Thanksgiving can be more than just a little back-breaking. There is so much to do and so few hours to do it all in. There are only so many ovens, so many racks in the fridge, and so many times you can yell at people not to pick at the food.
If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who absolutely love putting on an incredible Thanksgiving for your family or loved ones, you’re going to love this collection of 15 tips that’ll help you make this Thanksgiving the best, most awe-inspiring, and fastest prepared, Thanksgiving yet. Put these to use and you’ll spend a lot more time actually spending time with the people you love this year…
15 Tips That Will Cut *Hours* Off Of Your Thanksgiving Cooking & Preparation (not to mention making it a whole lot more awesome).
Your coolers aren’t just good for keeping beers cold on summer days. They have many uses. It is really helpful to keep all your drinks cold in one, so that you can have all of your much-needed fridge space, but did you know that coolers are also incredible at keeping food hot!
As you take your different dishes and casseroles out of the oven, cover them with aluminum foil and put them in the cooler. They’ll still be hot and delicious when you’re ready to serve them.
Scrubbing potatoes is so 2010. Instead, put them on the top rack of your dishwasher and do a quick rinse cycle (no detergent!). They come out clean and much easier to peel.
One cook suggests that you mix together a brine “with salt, pepper and dried herbs like thyme, rosemary or sage and then rub it all over the turkey. Wrap it up tightly and place in the fridge. The day before, take off the wrapping. This will allow the outside of the turkey to get dry, making for the crunchiest, crackliest skin when you bake it.”Click here for her incredible (and simple) recipe you can use.
There are so many Thanksgiving dishes and snacks you can make using muffin tins. You can make your corn bread and your cranberry muffins, and you can also make mini quiches, ham and cheese bites, focaccia rolls, crab cakes, baked brie bites, and so much more.
Perfectionism wipes more time off the Thanksgiving clock than anything else. Too many people put 90% of their effort into things less than 10% of the people who experience it will truly appreciate. At the end of the day, the people you love will always care most about two things. Good food. And good people. Don’t get too fancy that you miss all the good food and good people yourself.
Did you know that a dash of baking powder makes your mashed potatoes way fluffier? They’ll be the hit of Thanksgiving, for sure.
Fork marks are too obvious and quick. Proper edges on your pies take time and work. Unless, that is, you grab a clean bead or pearl necklace and use it to press your edges into bakery-beautiful works.
You’d be amazed how many of your friends and neighbors don’t do anything with their slow cookers and pressure cookers on Thanksgiving! Borrow as many as you can, and put them all to good use! Pressure cookers make baked potatoes in a hurry and without the boil-over mess. Slow cookers can cook tender ham, Mac & Cheese, green bean casserole, and so much more.
You could slice your pies the boring ol’ triangular way. Or… You could get a circular cookie cutter and cut circular pieces out of your pie to give your pie the fanciness you’ll find in hoity toity restaurants.
Pumpkin, pecan, and most other pies don’t just keep well for 2-3 days in the fridge, some critics say that they taste better. Cook them early in the week and set them out the morning of Thanksgiving so that they’re room temperature by dinnertime.
Get a bazillion paper bowls and measure out all your ingredients for all of your recipes the night before Thanksgiving. This one practice can cut hours off your Thanksgiving meal prepping. After you measure out your ingredients, cover each bowl with plastic wrap, and either set it aside or put it in the fridge (after you label it, of course). An extra bonus is that you’ll know with plenty of time to spare whether or not you accidentally forgot one crucial ingredient somewhere.
If you microwave your garlic cloves for 15 seconds before trying to peel them, the peels will slide right off. Less mess. Less stress.
Almost everyone greatly underestimates how much time and attention will go into setting the table just how they want it. Save yourself the stress and do it the night before! Not only does it save you an hour or more on Thanksgiving Day, it gives your guests an even greater sense of anticipation when they come in.
Pumpkins are all greatly discounted between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Buy a couple, carve them out, swirl bleach inside, and let them dry. Use them as vases and fill them with beautiful flower arrangements that have that Thanksgiving pumpkin flare.
Modern technology is great, but it can actually slow you down a ton in the kitchen. When you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t want to be washing your hands and drying them every time you need to look at what’s next on your recipe. Print every recipe out instead, and take satisfaction as they get messy and dirty and harder to read. It means good things are coming.
I bet after reading those, your mind is spinning with all the time-saving awesomeness-inducing ideas you now have.
So… What was missed? Leave a comment and share your own Thanksgiving tips and tricks!Much thanks to Bridget for so many great ideas.