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The Food Lab's Complete Guide to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

The key to a successful Thanksgiving is planning. Know what needs to get done, when it needs to be done, and how much manpower and time it's going to take you. There's no better way to derail a calm evening by scrambling at the last minute to make sure your turkey is cooked through, or the gravy isn't burning. There are many theories as to when to prep each individual item, but here's my own schedule of events, starting the week before Thanksgiving. More

The Food Lab: Introducing Vegetables Wellington, the Plant-Based Vegan Roast Even Meat Eaters Will Want

Coming up with a vegan holiday roast is a daunting task! It can't just take the place of the turkey or the prime rib nutritionally, it's got to cover all of those mental bases as well. Not only does it have to taste spectacular, but it's got to look stunning at the center of the table, with rich, deep flavors that scream fall and winter. What I ended up with was a vegan roast that is so pretty, so mouth-watering, so packed with flavor and texture that even the hardcore carnivores at the table will want to make room on their plate for a slice, perhaps even instead of that turkey. I call it Vegetables Wellington. More

Equipment: The OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker Makes Me Eat More Salad

I love eating salads, but I'm way more likely to do it if there's a great vinaigrette ready and waiting in my fridge. Enter the OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker, a neat little gadget designed to let you measure, mix, store, emulsify, and dispense dressing at moments notice. This is the kind of tool which makes me eat more salad, and I kinda like that. More

The Food Lab: How to Cook Sous-Vide Turkey Breast With Extra-Crisp Skin

Sous-vide is a fantastic method for cooking holiday roasts. It delivers reliable moist and tender results, frees up your oven for other tasks, requires almost no supervision while cooking, and is very easy to hold hot and ready to serve until your guests are ready. That said, sous vide turkey comes with a few problems. We've solved the issues to give you a recipe that produces turkey cooked exactly how you like it, with deep roasty flavors and extra-crispy skin to boot. More

The Food Lab Redux: Use Science to Bake the Best Apple Pie

The only time of the year I ever feel like eating pie is in the fall, and nine times out of ten, that pie I'm craving is apple. So I don't want just any apple pie. If I'm going to eat it, it had better be the best darned homemade apple pie around. Fortunately, with years of testing, pages of notes, and thousands of words worth of summarizing under my belt, I have a recipe that delivers just that. More

The Food Lab: Roasting Turkey? Throw Out Your Roasting Pan and Reach for Your Baking Stone

We all know by this stage that spatchcocking is the fastest and easiest way to roast turkey. The only downside is that you don't get to deliver that grand Norman Rockwell-style whole bird to the table. Here's how to keep your turkey easy to manage and fully intact while still producing a beautifully burnished, deep brown bird with evenly cooked, juicy meat to boot. More

The Food Lab: For the Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Use Science, Not Sugar

Have you ever wondered why sweet potatoes are so darn insecure? It's time to say good bye to the days of sweet potatoes having to hide behind a mask of sugar and bolted-on marshmallows. What we have here is a technique for making mashed sweet potatoes that are so sweet, rich, and packed with sweet potato flavor, they need only the simplest of embellishments to shine. More

The Food Lab: How to Make The Ultimate Creamy Spinach Lasagna

I find the process of making lasagna extremely relaxing. I love working on the sauces and fillings and carefully assembling them all in a casserole dish before baking. Today we're going to look one of the classics. Creamy, cheesy, spinach lasagna flavored with a hint of nutmeg and a combination of white sauce and fresh ricotta. And while I'll often opt for the ease and convenience of no-boil lasagna noodles, today we're going to go all-in with store-bought fresh pasta. More

It's 2014 and Spatchcocking Is Still the Fastest, Easiest, Best Way to Roast a Turkey

In the past, I've gone on record saying that spatchcocking your turkey is the fastest, easiest, most foolproof way to a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. I still stand by those words 100%. There is no method that will get your crisper skin, juicier meat, or better gravy in less time. If you haven't roasted your turkey like this yet, now is the time to start. More

The Food Lab: Roasting Turkey? Throw Out Your Roasting Pan and Reach for Your Baking Stone

Make These Moist and Tender Sweet Potato Pancakes With Your Leftovers


Have you tried microwaving mashed sweet potatoes or potatoes? They don't come out anything like they were the first day. Gummier and dryer.

The Stuffing Waffle Croque Madame: The Ultimate Day-After-Thanksgiving Breakfast Sandwich


I'm not sure I follow. Er... With a camera?

