Alton Brown's Top Thanksgiving Tips for Guaranteed Good Eats

Prep as much as possible in advance to Thanksgiving.

— -- Don’t wait until the last minute to prep Thanksgiving dinner. The way to guarantee success is by planning ahead and prepping as much as possible in advance of the big day.

Alton Brown knows this, and he has a list of everything you can do to make turkey day as delicious and stress-free as possible. Read on for his top tips to planning some seriously good eats, then grab his Thanksgiving recipes below.

  • Slice and dice all your veggies a few days before and refrigerate in plastic, zipped bags.
  • Cube any bread that's needed for stuffing or dressing, and stash on the counter in a paper bag to dry out.
  • Peel and cut or cube all potatoes or sweet potatoes a day or two before cooking and store in cold water in the refrigerator.
  • Use serving pieces that can be used for cooking or vice versa. I especially like cast iron because it looks great and stays hot for considerably longer than any other common kitchen material.
  • Drop by a party or restaurant supply store and pick up Chinese take-out containers. They're perfect for sending home leftovers with guests.
  • Making your own cranberry sauce is ridiculously easy. You can even use a can as a mold for those retro ridges. I usually make mine in a French-press.
  • When making up containers of prepped ingredients, don't forget to label them. I use Post-it notes, but that's just me.
  • Breast meat is done about 15 degrees before dark meat. Help ensure the white stuff doesn't overcook while the dark stuff gets up to temperature by taking your bird out of the fridge about an hour before roasting and placing ice packs on the breast.
  • Just about any gravy is better with a few drops of soy or Worcestershire sauce.
  • Adding aromatic ingredients such as sage and rosemary, citrus zest and apple peel to the cavity of your bird won't do much for the flavor, but it sure will make the kitchen smell good.
  • Most pies and cakes can be made days or even weeks before and frozen.
  • Alton Brown's 'Good Eats' Roast Turkey: Click here for the recipe

    Alton Brown's Creamy Garlic and Parm Mashed Potatoes: Click here for the recipe

    Alton Brown's Green Bean Casserole: Click here for the recipe

    Alton Brown's Creamed Corn Dressing: Click here for the recipe

    Alton Brown's Parker House Rolls: Click here for the recipe