A Bunch of Last-Minute Tips for Nailing Thanksgiving Dinner - Thanksgiving Tips

A Bunch of Last-Minute Tips for Nailing Thanksgiving Dinner - Thanksgiving Tips
From The Kitchn - November 17, 2017

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is both thrilling and slightly nerve-racking, no matter how many times you have played hostess. You have planned and prepped, and want your holiday celebration to be just right. So, with that in mind, here are a bunch of last minute tips and reminders to help you nail Thanksgiving dinner.

1. The rule of thumb for buying turkey is one to two pounds per person.

There are two things to consider when deciding what size turkey to buy: the number of guests and your stance on leftovers.

Read more: How Much Turkey Per Person? Use This Rule of Thumb

2. You should start brining the turkey two days before Thanksgiving.

While brining is totally optional, I think this step is always worth it. Consider is your insurance plan for a juicy, well-seasoned turkey. It's particularly useful if it's your first time roasting a turkey, and you are not feeling totally confident. During brining, when the turkey soaks in a saltwater bath, it absorbs extra moisture, which keeps it juicy during and after cooking.

Here's how: How To Brine a Turkey

3. The best way to deal with a still-frozen bird is to cook it as is.

If your turkey is in any way still frozen come Thanksgiving morning, do not fearbecause yes, you really can cook a frozen turkey. In fact, roasting a partially frozen or completely frozen turkey is also a lot safer than trying to thaw the turkey with warm water.

Here's how: How To Cook a Frozen Turkey

4. There are a few kitchen basics that can work in place of a roasting rack.

In addition to a roasting pan you will also need a roasting rack to cook the turkey. The roasting rack lifts the bird away from the direct heat of the pan and allows hot air to circulate underneath, which means it cooks more evenly and develops a crispier skin.

If you just realized you do not have one, do not skip it entirelyinstead, use crumpled foil, a wire cooling rack, or roughly chopped potatoes and onions in its place.

Try these alternatives: What to Do If You Do not Have a Roasting Rack on Thanksgiving

5. Turkey takes about 13 minutes per pound to cook.

With this in mind, plan to roast the turkey for three to five hours, depending on its size. Also keep in mind that you will want to let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving and serving.

The method: How To Cook a Turkey: The Simplest, Easiest Method

6. Basting is a matter of personal preference.

7. The turkey cooks faster without stuffing and trussing.

8. The silkiest mashed potatoes start with warm butter.

9. There are some good items in your kitchen that can be used in place of serving platters.

10. A slow cooker, toaster oven, thermos, or insulated cooler can help keep food warm.


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