The keys to a stress-free Thanksgiving are planning ahead and asking for help. Here are a few tips to get you started:
One day to three weeks before Thanksgiving:
- Shop for those dishes you will make yourself if items can remain fresh.
- Ask your guests to each bring a side dish or beverages.
- Create a seating plan, set the table(s), and decorate your home.
- Make as many dishes in advance as possible, or order side dishes from your favorite restaurant.
- Make easy appetizers guests can snack on (such as fruit and veggie trays or chips and salsa) while they are waiting for dinner to be served.
- Put beverages in the refrigerator to chill.
- While the turkey is roasting, prepare those side dishes you plan to make.
- Make coffee and tea to go with dessert.
- Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or family member to help with the cleanup.
- Split up the leftovers and have containers ready to fill so you can send your guests home with their favorites.
Turkey Thawing Times
|Weight||In Fridge: 40° F||In Cold Water*|
|8 to 12 lbs||2 to 2.5 days||4 to 6 hrs|
|12 to 16 lbs||2.5 to 4 days||6 to 8 hrs|
|16 to 20 lbs||4 to 5 days||8 to 10 hrs|
|20 to 24 lbs||5 to 6 days||10 to 12 hrs|
|(*Turkey should be submerged in the water.)|
Turkey Cooking Times
|8 to 12 lbs||2.75 to 3 hrs||3 to 3.5 hrs|
|12 to 14 lbs||3 to 3.75 hrs||3.5 to 4 hrs|
|14 to 18 lbs||3.75 to 4.25 hrs||4 to 4.25 hrs|
|18 to 20 lbs||4.25 to 4.5 hrs||4.25 to 4.75 hrs|
|20 to 24 lbs||4.5 to 5 hrs||4.75 to 5.25 hrs|
|(*Open-Pan Method in 325° F conventional oven on lowest rack)|