Qurbani leans heavily on the kitchen appliances. It is not like any regular day at your kitchen when you handle groceries and poultries stocked for at best a month. But every year on Qurbani you have to deal with a mountain of flesh and bones in your kitchen, most of the time accompanied with blood and fats. No matter how active you are, you must admit that Qurbani is heavy duty and you need a supply of well-functioning kitchen tools for it! By periodically taking inventory of all your weapons and making sure they are functioning properly, you can be ready to celebrate Qurbani like a pro.
Clean and hygienic countertops and tools
No matter what type of material your countertop is made of, they all eventually bathe in food and grease. If you don’t clean them up, your mountain of raw meat will be contaminated and unhealthy for consumption. The best way to clean any type of countertop is to remove all items from the surface. Don’t get lazy and just clean around the appliances. Also, clean your cutting boards and knives thoroughly. A clean place to start with will give you extra motivation in day-long works.
If you are used to cutting boards, it is wise to use two different ones for meats and for fruits and vegetables. If the cutting surface is made from tempered glass, it is safer to use because there will be no cracks and pores harbouring bacteria like wood or plastic surfaces. Regardless the material, cutting surfaces should be cleaned thoroughly after each use.
Same goes with the knives; you should not be use the same knife to chop both meat and vegetables unless it has been washed thoroughly first. Many food items should be kept separate from each other during preparation and storage to prevent cross-contamination. Never store cooked foods next to raw meat. It is very important to wash your hands often during the tasks to prevent the contamination of harmful bacteria from one item to another.
Do your countertops before you start processing food or cooking so that you can start with a nice open space. Do it again after you are done cooking to prevent junk-buildup, which leads to ants, bugs and most importantly germs. Don’t wait until the next morning, get it done as soon as the utensils are washed so your kitchen is hygienic and ready for the next cookup.
Well functioning appliances
Cooking implies that you are heating things up which means that your ovens, stoves and microwaves will be getting a workout in your home over the holidays. Some may think these appliances are maintenance-free, but if you want them to perform at their peak level, then you should do a bit of work to get them running right.
Clean your oven using its factory setting (self-cleaning), but also don’t hesitate to get you hands in and scrub it all out. Use a mixture of baking soda and water with a sponge or scouring pad to remove as much built-up gunk as possible. Remove food particles from the grates as well. Microwaves just need a wipe-down inside. If you have a rotating plate, make sure it’s on its track and functioning properly. Check your thermostat to see if it accurately shows the temperature. Show it to a technician and repair if possible. You may not have many handy kitchen tools, go ahead and buy some before you run out of time.
For an induction or electric stove, there isn’t much maintenance involved. But gas cooktops require a closer inspection. Make sure that the burners are clog-free; all burner ports should have flames of equal size. Clean the grates regularly to prevent fires, as they can get sticky with grease and food quickly.
Refrigerator/freezers are the most used appliance in any kitchen and should be prepared before you start cooking. Get rid of old food and leftovers on the shelves to clear up space, you’ll need a lot of it. Throw out the ingredients that you don’t need regularly. Double check the expiration dates, even frozen food has a shelf life. Ensure that the fridge maintains a temperature below 4 degrees celsius. Always store meat in the coldest part of the fridge. After you make small packages of your mountain of meat, keep it just like that until ready for use.
Remember, the key to celebrating Qurbani like a pro is having a kitchen that is ready for any challenge you throw at it. So get ready and start preparations and stay one step ahead in Qurbani celebration without much trouble.