9 Ultimate Tips for Thanksgiving Entertainment

All Thanksgiving we are grateful for any good advice that makes accommodation much easier. And over the years, we at SAVEUR have accumulated many game-changing tips, from a foolproof method to roast the turkey faster route to killer scalloped potatoes. This year, we asked our staff for their absolute favorite tips, which we’re sharing to make sure your Turkey Day goes off without a hitch.

Forget the shakes and shakes – this year’s move is to mix up a cocktail in bulk for easy self-serve.

If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving, you know how easy it can be to miss your own party. After all, turkey doesn’t roast and there’s no appetizer without someone tossing them in, right? Bad. Enter the grand cocktail (a few of our favorites here), which you can make hours in advance and chill in a pitcher or punch bowl (just add the fizzy ingredients when ready to serve). As guests help themselves, you’ll be doing exactly what you’re supposed to do: spending quality time with family and friends. –Benjamin KemperMaster Recipe Editor

Save time, space and your sanity by steaming potatoes instead of boiling them.

My whole household is made up of potato people, that is, there has never been a pot big enough to hold all the potatoes we boiled on Thanksgiving Day. Once I learned that I could make an epic amount of mashed potatoes in minutes by smoking potatoes – boil two inches of water instead of a whole pot? Yes please ! “I never looked back. (Just halve or quarter your potatoes, then cook over medium-low heat until tender.) Now I have fewer spitting cooking containers hot air in my kitchen – covered pan FTW! – and a creamier, less watery mash, to boot. Laura Sampedro, editor-in-chief

Those supermarket roasting bags always do wonders for our Thanksgiving family. They keep the turkey juicy, drastically reduce roasting time, streamline cleanup, and most importantly, minimize time spent in dreaded food safety. Temperature danger zone. That last point is always a hassle with an old-fashioned stuffed bird, which is a non-negotiable in my mom’s kitchen. If you’re put off by the “shortcut”, I assure you, the premise here is old and perfectly legit. call it turkey Foil if you wish, or indicate the Cajun cooking guru by Justin Wilson vast work of recipes in a bag. For best results, cut off the top of the bag and increase the heat for the last 15 minutes to crisp the skin. Roast the neck separately with aromatic vegetables and butter, then add the turkey jus and a little broth for your own sauce. Kat CraddockManaging Editor

Set your ultra-chic party table the night before.

Thanksgiving is a day to be grateful, but it’s also a day that can be… chaotic, whether it’s the giant to-do list, the kitchen itself, or the long hours spent with extended family. . So why not tick one thing off this list and set your festive and super chic table the night before? Spending a little extra time to set the table properly will set you up for success and make whatever awaits you tomorrow feel totally manageable. Plus, having an Instagramable table for your guests will seal the deal on a truly memorable Thanksgiving. Jess Hothersall, photo editor

Because everything tastes better when dipped in gravy (no one will notice if these turnips are a little under-seasoned!), my family takes ours very seriously. The next day or two, we simmer cuts of turkey (neck, breast, etc.) from our local butcher to make sure there is a lot of gravy for not only Thanksgiving dinner, but also hot turkey sandwiches the next day. Additionally, there is a “dry” placebo effect before cooking the turkey which makes the roast less stressful. Alex Redgrave, Editor

Do something you really be grateful for: Traveling abroad.

The Thanksgiving before the pandemic, I decided to do something different with my family. My husband, Ian; daughter, Quinn; and I had lunch at the Jean-Georges restaurant in our neighborhood, then I took a flight to Rome. Traveling abroad on Thanksgiving Day is amazing. The airport is totally sweet because everyone is already where they need to be. Moreover, when you arrive at your destination, there are no American tourists! Imagine having the Trevi Fountain all to yourself. And I don’t need to tell you about the food! Kate Berry, Creative Director

Take advantage of the outdoors to free up much-needed kitchen space.

We could all use a little more oven, counter and fridge space this Thanksgiving. To free up valuable kitchen space, head to the great outdoors. If you have a grill, consider using it to prepare your sides: Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and corn on the cob are just a few vegetables that really shine after a sizzle. You can also smoke your turkey outdoors, leaving your oven open for essential foods like Green bean casserole and pecan pie. If it’s cold enough, you can even set up cold drinks on an outdoor drink station. And, let’s be honest, with all the hustle and bustle surrounding Thanksgiving dinner, getting some fresh air may be just the thing to find a few peaceful, quiet moments amidst the fun and frenzy. Megan Zhang, Senior Culture Editor

Let’s be realistic. The turkey is the most expensive, hardest to cook, longest, and most unwieldy piece of the Thanksgiving puzzle. It’s been the iconic stressor for years in popular culture, where turkeys burst into flames, flew through the air, deflated or self-destructed. Save yourself the anxiety this year and…ditch it. That’s right, take that football-shaped fowl out of the picture and welcome another protein (or no protein!) into the fold. Roast a Pork Loinor one chickenor even a lasagna to weep bitterly. The whole Thanksgiving story is basically a myth, so create your own dedicated tradition of being grateful to your family and friends. –Ellen Fort, Editor-in-Chief

Forget the roux and make it instead.

My sauce is never lumpy. Achieving this sassy ideal takes a bit of extra preparation, but the result is always silky smooth and works wonders on big bird day. Dry browning flour is an old French technique introduced early in colonial kitchens in the United States. I learned the hack from my dad, who used browned flour to thicken soups and okra. All that is needed is a skillet (preferably cast iron) and patient stirring to avoid burns. Stirred in sizzling drippings, the golden flour adds a light nutty note to other aromatics, whether it’s fresh herbs, garlic and onions or, as in our family sauce recipe, chopped offal. Because browned flour is already cooked, it binds faster than raw flour, eliminating the straining step to remove mushy lumps. Beyond Thanksgiving, golden flour goes into my rustic sauces for chicken, duck, and other game birds. My family practically drinks the stuff. Get the full technique here. –Shane Mitchell, Editor