Your Burning Questions

Solutions for Stuffing Slip-Ups

By • November 25, 2013 • 4 Comments

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it every day leading up to Thanksgiving, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to help you host the least stressful Thanksgiving yet. No promises on the crazy relatives.

Today: How to achieve the perfect stuffing, even if you encounter a few slip-ups along the way. Tomorrow, we'll talk about solutions for top turkey conundrums.

Stuffing Tips on Food52 

Many of us look forward to stuffing every Thanksgiving as eagerly as the bird. After all, it's not like we have the opportunity to eat stuffing sandwiches for lunch on a daily basis (although, there's an idea). It's understandable that you want that once-a-year stuffing to garner some serious attention, for the right reasons: not because it's too dry or overly mushy. We've seen a pattern over the years on the Hotline, in the throes of Thanksgiving prep, last-minute stuffing issues pop up. Thankfully, with each stuffing emergency, a Food52er has come to the rescue (you guys are great!). 

In the spirit of prevention, we've summed up common stuffing woes and fixes.  

Too Much Liquid

  • Slip-Up: Augustmommy949 assembled her stuffing the day before, accidentally added extra broth, and was worried she would get a soggy end result.
  • Solution: Amanda recommends adding more bread, or baking for longer than the recipe called for to cook off the moisture. 

Maintaining Moisture 

  • Slip-Up: SandraDee was afraid her stuffing would dry out the next day, and wanted to know how to "emulate stuffing moistness" when reheating leftovers. 
  • Solution: Sdebrango suggests adding either chicken or turkey broth and baking covered to achieve extra moist stuffing, or uncovered if you a prefer crispier top.

Saving Oven Space

  • Slip-Up: Pamela731 wondered if she could cook her stuffing in a slow cooker to save oven space. 
  • Solution: Monita recommends cooking it on high for 45 minutes, and then switching to low for 4 to 6 hours.

Last-Minute Bread Drying

  • Slip-Up: Katie1081 questioned how long it takes to dry challah out.
  • Solution: Overnight will do the trick according to drbabs, but a few days in advance is best, because the drier the better! 
  • Solution: For last minute drying, meganvt01 puts bread in the oven at 250-300 degrees.

How do you get the perfect stuffing? Continue the conversation in the comments below!

Have you missed any of our Thanksgiving round-up of Burning Questions? Catch up now:

Photo by James Ransom

Jump to Comments (4)

Tags: stuffing, thanksgiving, challah, bread, hotline, holiday

Comments (4)


11 months ago cddaniel

Can you make stuffing a day in advance and then reheat before serving?


11 months ago Elana Carlson

Yes! You may need to add additional broth if the stuffing happened to dry out overnight.


11 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Best stuffing tip ever, courtesy of melissav in her ciabatta, sweet potato, chorizo and mushroom stuffing recipe, is to make herbed croutons in the oven to use a base for your stuffing. Absolutely wonderful. Another suggestion -- gleaned in the course of a recent Hotline suggestion -- is boulangere's recommendation to use the Peter Reinhart Wild Rice and Onion bread for making stuffing. I'm making the roasted apple, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts stuffing posted by Gena Hamshaw last year, for which I've made the Reinhart bread. It's extraordinary. I'm going to use it to make croutons, as melissav suggests, which will then soak in the stock with the aromatics for a while before baking. It's going to be good. Really good. ;o)


11 months ago Elana Carlson

Thanks AJ!