Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Your Thanksgiving Questions, Answered

By Rachael Gruver, November 19, 2015  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Rachael Gruver

Holiday Side Dishes

Rachael is part of our team dedicated to answering emails, letters and phone calls from our customers.

It’s nearly Thanksgiving. You have questions. We’re here to help. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we get around this time of year, every year.

Q: What are your store hours during the Holidays?

A: Although most of our stores are open on Thanksgiving, a handful will be closed, and all will be closing early so our Team Members can enjoy dinner with their families. Check your local store’s holiday hours.

Q: What is the latest date I can place my order online?

A: If you’ll be reserving a turkey we recommend ordering early to ensure you get the bird you want. However if your Thanksgiving plans haven’t quite come together yet, not to worry. Most stores will be accepting online orders through Tuesday November 24. Check your local store to confirm.   

 

Q: Organic or heirloom? Fresh, frozen or brined? How much turkey do I need?

A: Turkey choices can be overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered. Check out our turkey guide for a rundown of the different types of birds and a handy servings calculator to help you decide how much to buy.

Q: Can I order holiday meals and catering online?

A: Yes! For your turkey, holiday meals, entrées and party platters, you can reserve online, then pick up in store.

Q: I have a family member who is vegan (or gluten free). I’m reserving part of my meal online; which items on your menu are appropriate for my guest?

A: We definitely have options for you including full vegan feasts and items you can add to your traditional meal a la carte. For help finding gluten-free offerings, or other special diets, we suggest you call the Holiday Table at your local store directly and have one of our expert Team Members help guide you.

Keep in mind that we may have options on our Thanksgiving menus with no gluten ingredients, however all of our items are made in kitchens that also process gluten ingredients, as well as other allergens, so if your family member has a severe intolerance, be sure to let them know.  

 

Q: I thought this turkey was fresh, and it seems frozen solid.

A: Don’t be alarmed if the surface of your fresh turkey seems icy. Fresh turkeys are kept just below freezing to maintain a crust of ice on the surface, which should easily thaw when stored in your refrigerator. According to the National Turkey Federation, turkey meat doesn't freeze at 32°F, but at a temperature closer to 26°F.

Q: How long do I need to plan to defrost a frozen turkey?

A: If you are thawing your bird in the fridge, you should plan for 1 day of thawing for every 4 pounds of turkey, so a 12 to 16 pound bird will take 3 to 4 days to thaw. Once the turkey is thawed, it’s safe to keep in the fridge for another 1 to 2 days, so it’s definitely best to air on the side of starting early to ensure a ready-to-cook bird on the big day.

If you’re short on time, you can thaw your turkey by submerging it in cold water. Plan for 30 minutes per pound. Make sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag, and submerge the wrapped bird completed in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes and allow 30 minutes of thawing time per pound. The turkey should be cooked immediately after it’s thawed. With this method, a 12 to 16 pound bird should be ready to cook in 6 to 8 hours.

Pumpkin Pie

Q: Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I forgot to order the pumpkin pie!

A: If your order is scheduled for pickup in 24 hours, it’s too late to add items to your order online, but we’ll have plenty of extra sides and pies on hand at our stores. If you’d like the store to set something aside for you, give them a call.

Q: I just got home and part of my order is missing! What do I do?

A: We recommend you check your order immediately to ensure it’s correct. If we goofed, we’re sorry. Please call your local store immediately to let them know. If it’s Thanksgiving Day after the store is closed and you can’t reach someone, please reach out tomorrow so the store has an opportunity to make it right.

Q: This meal looks delicious, but I'm missing the reheating instructions. What should I do?

A: We have reheating instructions online. To find the instructions for the menu offerings in your region, search for “reheating instructions”.

Q: Do you deliver holiday meals?

A: Meals and turkeys reserved online can only be picked up in the store. However, in some cities our friends at Instacart can deliver on any last minute grocery items. Check Instacart availability in your area and place your order.

Q: How long will the leftovers last?

A: Your turkey leftovers should be good for 3 to 4 days in the fridge or for 3 to 6 months in the freezer. For other dishes, check out our handy serving prepared foods safely guide online.

Do you have additional questions that aren't addressed in our online holiday guide? Post them in the comments, and we’ll be happy to help! 

 

3 Comments

Comments

julia frances says ...
I like the recipie because it has good sesoning nice flavors and everything that goes altogether to make it right and perfecto
11/21/2015 9:08:49 AM CST
Raquel de lima says ...
Please, you send me a recipe for grave for my thanksging? Thanks a lot.
11/22/2015 1:55:37 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@RAQUEL - We have a ton of gravy recipes on our website at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/search/gravy.
11/25/2015 1:55:26 PM CST