Thanksgiving cooking ideas: How to fix six common fails, according to experts


Thanksgiving could also be about spending time with household and gratitude, however it’s the meals that most individuals look ahead to year-round.

Unfortunately, that signifies that any cooking errors, reminiscent of a burnt pie or a soggy turkey, appear particularly disastrous.

Thankfully, there are strategies for enhancing even essentially the most hopeless dishes, according to experts, who’ve ideas for the entire most common Thanksgiving cooking fails.

Dry turkey

Easily the toughest Thanksgiving menu merchandise to excellent, roasting a turkey can seem to be a frightening process – as there are quite a few issues that may go unsuitable, from not thawing in time to being undercooked.

Fortunately, there are strategies for guaranteeing your hen doesn’t prove dry.

Dry turkey will be prevented by brining (Stock)

One such technique entails brining the turkey forward of time, which can maintain the meat moist.

“Use water with some salt and leave the turkey sitting for a few hours,” David Deshaies of Shaw’s Unconventional Diner informed The Washington Post. For flavour, he recommends including spices reminiscent of thyme, garlic, rosemary and peppercorns.

If you do occur to over-roast your turkey, that doesn’t essentially imply the meat is unsalvageable.

According to Epicurious, you possibly can nonetheless serve dried-out turkey by turning your consideration to “making a stellar stock and gravy”.

One fix consists of ladling heat broth over the platter of sliced turkey to make it look and style moist. Or you are able to do as restaurant proprietor Andrew Carmellini suggests and “add some butter to the gravy and brush that mixture over the top”.

Soggy turkey pores and skin

Although not as dangerous as an overcooked turkey, soggy pores and skin is almost as unappetising, as most agree that the crispy pores and skin is likely one of the greatest elements of the hen.

If your turkey isn’t crisping up prefer it must be, it’s seemingly due to extra moisture within the pores and skin, according to Food and Wine journal.

For “extra-crispy turkey skin,” the journal recommends patting your turkey dry with paper towels earlier than it goes within the oven – a preparation step that’s “especially important if you’re wet-brining your turkey”.

Running out of time

With quite a few sides and mains which might be all equally integral to the meal, it could actually appear overwhelming prepping and getting ready the feast the day of.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do every thing on Thanksgiving Day, as it’s attainable to make some dishes beforehand.

According to April Bloomfield, chef at The Spotted Pig and The Breslin in New York City, you must strive to make all your facet dishes upfront.

“Prep what you can before the day, so that you can spend time with family,” she informed Time.

Kathy Fang, the chef and proprietor of Fang Restaurant in San Francisco, California, suggests beginning even sooner and ensuring baked objects reminiscent of candied yams or pies “a few days in advance,” according to CNET.

The two-days-before rule may apply to sauces, dressings, compotes, marinades, gravy and cranberry sauce.

Bland, flavourless gravy

It could seem to be only a supporting act of the Thanksgiving feast, however gravy flavour has the power to make or break the meal.

If you discover that yours is missing flavour the day of, it’s comparatively straightforward to flip the sauce round.

For store-bought gravy, you possibly can merely add turkey drippings for some added flavour.

Gravy ought to embody turkey drippings (Stock)

Or, you may make a gravy solely out of the drippings, according to Amy Brandwein, the chef and proprietor at Centrolina in Washington, DC, who informed The Post that she makes a gravy of inventory and pan drippings.

“I usually make a brown turkey or chicken stock, reduce it, and put that into my pan drippings,” she mentioned, explaining that when the combination is introduced to a boil, you must add cornstarch till it thickens, after which add a chunk of butter.

If your pie crusts are stiff

No matter what filling is within the centre, a pie is nothing and not using a flaky crust.

To be certain that your crust is completely flaky, Food and Wine advises making it with elements which might be “extra-cold”.


“When you roll out your crust, you should be able to see pea-size pieces of butter studding your dough,” the journal states. “It’s these bits that release steam and cause your dough to puff and create all of those amazing layers.”

In addition to utilizing very chilly butter, the journal additionally recommends that these with heat palms stick their dough within the freezer each couple of minutes to maintain it cool.

Burnt pie crusts

If your downside just isn’t that your pie crusts aren’t flaky however somewhat that they’re burnt, there’s additionally an answer.


“If it is a fruit pie and the top is just slightly burnt you can try using a microplane to carefully shave off really dark spots,” chef and Top Chef decide Gail Simmons informed Today. “If the whole top is burnt, you can cut it off and remove the top completely, then top with whipped cream instead.

Never settle for burnt pie crust again (Stock)

Another solution is simply trying again with a new crust, according to Simmons, who said you can “place a thawed piece of puff pastry over it, cut to shape and crimped, and rebake it for 25 minutes or so, assuming the bottom is not burnt”.

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