Food & Wine

Jeff’s Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks

Hi guys! Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we decided to share some tips and tricks that Jeff uses each Thanksgiving to make our holiday cooking stress-free & fun for everyone. We love to host, but I also like Jeff to feel like he can hang out with the family not just cook all day – these tips can help lessen the workload on the chef in your home on Thanksgiving day.

  • One of the tricky parts of preparing and serving a Thanksgiving meal is timing each of the items to be ready at the same time. To help with this, you should consider preparing some of the side dishes the day before such as pies and mashed potatoes, especially if you have just one oven like I do.
  • If you’re using a disposable aluminum pan for roasting your turkey, be sure to get one that has attached handles which help to re-enforce the pan and make it easier to move in and out of the oven.
  • Be sure to allow enough time for your turkey to defrost and NEVER defrost at room temperature, allow in the refrigerator.
  • Brine the turkey for at least 24 hours. I’ve found brining to be a great way to ensure a moist and flavorful turkey and also help with the thawing process if you are starting with a frozen turkey! Large brine bags are available here.
  • Wrap your turkey in a bacon braid to help keep it moist and to add great flavor. Also the braid looks really good for pictures before you carve the turkey.
  • Cook your stuffing separately, don’t stuff your turkey! This will help the shorten the cooking time and allow for the turkey to cook more evenly.
  • I use Pepperidge Farms Cubed stuffing mix each year! I have learned over the years that I need to buy it a few weeks in advance otherwise run the risk of having this version sell out. Also I do the same for the sausage, don’t wait til the last minute.
  • Green apples and spicy sausage in the stuffing take it to a whole new level – See my Turkey Stuffing recipe here
  • In most grocery stores you can buy pre-diced onions and celery. If not, consider dicing them the day before to help lighten your workload.

  • If you don’t feel comfortable making your own gravy, Williams Sonoma has a great Turkey base that is easy and quick to prepare just before you serve your meal.

Jeff linked his favorite ‘cooking’ related gifts below for all of you.. the holidays are coming up and these pieces are perfect for anyone who loves to be in the kitchen and try new recipes like Jeff! We own many of these pieces and LOVE them.. we wrote a little bit about each item below.

Jeff's Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks - Everything that will help you prepare for the big holiday! Also Jeff included his cookware gift guide for the holidays.

Jeff did tell me he forgot to add his favorite Ice Cream Maker into this roundup! We made ice cream all Summer and fell in love with this machine. It’s on sale close to the holidays and now is the perfect time to grab it. Click here to shop Jeff’s ice cream machine.

1.All-Clad nonstick set of 3 skillets – This set of 3 is on major sale right now & perfect for cooking in every season. You can make every kind of meal in these skillets. Jeff uses his almost 7 days a week. Click here to shop the skillets.

2. Le Creuset 5.25 qt Dutch Oven – One of our favorite dutch ovens! This size can serve many people and it looks beautiful sitting in the kitchen year round. Currently on sale under $200. Click here to shop the dutch oven.

3. 7-Cup Food Processor Plus – This cookware item is easy to use, clean and store! Extremely powerful and will allow you to chop, puree, knead, mix, shred and slice. Great gift. Click here to shop the food processor.

4. Instant Pot Aura Pro Multicooker – Jeff just ordered this recently and he’s excited to give it a try! Based on the reviews, he’s going to love it. Has the functionality of 10 appliances in one. Click here to shop the multicooker.

5. Bistro Grill – Jeff LOVES this cookware item. He uses it constantly. (Currently on sale!) Enjoy the delicious taste of grilled meat and veggies—rain or shine—without the hassle of firing up the outdoor grill. Le Creuset’s cast iron grill works with any heat source—including induction. Click here to shop the bistro grill.

6. Immersion Blender & Chopper – Easy to quickly blend, prep and whip lots of different things. Great for those hard to stir items you need to quickly blend up while cooking. On sale under $60. Click here to shop the blender.

7. Egg Poaching Pan – For those who love their eggs poached, this is one of our favorite pans ever! The eggs don’t break because they are in individualized cups and they slide right out. So convenient for a morning breakfast. On sale under $50. Click here to shop the pan.

8. Jeff’s Waffle Maker – One of our weekend staples! We love eating waffles for breakfast, lunch or dinner and this smart machine makes it easy and fun. We talk about this maker a lot in IG Stories.. we’re huge fans. On sale right now.. we have the 2-slice! Click here to shop the waffle maker.

9. Tabletop Spiralizer – Perfect for salads, desserts, garnishes and more! Turn veggies into delicious noodles. (Zoodles anyone!?) Plus it’s under $40. Click here to shop the spiralizer.

10. Classic Kitchenaid 4.5 Qt Mixer – Jeff has this mixer and loves it! He uses it for everything cooking & baking related. He likes the 10-speed control. On sale under $200. Click here to shop the mixer.

11. Our Espresso Machine – WE LOVE THIS MACHINE! We’ve had it for 2 years now and still love it as much as we did when we first bought it. On the pricier end but it is one of the best machines on the market. We use it everyday. It can make lattes, espressos, regular coffee, cappuccinos, and more! It’s on sale currently so snag one of these for Christmas. Click here to shop the machine.

12. Signature Saucepan 1.75 Qt – Jeff uses this saucepan all the time & he loves it. Lots of color options & it’s on sale! Click here to shop the saucepan.

13. Jeff’s Cast Iron Skillet – We love using this skillet for cookie skillets, cooking and more! Lots of color options – it’s also on sale right now. Click here to shop the cast iron skillet.

14. Instant Meat Thermometer – Jeff LOVES this thermometer! He uses it for red meat every time he cooks.. so convenient and affordable. Under $20. Waterproof. Click here to shop the thermometer.

Hope these tips & tricks help you with your Thanksgiving prep! Let us know in the comments if you have any special tips & tricks that help prepare you for the holiday. We also hope you liked Jeff’s cookware gift guide. He added everything he loves & hope you love them too.

xo,
Kristy

Click here to see more of Jeff’s recipes & click here to see my gift guide for the cozy girl.

Thoughts?

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8 thoughts on “Jeff’s Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks

  1. Im so excited for ThanKsgiving. This will be my fIrst time cooking a holiday meal by myself. Love these tips. Especially the gravey. I started sweating thinking about that.
    Love your blog.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Danielle – good luck with cooking! You will do amazing.. Don’t worry about the gravy. Last thing you need to worry about is trying to make everything from scratch. Feel free to e-mail us if you have any other questions that Jeff may be able to answer. :) xx

  2. Thank you so much for the helpful tips jeff
    Makes my life easy
    SPECIALLY with two little ones, i am busy busy
    And I’m excited to make the Turkey stuffing recipe
    Looks delicious
    Something new to try
    I can’t wait for Thanksgiving now 😁

    Lots of love to everyone 🥰

  3. Oh my goodness! I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving DINNER for years and Jeff has got it all down to a science…I conquer with all Jeff’s tips! great blog!

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