One of the golden rules to cooking a Thanksgiving turkey is to place it on a roasting rack before it goes into the oven. Missing this step and cooking it directly on the pan will burn the bottom of the bird, resulting in overcooked, dry meat.
Making a good pie crust can seem intimidating to the uninitiated, but once you master this skill, a whole world opens up to you. Not only can you make all manner of fruit, custard, and cream-filled pies once you know all the tricks, you can branch out into the world of quiches, savory pies, and flaky, crispy turnovers, too. We've already told you how to get perfect, firm fruit pie fillings, so now, let's learn about crust.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, some people live for stuffing (or dressing, if that's what you call it). Personally, I love all stuffing, even the boxed kind. However, even the classics can start to feel a little staid and dull after a while.
Mashed potatoes are universally beloved, and for a good reason — they're cheap, tasty, and relatively easy to make. What's more, they're adaptable to just about every dietary regimen, whether you're vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-intolerant. And they're a staple for holidays such as Thanksgiving.
Gravy is a relatively simple dish, yet it's remarkably easy to mess up. We've all experienced the disappointment of excitedly pouring gravy onto our mashed potatoes, only to realize it's too runny, too lumpy, or too bland. And because gravy is so simple, even if you don't mess it up, it's still challenging to make it memorable and delicious.
Imagine you have mastered the perfect cherry pie for your annual work picnic but, upon taking it out of its airtight pie carrier, your heart sinks as you realize the crust has turned to mush thanks to the moisture from the filling. Sound familiar?
A turkey baster is one of those single-use kitchen items that most people only need once or twice a year (although you can use it for a few other things). You never seem to miss having one until the holidays roll around when it's time to cook your Thanksgiving turkey. But do you really need a baster to end up with a moist, delicious bird? The short answer is no.
I've never been a huge fan of the traditional roasted turkey at Thanksgiving. Different parts of the bird finish cooking at different times, so by the time the legs are cooked through, the breast meat is totally dry. If you don't want to go the deep-frying route, how can you still end up with a moist and delicious turkey?
Frozen fruit is always in season at your local grocery store, so you don't have to wait until the farmers market starts again to enjoy delicious baked fruit desserts. Peach pie, blueberry muffins, raspberry scones... all of these delicious baked goods can be just as delectable when using frozen fruit, too.
I love making everything from scratch, but some things are just easier to buy. So there are times when you have to find a creative way to split the difference. For me, the easiest dish to buy without compromising on flavor is cornbread mix.
You've probably seen someone in your family truss the turkey on Thanksgiving before roasting it, even if you don't recognize the word. To truss a bird or roast just means to wrap it up as compactly as possible before placing it in the oven, and it's usually done by tying it with string. Trussing a bird is a tradition that's been around for a long time, and a lot of home cooks do it religiously even if they don't know why. It's a highly debated topic with fierce supporters on both sides, but f...
How often do you make a pie from scratch? If your answer is "only during the holidays," you're not alone. Unless you're an experienced baker, homemade pies can be pretty tough to tackle. And the most common problems are the crusts coming out of the oven soggy or scorched.
When I was 12, for some mysterious reason, my dad put my little brothers and me in charge of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. Naturally, my brothers and I spent the rest of the day playing hide-in-seek in the backyard and forgot all about the humble bird defrosting in the sink.
Pie crusts are pretty intimidating if you're an at-home baker with little experience, since there's a lot of science behind making them. A perfectly flaky crust that's golden brown—not charred and black along the edges—requires careful attention, a foolproof recipe, and some decent baking skills.
Mashed potatoes are a reliably tasty side dish, but they can definitely get a little boring sometimes. So if you're looking for that extra 'oomph' that goes beyond the classic butter and salt seasoning, try infusing your next batch with the flavor of baked potato skins.
It's bad enough messing up in the kitchen when it's just for you or your family, but when you're cooking for a big event with a lot of guests, it can be mortifying. And on a holiday like Thanksgiving, that's all about the food, the last thing you want is to botch a key component of the meal.
Pumpkin pie is a symbol of autumn, and it's the traditional dessert to whip up for your fam when Thanksgiving Day arrives. But year after year of the same old thing can be a total bore if you're not a strict traditionalist. So, we found 8 unique ways to make that pie a little less snooze-fest and a little more interesting.
There are those who prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the actual official meal, much like people who prefer cold pizza over hot. I'm definitely in the latter camp. There's something luxurious about enjoying your perfectly cooked turkey and stuffing while wearing sweatpants and not having to make small talk with your weird uncle who drinks too much.
If you love the creamy flavor of mashed potatoes, but need a healthier option to appease your health-conscious relatives this Thanksgiving, try making mashed cauliflower, mashed celery root, or mashed carrots and parsnips using a food processor and seasonings of your choice.
From choosing the right potato to the movement at which you mash your cut and boiled spuds, making the perfect mashed potatoes requires more attention to detail than you might think.