ThanksgivingHoliday EntertainingHow to Cook

Everything You Need to Know to Have the Best Thanksgiving, Ever

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Life has reinforced to me over and over again that gamification is one of our stronger playing cards. Case in point: Thanksgiving. There is nothing about this day that can’t be won.

No longer should we think of it as making it through the big day; that implies that we’ll give you the trench to hide in and provide you with the shield, like you will cower in the corner until it is over. Do you want to cower in the corner? Of course you don’t. You want to stand strong and pour wine like a seasoned pro; you want to take guests’ coats and stir the gravy and set the table and do it all while only being a little sweaty. You want to win.

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And you can. You will. Eyes on the prize: We’re are going to own this holiday. We’re not just going to eat this holiday for dinner—we’re going to eat it for breakfast. These tips will give you the home-field advantage.

Make your grocery sanity lists and check them twice:

Your grocery list is longer than most reasonable novels. You’re going to want to organize it—here’s the best way, and make sure to pick up these 5 traditional ingredients. Still planning your menu?

32 Genius Recipes for Thanksgiving

32 Genius Recipes for Thanksgiving by Kristen Miglore

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6 Thanksgiving Menus for Every Whim and Need

6 Thanksgiving Menus for Every Whim and Need by Leslie Stephens

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Ready yourself, ready your oven:

Read our essential tips for winning Thanksgiving from last year—we followed them ourselves and lived to tell the tale. And then stock up on Amanda and Merrill’s essential tools for the holiday. More, right this way:

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Did you know you could make the whole meal ahead? You can—and you should:

Our girl Ina Garten shares her advice on the former; Leanne Brown schools us on how to stay on a budget while doing it. Neither of these things are cheating.

Never suffer a dry turkey (or a frozen one, or an undercooked one) again:

Start with our top turkey tips, start practicing your carving now, and always be brining. The survey course continues:

Our 9 Best Turkey Strategies (You Only Have to Pick One)

Our 9 Best Turkey Strategies (You Only Have to Pick One) by Caroline Lange

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Top Turkey Conundrums

Top Turkey Conundrums by Elana Carlson

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How to Get Perfect Skin (On Your Turkey, That Is)

How to Get Perfect Skin (On Your Turkey, That Is) by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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Adam Rapoport's Turkey Tips

Adam Rapoport's Turkey Tips by Adam Rapoport

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How to Dry Brine a Turkey

How to Dry Brine a Turkey by Catherine Lamb

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Everything You Need to Know About Brining

Everything You Need to Know About Brining by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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The Essential Numbers: A Guide to Times and Temps for Cooking Your Bird

The Essential Numbers: A Guide to Times and Temps for Coo... by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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The Definitive Pounds-Per-Person Guide to Turkey and Potatoes

The Definitive Pounds-Per-Person Guide to Turkey and Pota... by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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How to Spatchcock a Chicken (or Turkey)

How to Spatchcock a Chicken (or Turkey) by Kristen Miglore

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How to Deep Fry a Turkey

How to Deep Fry a Turkey by Paul Longton

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Top Turkey Tips

Top Turkey Tips by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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How to Carve Your Turkey Like a Pro

How to Carve Your Turkey Like a Pro by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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If your brother is bringing his vegan (or vegetarian, or gluten-free) date:

Here’s how to field that request while staying sane. We also have advice on veganizing the whole meal, turkey alternatives, and more:

You just read a lot. Drinks all around:

This is how to never run out of alcohol at a party again. (Big-batching them will help, too.)

How to slay your side game:

We’ve been known to care more about the sides than much else at the table. Here’s how to take them just as seriously as we do.

Have any room left? Good. Let’s address dessert:

10 Non-Pie Thanksgiving Desserts

10 Non-Pie Thanksgiving Desserts by Brette Warshaw

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Rose Levy Beranbaum's Top 5 Thanksgiving Pie Tips

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Top 5 Thanksgiving Pie Tips by Rose Levy Beranbaum

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12 Easy Thanksgiving Desserts That Won't Put You in a Tizzy

12 Easy Thanksgiving Desserts That Won't Put You in a Tizzy by Sarah Jampel

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Everything You Need to Make the Perfect Pie

Everything You Need to Make the Perfect Pie by Catherine Lamb

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9 Ways to Fancy Up Your Pies

9 Ways to Fancy Up Your Pies by Erin McDowell

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How to Make Custard Pies (+ A Recipe for Maple Chess Pie)

How to Make Custard Pies (+ A Recipe for Maple Chess Pie) by Erin McDowell

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No-Pie Pumpkin Pie

No-Pie Pumpkin Pie by Alice Medrich

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The Easiest Gluten-Free Pie Crust (+ A Recipe for Bourbon Pumpkin Pie)

The Easiest Gluten-Free Pie Crust (+ A Recipe for Bourbon... by Hillary Pollak

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It's one day before game time. Get pumped:


Did someone say "Thanksgiving"? Our menu genie is here to help.