Here are seven bad cooking behaviors you need to avoid so that your holiday meal will be a delight instead of a disaster.
Don't scrimp on the turkey. If you have turkey leftovers, you can transform those leftovers into new and tasty dishes. A good rule of thumb is to buy 1 pound of turkey per person to allow for seconds and leftovers. So if you're having 8 guests for Thanksgiving, you'll need an 8-pound bird.
You need to start thinking about thawing that turkey several days before you're ready to cook it. The best – and safest – defrosting method is to set the bird in a shallow pan in the refrigerator for 24 hours per 5 pounds of turkey. Save room in the refrigerator as this will take several days. The turkey is fully thawed when the thick part of the turkey registers 40 degrees.
Small and inexpensive, the meat thermometer is one of the most valuable kitchen tools you can own. Using one is the surefire way to make sure that your turkey, beef tenderloin, or pork roast is not overcooked and dry or undercooked and unacceptable.