic bin with a lid can easily make the perfect compost bin. Oftentimes your city will drop one off for free, it looks like a garbage can with the bottom half cut off. If you are making your own punch or drill holes over the bin's lid, bottom, and sides. This will let air into the container, which is needed to decompose the food items.

Put the Right Foods in the Bin

The most active and nutritious compost features four items: green materials, brown materials, water, and air. Green materials range from vegetable and fruit scraps to grass clippings, eggshells, and yard trimmings. Brown materials include the following:

  • Sawdust

  • Cardboard pieces

  • Torn-up and shredded paper (without glossy finishes)

  • Dead leaves

  • Coffee filters and grounds

  • Tea bags

  • Straw

  • Wood chips

  • Nutshells

  • Fireplace ash

  • Laundry lint

  • Pet hair

Ensure your mixture doesn't get too wet. It should feel as damp as a sponge you've drained as much water from as possible.

Suppose you have food scraps containing large amounts of water, like tomatoes. Balance these with one of the brown materials mentioned above. Avoid overusing fireplace ash or sawdust, though, since they may become cake-like in your compost.

Try to add two times the amount of brown material as green material. Check your mixture daily to determine its moisture level. Add more of the brown ingredients if it feels soupy.

Feeding Your Bin

The fun step in composting is feeding your compost bin. Let your kids add the brown and green materials to the bin. Stir the mix.

The parts will break down over time, releasing nutrients that will help fertilize your plants. These nutrients include potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Your bin will have more room for composting ingredients as the decomposition process occurs.

Avoid Running Your Dishwasher Too Soon

Tip number five: hold off on cleaning up right away.  A major mistake homeowners make when washing dishes on Thanksgiving Day is running their dishwashers regularly. This is especially true if you plan to use the dishwasher and garbage disposal simultaneously.

The garbage disposal and dishwasher use a single drain. Running the two appliances together may cause food scraps to mix with your dishwashing cycle.

Don't start your dish loads until you've finished using your garbage disposal. Educate your family members on this rule in case they want to help with the post-Thanksgiving meal cleanup process.

Address Plumbing Issues Beforehand

Let's say you notice that your kitchen sink isn't draining quickly. Perhaps your faucet has a drip. Don't wait till Turkey Day to address these problems.

Hire a plumber to evaluate your kitchen sink's plumbing for problems like clogs days before Thanksgiving Day. They can help resolve these issues before your friends and family arrive.

A reputable plumber can help you feel confident your system will be able to handle your home's holiday traffic. This means you can concentrate on enjoying the holiday with your guests.

How We Can Help with Your Plumbing

The top Thanksgiving kitchen tips include keeping grease from going down your kitchen sink drain, avoid overusing your garbage disposal, and don't run your dishwasher and disposal at once.

Other ways to protect your plumbing during the Thanksgiving season include using a sink strainer to catch food debris and throwing away leftovers in the trash. Maintain your plumbing throughout Thanksgiving week and hire a plumber to address related issues before the big day.

At Parker & Sons, we can inspect your plumbing and fix any issues you're facing. Schedule an appointment now to enjoy service within minutes!  

Related Reading