Cooking (and hosting) Thanksgiving dinner can make you feel like you need six arms and maybe six ovens, too. Since you are probably don’t do it If you have the ability to make any of these things appear from scratch, we’ve put together this short, friendly guide with tips and tricks for planning your Thanksgiving dinner this holiday season.
1. Choose recipes that cook at the same (or similar) temperature
Many candies cook at a lower temperature, around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so try to choose recipes that accommodate a higher temperature, like this one. Apple Pecan Pie by Erin Jeanne McDowell which cooks at 450 degrees. (Tip: Most of Erin’s dishes recipes cook at a higher-than-average temperature, so its catalog is a great resource.) If your vegetables or turkey need to roast at 475 degrees, it’s not a lot of work to raise the temperature, compared to jumping from 125 degrees another recipe might require.
2. Choose at least one item intended just for the stovetop
Simply put: you can’t put everything in the oven. It just won’t happen. When you overload your oven, certain things happen. First, the temperature has difficulty regulating itself, because several elements draw heat. Additionally, many items will likely not be cooked/roasted during the same exact time, so there is also a lot of opening of the oven, again, deregulating the oven temperature. When preparing something on the stove, in addition to your mashed potatoes (like this pretty Green Bean Casserole), you free up space in the oven and also maximize the efficiency of your cooker.
3. Set it aside
Take inspiration from the French culinary expression “mise en place,” which translates to “everything in its place” or “to put in place” and refers to the practice of preparing and arranging all the ingredients and tools needed to a recipe before beginning the cooking process. . Meal prepping may not be your thing, but prepping some dishes in advance: your diced aromatics for a casserole, prepped and blind-baked pie crusts, and your turkey. fully thawed a day or two before, can save you a lot of headaches and valuable cooking time the same day.
4. Test your oven temperature
Be personal with your oven and make it toast test. If you haven’t already, get an oven thermometer as well. This will help you know if your oven temperature fluctuates throughout the day, allowing you to prepare for longer cooking times and manage accordingly.
5. Prepare your turkey
The biggest time-saving tip for Thanksgiving: spatchcock your turkey. This method allows for more even heat distribution, reaching more points than a traditional cavity-stuffed turkey. To save even more time, try using a compound butter and opt for dry roasting (without basting). You can find detailed instructions in our practice guide.
6. Allow time to reheat dishes
Start with your heartier, more cooked side dishes (for example, au gratin potatoes, other root vegetables or a casserole). These will take 20-30 minutes to warm up. When everyone has finished eating and you start tackling those dishes, take a moment to refresh your pie. Only 15 minutes will be enough and you will have a nice hot dessert ready by the time everyone returns to the table.
More entertaining inspiration from Food52
How are you preparing for Thanksgiving this year? Tell us in the comments!