Every holiday has the potential to stress you out, but none of them can make you want to scream quite like Thanksgiving. It should be called Murphy’s holiday because anything that can go wrong will go wrong unless you plan carefully using a rock-solid Thanksgiving timeline.
If you don’t plan ahead and develop a Thanksgiving cooking schedule that includes time for grocery shopping, side dish preparation, safe turkey thawing, and cooking, you’re guaranteed to run into problems. This easy Thanksgiving timeline will help you avoid the most common issues.
Weekend Before Thanksgiving
You should have your turkey cooking method and side dish recipes picked out. Make a full shopping list split into two trips, but for today:
- Pick up frozen turkey and start defrosting in the refrigerator
- Buy vegetables that keep well (potatoes, onions, garlic)
- Cook sides ahead of time that can be frozen (soups, gravy)
Defrosting your turkey properly takes 4-5 days for a large bird, so be careful and plan accordingly.
Two Days Before
This day is all about preparing sides and making life easier down the road. Get the rest of your fresh ingredients from the store, then:
- Start defrosting frozen sides
- Make pie crust, cranberry sauce, and dressings
- Chop vegetables, set stuffing bread out to stale
One Day Before
This is the final push to get as much done as possible and make Thanksgiving day less hectic. Get ahead of schedule by:
- Making apple, maple pecan, and pumpkin pies (refrigerate pumpkin)
- Clean and trim vegetables for final cooking
- Prepare stuffing in casserole dish (refrigerate)
The big day has arrived! You’ll need to plan carefully for what dishes you have, what temperature they cook at, and of course, leaving enough time to roast the turkey. The best approach is to:
- Start with recipes that don’t need to be cooked
- Roast the turkey at 325° F for 15 minutes per pound (internal temp 165° F)
- Let turkey stand for 30-40 minutes for juices to redistribute
- Cook final sides while turkey is resting
As long as your kitchen appliances are working properly, this Thanksgiving timeline should be a huge success. If you run into trouble though, call the appliance repair experts at DeserTech Appliance Service right away.