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How to Fix Fifteen Common Thanksgiving Problems

Deep breaths. You've got this.

Thanksgiving should be a day filled with family, friends, and food. But as we all know, things don’t always go according to plan. Find out how to fix fifteen common Thanksgiving problems—you’ll have a fantastic, stress-free day. For great Thanksgiving dinner recipes, check out Thirty Thanksgiving Recipes Free eCookbook. You’ll find great Thanksgiving dinner recipes, Thanksgiving dessert recipes, and Thanksgiving appetizers!

Problem: The turkey is too dry.
Solution: Consider cooking a Brined Turkey. The recipe is full of flavor and moisture. If it’s too late and you’ve already made the turkey, you’re in luck. All you have to do is cover the dry pieces with chicken or turkey broth and stick them in the oven at 250 degrees F for ten to fifteen minutes.

Problem: Your gravy lacks flavor.
Solution: Add more salt. You can also add ground black pepper to your gravy for increased flavor. Or add fortified alcohol like Sherry or Port to create a richer taste. You can also try Thanksgiving dinner recipes like Herbed Turkey Gravy.

Problem: Your turkey won’t thaw fast enough or is still frozen.
Solution: Don’t thaw your turkey on the counter. Instead, place it in your sink and run cold water over it. Fill the sink or a basin with cold water and submerge the turkey until it is completely covered. Dump out the water every fifteen to thirty minutes and refill. After an hour or so, the turkey should be ready to cook.

Problem: Too much to do and not enough help.
Solution: Your best option is to plan ahead. Plan your Thanksgiving dinner recipes in advance and stick to your choices. Don’t be afraid to start early and reheat later.

Problem: Your guests are picky eaters and only like one type of meat.
Solution: For white meat, cook two or three different turkey breasts instead of one entire bird. Then everyone can have small helpings. For dark meat, serve thighs and legs.

Problem: Your Thanksgiving dinner guests have food allergies.
Solution: Serve a simple Thanksgiving dinner recipes like Tossed Green Salad with Parmesan, Classic Dinner Rolls, and Roasted Vegetables. For young eaters, plan a few kids Thanksgiving recipes.

Problem: It’s your first time cooking turkey and you don’t know how much to buy.
Solution: Plan on buying about one pound per person. If you want to make sure the turkey is consumed in one sitting, buy 3/4 pound per person.

Problem: You don’t have much room in your oven.
Solution: Again, the key is to plan ahead. Also, consider using your slow cooker for some recipes, like Slow Cooker Stuffing for Thanksgiving.

Problem: You’ve been so busy planning your traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you forgot to plan for dessert!
Solution: Check out Ten Quick Chocolate Cake Recipes!

Problem: You have tons of leftovers.
Solution: Try Leftover Turkey Pie or Leftover Turkey Bean Soup. Just remember to refrigerate all leftovers within two hours of your meal.

Problem: Dinner is running late and you just took your turkey out of the oven.
Solution: Stop! Let your turkey cool for twenty minutes before you serve it. 

Problem: Dinner is running late and your guests are becoming restless.
Solution: Have some appetizers on hand. For ideas, check out Fifteen Appetizer Recipes in Fifteen Minutes.

Problem: You don’t can’t decide if you want to baste the turkey.
Solution: Basting facilitates browning and crisping. If you want a dark, crispy turkey, baste away. If not, don’t worry about basting.

Problem: The turkey seems to be done, but you’re not positive.
Solution: Take its temperature using an oven-safe thermometer. The internal temperature should be at or above 180 degrees F.

Problem: The turkey won’t reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees F!
Solution: Test it out your thermometer before the big day just in case it’s broken. If you’re in a pinch, bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from heat. Take the temperature of the water—it should be at or around 210 degrees F. If it reads as a lower temperature, your thermometer may be inaccurate and your turkey may be warmer than you think.

Originally published on RecipeLion


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