Thanksgiving is right around the corner. ‘Tis the season for friends and family, football and feasting. It’s probably also the season for a higher-than-usual electric bill.
Even though we as a nation use less electricity overall on Thanksgiving due to travel and business closures, households hosting the holiday meal are likely to experience the opposite. The cost to run energy-hungry ovens and stove burners all day can really add up. Luckily, there are helpful kitchen gadgets that smart hosts can swap in to save time and energy this Thanksgiving.
Pressure cookers have been around for ages, but electric countertop versions have surged in popularity—and with good reason. These small kitchen gadgets use high-pressure steam to cook food in a record amount of time. The high heat brings out rich flavors while the steam tenderizes meats 70% faster than baking, boiling or slow cooking methods. And you don’t need to fret that your holiday meal options will be limited. Thanksgiving recipes for pressure cookers are abundant online and in print. You can find step-by-step guides for everything from cooking a turkey breast and stuffing to creating make-ahead items like cranberry sauce, deviled eggs and even cheesecake. Pressure cookers also require significantly less water and electricity than slow cookers and release the least amount of heat, placing them at number one on the list of must-have kitchen tools.
Although pressure cookers get the job done more efficiently, using a slow cooker can still be a solid choice. ENERGY STAR® rated slow cookers have been shown to reduce the amount of time you spend cooking and require only a third of the energy used by stovetops and ovens. Another upside of using a slow cooker is that you can set it and forget it for a full day, allowing you to turn your attention to other meal preparations and your guests. Wondering which Thanksgiving recipes you can try in your slow cooker? Try tasty dishes like apple crumble, savory turkey breast or sweet potato casserole. The slow cooker is also a great kitchen gadget to use if you’re hosting a smaller gathering of friends and family. Having an even more intimate holiday meal this year? You can even find recipes online for preparing an entire Thanksgiving dinner for two in one slow cooker. That’s savings and simplicity at its best!
If you do turn on your stovetop, use a stainless steel stackable steamer to make the most of one burner’s heat. These kitchen gadgets contain a base pot and at least one steamer that sits on top. A stackable three- or four-level steamer can boil potatoes in the base pot while the levels above steam carrots, spinach, and peas separately but simultaneously. Since Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without a variety of fresh steamed veggies, you can knock out several side dishes with less time and effort than if you had used multiple burners and pots. Plus, you’ll only have one burner to clean up. You can also buy stacked steamer inserts specifically designed for your pressure cooker to double the ease and efficiency.