Facebook Live

Thanksgiving Game Plan & Hotline

In the last segment of our Thanksgiving Facebook Live series, we shared our Thanksgiving Day game plan and answered last-minute cooking questions.

Published Nov. 22, 2016.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Over the past few weeks, we’ve walked you through what you can make-ahead in our Thanksgiving: You Can’t Start Planning Soon Enough segment, offered up new takes on classics in Inspiring Thanksgiving Sides, and chatted about all things turkey in Turkey Talk: How to Cook the Bird. In this week’s Facebook Live, America’s Test Kitchen TV host Julia Collin Davison and our gadget expert Lisa McManus share their suggested game plan for the big day and answer your last-minute cooking questions with expert advice.

A well-thought-out game plan is helpful on a chaotic day like Thanksgiving to ensure everything hits the table warm and nothing gets abandoned in the back of the fridge. In our newest release, What Good Cooks Know, we take things a step further and provide an instruction manual for your kitchen—from how to save a watery sauce to which basic kitchen tools perform the best. (This book will arm you with everything you need to be a great cook on all occasions, not just Thanksgiving.) Take home your copy today.


Game Plan & Hotline

Watch as Julia Collin Davison and Lisa McManus take on the role of coaches, walking you through their Thanksgiving game plan and answering last-minute questions to help ensure your holiday dinner is a success.  
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Julia and Lisa walk you through our Thanksgiving game plan and show you a few key pieces of kitchen equipment to have on hand for Thanksgiving.

In this week’s Facebook Live, Julia and Lisa take on the role of coaches and walk you through our Thanksgiving game plan. A game plan helps organize the chaos of Thanksgiving day and ensures everything goes smoothly from oven to table. Here’s a look at our game plan for the big day.

Julia and Lisa take on the role of coaches and test cook Ashley Moore takes on the role of referee in our final Thanksgiving Facebook Live.

4½ to 3 hours before serving time:

2½ hours before serving time:

1½ hours before serving time:

  • Transfer mashed potatoes to a slow cooker set to warm
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest uncovered (tenting the bird will result in soggy skin); a small or medium size turkey should rest for 30 minutes before carving and a really big bird, 18 pounds or larger, should rest for 40 minutes
  • Put stuffing in the oven

1 hour before serving time:

  • Cook remaining vegetable side dishes
  • Bring cranberry sauce to room temperature
  • Open red wine to let it breathe

30 minutes before serving time:

  • Remove stuffing from oven
  • Turn oven down to the lowest setting; keep food and plates warm as needed
  • Carve turkey and arrange on a platter
  • Make or reheat pre-made gravy (tip: serve gravy in an insulated carafe to keep warm at the table)
  • Adjust consistency of mashed potatoes as needed and transfer to a serving bowl

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