This time of year, there’s no shame in turning to the internet (or, ahem, the Williams-Sonoma test kitchen hotline) with your burning, defrosting, roasting, and basting Thanksgiving questions. In fact, a glance at the interwebs suggests you guys have a few things in mind—and it’s not what to say to Uncle Phil about politics this year.
Can you guess what you’re hunting to learn about? (If all this data so close to Game Day stresses you out, we suggests this zen meditation on table-setting with our stylish director of visual merchandising, Tommy Tran.
There are planners, there are not-so-much-planners, and there’s Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl of feeding those you love. You’re googling how to roast a turkey, what temperature to cook one at, and how long to cook it. We’ve got answers on all those fronts. Here’s your handy-dandy weight and cooking time chart. Here’s our test-kitchen director’s favorite (dry-brined) roast turkey recipe. And here, as a bonus, are your top-10 turkey specific questions, answered.
It’s so easy, guys. Start taking your bird’s temperature 15 minutes or more before you think it might be done. You want to put an instant-read digital thermometer into the fattest part of its thigh, avoiding the bones, right under the wing.
3. What Temperature Is Correct?
No matter what kind of thermometer you’re using, the USDA says that turkey is safe to eat when every part of it hits 165°. Some folks would even tell you to pull the bird out of the oven at 155°, tent it with aluminum foil, and wait for it to come to 165°. You can, but it’s not what we officially recommend.)
Even if you’re hosting the smallest of T Days—like you and the kid, or you and the roommate, or the dog (lucky dog)—at a certain point, you may realize you desperately need mashed potatoes. You’re looking up how to boil potatoes and then how to mash ’em up. You’re going to want a good half pound per person per our handy-dandy Thanksgiving math chart. And may we boldly suggest our tater recipes? And doing this bit in the Instant Pot, for creamy potatoes that stay luxe for ages and don’t take up stovetop space? You’re welcome.
Though there are zillions of culinary professionals here, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that those among us have, too, have forgotten the gravy until the last minute. (That’s why our test kitchen director swears by our gravy base, and making it before you make the bird.) “How to make gravy” is the simplest, most desperate-to-eat-how-could-I-have-forgotten internet search. And it’s so easy, guys: You’re making a roux (a mix) of butter and flour, adding stock, demi-glace and/or pan drippings, simmering it for a few minutes, and seasoning it to taste. It’s so simple, in fact, that you may find yourself making gravy for your Wednesday chicken or your Saturday casserole. Why should Thanksgiving get all the gravy?