Everyday Food Blog

Answers to your Thanksgiving Questions

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Thanks for submitting your Thanksgiving questions. We are heading home to our families and friends for the holiday, we hope you have a great Thanksgiving! Please read our responses below.

Stephanie writes:

I hope someone can help me with this. I am making a stuffed turkey breast this year (first time). My recipe calls for a 4 lb butterflied breast, but I’m doing one double that size. I have no idea how to adjust the cooking time!
Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

Stephanie,

Since we don't know the specs of the recipe our best advice is to proceed according to the recipe and cook until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. In the event that the outside starts to get too dark simply tent it with a piece of foil. Let us know how it turns out!!

Liz writes:

My pumpkin pie is getting baked tonight (Tuesday) and needs to travel before being eaten on Thursday. Is there a trick for freezing a baked pie that will minimize how much the filling pulls away from the crust?

Liz,

We highly recommend NOT freezing your pie, which can effect the silky texture of your filling. Instead, let it cool completely on a wire rack, cover with foil and place in the refrigerator (just make sure the foil isn't touching the filling or it will stick). It will be fine in the fridge until Thursday. As the pie comes to room temperature you might see a little condensation form on top of the filling but it shouldn't separate from the crust.

Laura writes:

If I brine my turkey will it be more moist? Whats the best brine for my bird?

Laura,

Brining can make for a juicier and more flavorful bird. The salt in the brine helps the turkey retain moisture while imparting flavor deep into the bird. We like a brine based on this ratio: 2 quarts cold water to 1 cup sugar and 1 cup kosher salt. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Brine overnight in the refrigerator.

Heather writes:

I’m making my pies on Wednesday (apple, pecan and pumpkin). Do they all have to be refrigerated overnight?

Heather,

All of your pies should be okay overnight at room temperature. Loosely cover them with foil and set them in a cool part of your kitchen.

Debbie writes:

I just woke up and found that I didn't put the homemade cranberry sauce in the refrigerator last night!! It was made with orange juice/sugar/oranges/cranberries. Is it still good??

Debbie,

Don't worry we've all made that mistake during the Holiday rush. If there is at least a cup of sugar (to 12 ounces cranberries) then you should be fine as sugar is a natural preservative. Also, if it's a cooked sauce you can always put it back on the heat, bring to a boil and reheat for a couple of minutes.

Louisa writes:

Just trying to cut down some of the workload on Thanksgiving, how far in advance can I peel potatoes if I keep them in cold water and for them to still make delicious mashed potatoes?

Louisa,

You can peel the potatoes and hold them in cold water in the fridge for up to 2 days. Start peeling!

Doug Paris writes:

I am smoking our turkey and have been advised that it is best to not add the turkey dressing stuffing. What do you recommend? Is it OK to stuff the turkey with the dressing while smoking the turkey for approximately 8 hours?

Doug,

After 8 hours your stuffing will taste overwhelmingly like smoke. We recommend you bake your dressing in the oven and serve alongside your delicious smoked turkey.

Kelly Brown writes:

I made “The Perfect Crust” recipe that Martha posted for the thanksgiving apple pie but I’m not sure it turned out right. The crust is wrapped in plastic in my fridge till tomorrow. I noticed that the butter pieces in the dough are a little larger than “pea size”, is that going to effect the outcome of my crust or make it hard to roll out? Other than that the consistency of it seems fine.

Kelly,

A little under-processed is always better than over-processed when it comes to pie crusts. The bigger butter pieces with flatten out during the rolling process and make for a VERY flaky crust. Send us a picture of that pie!

Keep the questions coming, we're in the kitchen all afternoon...

Comments (5)

  • avatar

    If I brine my turkey will it be more moist? Whats the best brine for my bird?

  • avatar

    Another pie question - my pumpkin pie is getting baked tonight (Tuesday) and needs to travel before being eaten on Thursday. Is there a trick for freezing a baked pie that will minimize how much the filling pulls away from the crust?

  • avatar

    Hello, there.
    I hope someone can help me with this. I am making a stuffed turkey breast this year (first time). My recipe calls for a 4 lb butterflied breast, but I'm doing one double that size. I have no idea how to adjust the cooking time!
    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

  • avatar

    My Thanksgiving Day Menu are all recipes from your website. I'm making the Roast Turkey with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze, but I'm cooking a 21 lb. Butterball turkey. Can you help me to adjust the recipe's cooking time for this size turkey.

  • avatar

    Could I prep yams the day before like the potatoes?