I've kept it no secret that Thanksgiving is my utmost favorite holiday. I enjoy what I call the Four Fs of Thanksgiving: Food, Family, Football, and Fun. I try to pack the day with as much of it as I can. Being close to loved ones on this day is number one. Throw in some Thanksgiving Day football and that's my kind of fun.

But let's be honest, other than practicing gratitude with my family, it's all about the feast. Around our house, there are literally weeks of preparation that go into the Thanksgiving meal. From different recipes being handed down, to who is coming and when they will arrive, Thanksgiving is a busy time and the food has to be fantastic.

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There's no doubt that the bird is the star of the show. While everybody has their own methods and ways of cooking, nothing is worse than a disappointing turkey. Fortunately, there are some quick and easy tips to ensure your meal is not a disaster. Scroll ahead to make sure you're covering all the bases.


Photo: circlePS/Getty Images

Thaw Turkey

You'd be surprised how many folks make this common mistake. It takes a frozen turkey anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour per pound to thaw. So don't think buying a frozen bird the night before is going to work. Cooking only a partially-thawed bird can make it extremely dry.

Truss Turkey

There's an ongoing argument as to whether this method is preferred. The experts believe trussing, or tying up the turkey, allows it to cook more evenly. This is important, as you want both dark and light meat to be cooked to perfection.

Baste Regularly

Developing a regular basting routine is a critical step. You'll want to keep your turkey moist with juices and spices. The experts recommend basting about once per hour.

Double Bake the Stuffing

If you've never prepared stuffing the traditional way, cooked inside the bird, you're missing out. This method enhances the flavor of both the turkey and the stuffing. However, the stuffing may need additional cooking time. Just bake separately until the temperature reaches about 165 degrees.

Exercise Patience

Ok, I know, the turkey smells delicious and you're tempted to dig right in. But, in doing so, you can lose valuable juices. You'll need to let your turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This will help prevent the juices from running out when you carve your bird.

Cooked turkey
Photo: Creatas Images

The holidays bring with them a bunch of hustle and bustle. Hopefully, the quick tips above will help ease the pains of preparing that Thanksgiving dinner.

Now that you have some tips to prepare your turkey this year, don't forget to take some time to enjoy the season. Maybe catch a Thanksgiving special. There are some good ones out there. Look below to see some favorites.

These Are The Best Thanksgiving Specials of All Time

Here are the absolute best Thanksgiving TV specials, including some with a very Texas Twist.

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