Turkey Day Kitchen Hacks

When it comes to Thanksgiving, there’s enough on your plate to worry about before even diving into the cooking. From making sure the turkey gets cooked to not forgetting about the special cranberry sauce you whipped up yesterday, mealtime is full of hidden traps. Even if you’re an old hat at hosting the turkey dinner, these tips will help you get through the day with ease.

  • First things first – eat up as much of your fridge stock as you can before the big day, and be sure to toss expired foods. You’ll need to make room for all your sides (not to mention the turkey) and won’t want to spend three hours Thanksgiving morning sorting through containers.

  • Got a frozen turkey? Speed up the thawing process by putting it in a cold-water bath (in a bucket or cooler) and change the water every 30 minutes.

  • Eat an energizing breakfast and keep nuts on hand for snacking. You’ll be spending a good portion of the day on your feet, and in intense cooking sessions it’s common to forget to eat.

  • If you don’t have a turkey roaster, a regular baking pan will do! Just pile veggies like carrots, onions and turnips into the bottom for a makeshift rack.

  • Make gravy ahead of time using turkey pieces, or try an easy vegetarian recipe.

  • Did the top of your pumpkin pie or cheesecake crack? Just top it with a dollop of whipped cream.

  • If you have room, set up a drink station with an ice bucket, wines, water, and an electric kettle for tea and coffee. That way you won’t have guests hopping to the fridge (and getting in your way) every time they’re thirsty.

  • Set the table the night before, so you won’t be wondering where the gravy boat or pie server is when it’s mealtime.

  • Use a slow cooker to make soups or keep mashed potatoes warm, freeing up precious stovetop space.

  • Turkey needs to rest for at least 30 minutes after taking it out of the oven, so use that time to bake off rolls and premade sides.

  • Save yourself from serving lumpy gravy by whizzing it in the blender before serving.

  • Cheese boards make for a fast appetizer. Just unwrap and set out 30 minutes before your guests arrive for peak flavor.

  • Keep kids busy (and out of your hair) by giving them tasks like washing veggies, tearing bread for stuffing, or mashing the potatoes.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving dinner kitchen hacks? Share in the comments!
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