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How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong Slideshow

How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong Slideshow

Guests arrive in half an hour and the turkey’s raw or burned — now what?

Turkey SOS: How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong

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Getting ready to host a big meal isn’t a task to be taken lightly. It requires cunning, know-how, and a lot of patience. You have to be sure to wear several hats, and take on each role with a calming demeanor that makes your guests feel at ease and completely taken care of. But no matter how calm, cool, and collected you are, if something bad happens to your turkey on Thanksgiving, chances are you will panic.

To prevent you from losing your cool, we spoke with several chefs from noted restaurants to get the inside scoop on how to save your Thanksgiving turkey, and also how to prevent a few bad things from happening from the get-go.

We asked them to weigh in on every type of turkey emergency — from dry turkey to frozen turkey — and rounded up their fabulous tips to help you to save your Thanksgiving dinner!

Browning Too Fast/Not Fast Enough

"If it’s browning too fast, simply turn the temperature of the oven down. To slow, turn the temperature of the oven up or turn the fan on if it’s a convection oven."

— Chef Matthew McClure, 21c’s The Hive

"If you think you're turkey is browning too fast, lower the heat on your oven. During the last five minutes of cooking your turkey, crank up the oven to 500 degrees if browning too slow."
— Glenn Harris, chef/owner of The Smith

"Too fast: no problem, cover with foil and slightly reduce temperature. Too slow: increase the heat and or baste with a butter-soy mixture."

— Ford Fry, chef/restaurateur, Rocket Farm Restaurants

Burnt Turkey

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Dry Turkey

Forget to Remove the Giblets

Turkey Didn’t Defrost

"Put turkey in a large pot or ice chest, and run water over to thaw. Alternative would be to butcher the turkey and cook pieces individually." — Matthew McClure, chef at 21c’s The Hive

"Place the bird in lukewarm water with 3 percent salt, which acts as an 'express brine,' further tenderizing meat and adding additional flavor." — Eduard Frauneder, co-chef-owner of Edi & the Wolf, Seasonal, The Third Man

"If frozen: Thaw, thaw, thaw! Defrost turkey in the refrigerator on a tray (to catch the drippings) for about three days. If you wake up on Thanksgiving morning and your bird is still frozen, thaw in cold water (place in sink or cooler, and if possible, run water for the duration, which will help thaw the bird evenly). Depending on the size, it will take four to five hours."— Elizabeth Karmel, founder of Girls at the Grill and Carolina Cue To Go

Turkey Is Done Too Early

Undercooked Turkey

"Offer your guests a few more rounds of cocktails and appetizers, and turn the oven to a higher temperature to cook [the turkey] faster." — Matthew McClure, chef at 21c’s The Hive

"Separate the breast, thighs, and legs, and take all the meat off the carcass, and then put it back in the oven. Separate, smaller pieces will roast quicker." — Glenn Harris, chef-owner of The Smith

"Remove both breasts from the bone and both leg and thighs. Place skin-side-down on a roasting pan in a shallow pool of chicken broth and roast till done." — Ford Fry, chef-restaurateur, Rocket Farm Restaurants


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.


Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning saves money, saves time, and as a student, parent, gig hacker, or a human being who likes to eat — saves you from getting hungry. Meal planning is also one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier. If there’s something homemade and it’s ready to rumble in the fridge, you are less likely to make a last minute fast food decision to feed the hangry (hungry + angry) on the way home.

OK, let’s talk money. I can’t count the all dollars you’ll save for every meal you make at home, but I did calculate the cost of my lunch. By doing the mathy math, I figured I’d save $2,450 per year (that’s five lunches a week) by preparing and making my lunch at home. Woot!

With meal planning I find my homemade daily lunches and dinners are always high on nutrition with whole foods and low on the heavily processed ingredients often found in takeout.

OK, let’s talk time. I pick a day and use my Instant Pot for an hour. Then I make another meal in under an hour. And then I’m done. Maybe you need more than two hours, maybe less. That’s up to you and your schedule. This post can help!

So let’s do this. Here’s the Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning — even if you hate meal planning. Kudos.