18 November 2013

Play "oven Tetris" with your baking dishes to simplify Thanksgiving cooking

TetrisAm I dating myself by referencing Tetris, the old school fit-the-falling-shapes-together video game?

It was the first thing I pictured when thinking about Leigh Ann's Thanksgiving cooking hack!

I use a Post-It note to label which pan will hold which casserole (sweet potatoes, stuffing, green beans, etc.). I then take all my baking dishes/pans and fit them into my oven like a puzzle and I bake everything at once.

Since most dishes bake at around the same temperature, it works for me. Baking time might be just a smidge longer with a full oven, but the simplicity makes it all worth it!

What if you STILL don't have enough oven space? From Andrea:

Mashed potatoes and even stuffing warmed up nicely in a crock pot on the "keep warm" or even low setting. Frees up oven and stove space.

Thanksgiving hackers! What's your trick for freeing up oven space and timing the meal?

Thank you Leigh Ann and Andrea for sharing your Thanksgiving hacks on the Parent Hacks Facebook page.

More Thanksgiving hacks! Go to: Best of Parent Hacks: Thanksgiving

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We bought a separate roaster oven for the turkey. Frees up the oven and as a bonus the turkey is more moist due to the juices trapped in the smaller space. I also use the crock pot and *gasp* the microwave.

For timing I write out an itinerary, working backwards from when dinner will be served, with times listed for putting things in to cook and taking them out. Then I just work down the list.

We deep fry our turkey. Opens up a lot of oven space!

Many use a separate roaster or fryer (or the grill!) for the turkey. Crock pots and rice cookers are also popular for warming and steaming.

This is a great tip! It saves you a lot of time cooking or baking your food all at the same time since most food has the same baking time.

I have not done this but I will try this coming holiday.

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