The Food Lab: How to Make Pull-Apart Stuffing-Flavored Rolls


I'd try that, though there's a chance they'd burn in the exterior of the rolls. Maybe that's one you can mix into the dough if you're making it by hand.


I'd go with option 2!

Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey with Gravy

@MRubenzahi and kirakat

Unfortunately that recipe is behind a pay-wall, though I can definitely vouch for it, as I was the one who developed that technique back when I worked at Cook's Illustrated!

It's actually quite similar to our own Roast Turkey in Parts recipe, which is the least impressive presentation-wise, but offers the most control over how your turkey gets cooked, optimizing each part. This is especially important for a sensitive heritage bird.

Equipment: The $29 Thermopop Digital Thermometer Measures Up


At that range you can't use it as a deep fry thermometer!

Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing


Everything should scale down exactly the same. Err on the side of too many eggs if it doesn't divide!

Sous-Vide Turkey Breast With Crispy Skin

@Roger Ly

Yes to both! Remove the tenders, scrape the skin.

Perfect Apple Pie


You don't typical blind bake a double crusted pie. You wouldn't be able to seal on the top of you did!

The Serious Eats Guide to Carving Turkey

Made pending on how you cut them, you can get the oysters to come off with the thighs. If not, pick'em out and eat them in the kitchen before anyone else gets to them!

Stuffing Waffles, Stuff-Puppies, and Stuffin's: Three Ways to Bake Your Stuffing Better

Vegetables Wellington (The Ultimate Vegan Plant-Based Holiday Roast)


Which mushrooms, the smoked or the whole duxelles?

You Asked, We Answered: Thanksgiving Edition, Part 1

@Snacky Snack

You can ask questions via the form here. Your answers should show up as they are responded to on our FAQ page here.

As for that specific question, stay tuned, we're putting together a guide on great make-ahead dishes that can be served either as-is or with a quick reheat in the oven. It'll appear on monday!

You Asked, We Answered: Thanksgiving Edition, Part 1

@KB in Toledo

It's not completely necessary, but I do use it most of the time now. Gives a slightly crisper end result.

Equipment: The $29 Thermopop Digital Thermometer Measures Up


The probe is acutually slightly *narrower* than the thermapen and the read-depth is similar.

Pull-Apart Stuffing Rolls


Sounds like they overproofed! Let them rise a little shorter next time.

The Food Lab: How to Make The Ultimate Creamy Spinach Lasagna

@Hungry Dan

I use a Canon 5D Mark II with either a 50mm prime or a 24-105 zoom for almost all my food shots. I do it with a tripod on a timer, no assistant (yes my camera gets lots of food on it!).

Book will not be out for this christmas, but stay tuned!

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Brining Chicken or Turkey


Well either is correct, magnetism and electricity are intrinsically linked, but yes, I suppose I should technically write "ionic charge," though that too is inseparable from electricity and magnetism. Yay physics.

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Brining Chicken or Turkey


Injecting is a whole 'nother story. Yes, you can inject flavors into a bird, though you'd still want some salt to go with it!

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Brining Chicken or Turkey


Yep, I had weights, but good point re: brand. I added a quick conversion in the dry-bring section.


Try this recipe which uses a baking stone. It make a turkey that cooks evenly with no need to spatchcock!

The Food Lab: For the Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Use Science, Not Sugar

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Brining Chicken or Turkey


No need to use all the salt! I just like to make more so I don't run out.


Keller is a chef, not a recipe developer, for better or worse. he runs restaurants for a living, he doesn't write or rigorously test recipes. Personally I *never* trust a restaurant chef's recipes or techniques. Use them for inspiration, not instruction.

@sean uptob

It's simply a pH thing. Baking powder is slightly alkaline. You can get similar results with a mix of baking soda and cream of tartar going slightly heavier on the soda.

Liquid smoke like other aromatics won't penetrate far beyond the surface. The difference would be that liquid smoke is extremely potent so even just a surface treatment will get you results. It's also liquid already so doesn't have the annoying issues of heating/coong that other aromatics do.

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Brining Chicken or Turkey


Good question! I updated the post to reflect the answer. Basically, you can go longer for better results, but you need to loosely cover to prevent the skin from drying out too much.

As for over vs. under, I find that going under works, but it's just a little more difficult for folks to do. If you're comfortable lifting turkey skin, go for it! The baking powder mix should still go on the skin, not under.

@Bill Woods

Thanks, fixed!

