ThanksgivingHow to CookTips & Techniques

How to Win Thanksgiving: Our Essential Tips, Tricks, and Advice

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: Don't panic -- here's our complete guide to pulling off Thanksgiving without a hitch.


Thanksgiving not only kicks off the holiday season, it's the sounding horn for a month-long marathon of cooking, baking, eating, and drinking. Like any extreme sporting event, being prepared for it comes down to two things: focus and endurance.

To coach you through it, we've collected our most helpful tips, tutorials, and advice in one place. From prepping, cooking, and carving a turkey to better side dishes and desserts to avoiding kitchen disasters, we've got you covered. So get out there -- and show Thanksgiving what you've got. 


The Turkey

  • When it comes to a juicy, tender bird, brining is a foolproof technique. You can opt for traditional wet brining, or you can avoid a bit of mess by dry brining instead, like in this genius recipe for The Judy Bird.
  • Spatchcocking is a fancy way to say that you're butterflying your bird -- it also means quicker, more even cooking.
  • If you're the adventurous type (and you think frying makes everything better), then it's time to familiarize yourself with how to deep-fry a turkey.

More: If you can't be bothered with a whole bird, this genius turkey breast recipe -- it's just crazy enough to work.

The Sides


More: It's the most important meal of the day. Here's what to serve for breakfast this holiday season.

Setting the table -- and the mood

Last but not least: Don't panic.

More: If you're in the holiday spirit, stop by our holiday pop-up market in New York City!

Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!
Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!

Tags: thanksgiving, tips, tricks, advice, kitchen confidence, how to cook thanksgiving dinner, meal prep, menu planning, thanksgiving techniques