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15 Thanksgiving Hacks We’re Stealing From Our Favorite Chefs

Thanksgiving is coming. The food-centric holiday means a lot of things — a time to gather with friends and family, delicious food, an excuse to unbutton your pants at the dinner table — but if you’re cooking, it also means you’re looking for every tip, hack or trick you can get to make dinner faster, simpler and tastier. Luckily, your favorite celebrity chefs have your back. We rounded up some of our favorite advice superstar chefs have for a seamless Thanksgiving.

1. Name your plates & platters

According to Today, Giada De Laurentiis says to lay out your plates and platters and put post-it notes on each one so you don’t have to second-guess yourself while you’re plating them.

2. Use your cooler as a temperature control

Sunny Anderson says your average camper cooler can be great for keeping sides and even your turkey warm while you prep the rest of the meal.

More: 24 Thanksgiving Slow Cooker Recipes That’ll Make Your Holiday a Breeze

3. Don’t be afraid to make sweet potatoes savory

Marcus Samuelsson recommends chili powder and garlic on top.

4. Dry brine

Save yourself the hassle and just make a dry brine for your turkey by rubbing it with salt two days in advance, says Deuki Hong.

5. Get color on your bird

Lidia Bastianich says the trick to making your turkey look magazine-ready is brushing it with balsamic vinegar 10 to 15 minutes before you pull it out of the oven.

6. Give your turkey a rest

Ryan Hardy swears the secret to the best turkey ever is letting it rest for one hour after you’ve finished your preferred cooking method.

More: 4 Asparagus Side Dishes That’ll Add a Punch to Your Thanksgiving Table

7. Get quick room-temperature butter

Jocelyn Delk-Adams says to microwave a glass of water, dump out the glass of water and then place the warm glass over a stick of butter. Room temperature butter in a snap.

8. Stuff after it’s cooked

According to Bon Appétit, Michael Chernow makes his stuffing separate and then puts it into the bird after the turkey is cooked. He also cooks his stuffing in bacon fat for extra flavor.

9. Serve the turkey with hot chicken stock

Bobby Flay says the secret to delicious turkey is that after you carve the turkey, put it on a tray and cover it in hot chicken stock. It means you get a hot turkey and it keeps the bird juicy.

10. Stay away from carbs for appetizers

Danny Bowien recommends light dips, like a miso dressing, as an appetizer because carbs will fill you up too much before the main course.

11. Mix up your sweet potatoes

Daniel Boulud adds banana, apple, orange juice, onion and a little bit of curry powder to his to make something really memorable.

12. Prep your potatoes a day early

Rachael Ray says you can prep potatoes and cover them in water in the fridge for up to a day or two before it’s time to cook and mash them.

13. Don’t start too early

Gordon Ramsay says to make sure you get a good night’s sleep and don’t get up too early, or you’ll be burned out and grumpy by midday. If you feel like there’s too much to get done, delegate.

And we love these tips from some of LA’s hottest chefs.

14. The best gravy ever

LA barbecue king Adam Cole says you can make the best turkey gravy by making a stock from the roasted neck. The night before, soak the innards in milk, the rinse them, sauté them and chop them up and add them to your thickened stock gravy the next day.

15. Spice up your pie

Akasha Richmond recommends sprinkling your pumpkin pie with cardamom.

A version of this article was originally published in November 2017. 

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Image: Regina Ferrara/SheKnows

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