your thanksgiving cheat sheet

The most nerve-wracking part about Thanksgiving is being sober with family the worry of whether the bird will be fully cooked or even finished on time, or will there be enough food or do I have enough Xanax and wine!?

This list goes on and on.

We’ve compiled some tips and tricks that should streamline the planning and take a little of the stress and guesswork away for you. Well, this and that Xanax.

size DOES matter:

Plan on about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds/person. This sounds like a high number but when you consider the bones and the greasy “undercarriage” of the bird it tends to be about right.

  • 8 people – 12-pound turkey
  • 10 people – 15-pound turkey
  • 12 people – 18-pound turkey
  • 14 people – 20-pound turkey

Also, when working with a frozen turkey, plan for 24 hours for every 5 pounds when thawing in refrigerator.

roast and toast:

Although we are obsessed with frying our turkeys, and just about everything else for that matter, not everyone has the proper equipment for that. This is a loose guide for timing based on roasting an unstuffed turkey at 325 degrees.

  • 12 pounds – 3 hours
  • 15 pounds – 4 hours
  • 18 pounds – 4 to 5 hours
  • 20 pounds – 4 1/2 to 5 hours

We love a basted bird, but restrain yourself, ladies. No more than every 30 minutes. Otherwise, the heat escaping will slow down the cooking process.

Also, always, ALWAYS, let the turkey rest covered in foil for at least 20-30 minutes before carving and serving.

side guide:

  • cranberry sauce: 12 ounces of fresh cranberries yields 2 1/4 cups of sauce. A 16-ounce can (it hurt to type that) has 6 servings.
  • gravy: 1/3 cup per person
  • green beans: 1 1/2 pounds makes about 6-8 servings. Don’t forget the queen bean casserole either, which serves 6-8… or one really emotional ‘mo.
  • mashed potatoes: a 5-pound bag makes 10-12 servings.
  • dressing: 14-ounce bag (bitch, please!) makes about 10-12 servings. Or holly’s cornbread dressing serves about 12.

Hopefully this takes a bit of the guesswork out of the holiday. Now if we could just figure out the story on androgynous Pat in accounting…

*Most tips above were compiled by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the snarky comments were brought to you happily by your own queer in the kitchen.

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