You have one oven and five things that need to be baked, one for multiple hours. How do you swing it? These five tips will help keep you sane on the big day.
Yes, things will go wrong. But if you do these things, you’ll have a leg up as you try to pull off a big Thanksgiving dinner.
Pre-order: Whether it’s the turkey, a pie from the bakery around the corner or a precooked, full-meal deal, put in your order as early as you can. It’s a crazy time of year for grocery stores and bakeries, and you don’t want to be left empty-handed.
Shop early: You’ve seen the under-stocked shelves and crazy lines on the day before Thanksgiving. Get to the grocery store a few days in advance to pick up the bulk of what you need. Then send someone else for any last-minute forgotten items before stores close.
More Thanksgiving planning
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- All about the sides: Seattle top chefs share their recipes for Thanksgiving favorites
- My Aunt Edith’s dinner rolls, a no-fuss family favorite
- 5 top tips for fearless holiday cooking
- Bill Hart brings years of piemaking talent to Mount Baker
- Wine picks for your holiday meal
- Planning the Thanksgiving meal: How to get the timing right
- 4 tips for holiday dinner-party ambience
- 6 basic holiday (and everyday) cooking tips
- Holiday-cooking horror stories: 9 lessons we learned the hard way
- This holiday season, skip bartending and serve up punch
- The best for your budget: Wine and beer to bring to your holiday party
- So gross, so good: Thanksgiving dishes we love but shouldn’t
Read the whole recipe far in advance: Knowledge is power. Some recipes will require equipment you don’t have. Or you’ll need to start them two days early so ingredients have time to soak or cool. Or you’ll learn you can prepare something days in advance, making the big day a little less complicated.
Plan your oven timing: With different temperatures and different times, it may seem impossible to bake everything you need to. But some items may be able to go in together. Others may need to rest, like the turkey, before serving, allowing time for something else to bake. Plan it out ahead of time. If you have one, you can use your toaster oven for small dishes while the big oven is in use. Note that since your food will be closer to the heating mechanisms, it might cook faster than in a regular oven, so check on it early and often.
Delegate: There’s no shame in spreading out the work. Ask someone else to bring dessert, a side dish or some booze. You don’t have to do it all!