Preparing a Thanksgiving feast can be a daunting task. There’s the planning, the preparation and did we mention the bird?! We went to our cooking expert Anna Carl for some Thanksgiving cooking hacks to help you execute Thanksgiving dinner like a pro.

CLEAN YOUR OVEN
Thanksgiving is typically the start of the holiday season meaning that your kitchen is about to get a work out. Cleaning not only makes your oven presentable but it reduces smoke and off-flavors that result from baked on soils and residue. Make sure to spot clean throughout the baking season to keep your oven cavity clean.

GIVE ENOUGH TIME TO THAW THE TURKEY
When cooking a turkey half the battle is in the preparation. Make sure the turkey is thoroughly thawed to ensure even cooking and avoid prolonged baked times.

ADD SOME FLAVOR
Consider using a flavorful brine for 24 hours before baking. This mixture of water, salt and herbs can infuse your turkey with flavor and moisture.

USE A THERMOMETER
Once the baking begins, use a thermometer to monitor internal temperatures and avoid over-baking your bird. This will ensure your turkey is properly cooked without drying out. If necessary, tent your turkey as baking progresses to avoid over-browning and drying out wings and legs.

HOMEMADE OR STORE BOUGHT?
When it comes to home-made versus store-bought weigh the advantages and consider if anyone will really notice the difference. Concentrate your time on traditional family favorites and must-have dishes that everyone looks forward to every year. Remember, a simple menus allow you the time to add from-scratch touches to every dish.

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