Food & Nutrition

15 Things You’re Probably Not Doing on Thanksgiving That a Chef Would

If you’re hosting this year, listen up! Here are the simple tricks that chefs use to make Thanksgiving dinner a whole lot easier.

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Give thanks for these genius Thanksgiving tips

Top down view on place setting of pumpkin soup and cider on wooden table. Dinner or lunch for a party of six.stockcreations/Shutterstock

Thanksgiving dinner is usually a joyous time when friends and family gather together, but if you’re the host, it can also be pretty overwhelming. You might be worried about how you’re going to pull it all off—the cooking, the seating arrangements, the entertaining, the serving, and, well, everything else. That’s why the first step to success is having a plan and starting the preparations early. “While you’ll want to start shopping for all of your dry goods and proteins as early as a week beforehand and keep them frozen, the turkey typically takes a few days to thaw out in the refrigerator,” says Esteban Antoine, chef at Crowned Hospitality. “Also, make sure to purchase all of your produce and dairy a day or two before Thanksgiving, to ensure freshness and save room in your fridge.”
And well before the big day arrives, know exactly what items you’ll need to have on hand to get the jobs of hosting, cooking, and serving done as smoothly as possible. To help, we asked chefs to share some of the things they always do on Thanksgiving that you might not—but really should!

Using a timer

silver egg-shaped kitchen timer used for cooking and studying or working.Stefano P/Shutterstock

Sure, your phone probably has a timer feature, but it’s not as reliable as a real one, according to Johana Langi, executive pastry chef at Boulud Sud. “Not only do you avoid flour smudge prints and possibly dropping it in pumpkin pie filling (true story), but a magnetic triple timer is a godsend,” she says. She uses her triple timer when juggling different cooking projects and trying to keep track of things in the oven, stove, and fridge. So, what should you make for the big day? Follow this menu to host the best Thanksgiving ever.

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