The Food Lab: Introducing Vegetables Wellington, the Plant-Based Vegan Roast Even Meat Eaters Will Want


First of all, always line with foil or parchment. After that I have two that I use only for high-temp things with lots of drippings like roasting turkey or prime rib, and two that I use only for lower temp things so they don't warp.

Extra-Crispy Herb-Roasted New Potatoes

@S McDowell

You're right, I've updated the recipe, sorry for the confusion!

The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples

A few months ago, my wife and I spent all of 24 hours in Naples on our way home from Sicily. It was probably the second-most pizza-packed 24 hours of my life (the first being when I took my Colombian brother-in-law on a whirlwind pizza tour of New York). We hit over a half dozen pizzerias over lunch alone, and a few more for dinner. Here now, I present to you the Serious Eats guide to Eating Pizza in Naples. More

Video: Serious Eats Cooks Peking Duck At Buddakan

Ever made a traditional Peking duck? Turns out it's a pretty involved process, requiring not only multiple steps but multiple days, cooking apparatuses, and spices. The end result: an incredibly crispy, juicy bird that's seriously delicious. Come along with Serious Eats's own Carey Jones as she learns how to make Peking Duck. Chef Brian Ray of Buddakan gives us the grand tour. More

60+ Holiday Snacks in 20 Minutes Or Less

Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap. More

30 Cookie Recipes from the 2011 Serious Eats Cookie Swap

The Serious Eats Cookie Swap has become an annual tradition. We break out the Duane Reade tinsel and twinkle lights, and are forced to do a major office detox to make room for cookies. Many, many cookies. (OK, maybe a dozen doughnuts snuck in this year too). It was our third year swapping, and as per tradition, the tables were covered with butter-laden treats. Our NYC-based contributors really pulled out their ninja baking skills. Get all the recipes here. More

Serious Eats' Bacon Banh Mi

Our recipe for Bacon Banh Mi brings our favorite Vietnamese sandwich home, swapping out the usual array of cold cuts and charcuterie for bacon but staying true to the other elements that make this sandwich so balanced and irresistible. More

My All-Pie Thanksgiving Fantasy

When you think about Thanksgiving and you think about various elements of the Thanksgiving meal, it seems like you're just waiting through the big meal to get to the pie. I really believe this, which is why I always fantasized about an all-pie Thanksgiving. (Anyone with me on this?) At an editorial meeting about a month ago, we were at the office talking about Thanksgiving coverage and I shared this fantasy with the team. Knowing how much I adore and obsess over pie, the Serious Eats editors weren't too shocked, so we did the only thing we know how to do: make it happen. More

BraveTart: Make Your Own 3 Musketeers

Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote." More

BraveTart: Make Your Own (Better) Soft Batch Cookies

When you first joined me in my quest to unlock the secrets of culinary time travel, I told you it would take equal parts science and magic to make the foods that could power the flux capacitor of the mind. I said, "leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawatts, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties." And we did. But while there, what if some careless action altered our timeline? Could we, like Marty McFly, inadvertently create an alternate universe? One where the Keebler Soft Batch Cookie tastes freaking delicious? Friends, this isn't speculation. I have done such a thing. More

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce. More

Boston: Fried Ipswich Clams at B&G Oysters

These are the only fancy-restaurant fried clams I think are really worth the cash ($14 half/$26 full). That they start with Ipswich bellies makes all the difference; these juicy, sweet, whole-belly behemoths are harvested from the mud flats off Ipswich, where experts claim that the particularly nutrient-rich soil gives the bivalves their superior, almost nutty flavor. More

Boston: Tamarind Bay's Lalla Musa Dal

As food aesthetics go, the murky, rust-brown, pebbly lalla musa dal at Tamarind Bay Coastal Kitchen can't compare to the restaurant's other specialties like the fennel cream-sauced cauliflower dumplings or the spiced lobster tail. But famed Indian chefs like Julie Sahni don't consider this dish "the most exquisite of all dal preparations" for nothing, and speaking in terms of decadence, it outclasses the rest by a long shot. More

Guide to Grilling: Planking

For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors. More

How to Make Bagels at Home

I don't use the word magical lightly, but there really is something wondrous about making bagels at home. Maybe it's the shape. I think most everyone understands a loaf of bread, but the round shape with a hole ... well, it seems like a whole lot more work than simply plopping some dough in a loaf pan. But it's not. Really. Try making just one batch of these, and I'm sure you'll have the process down pat. Put on your sorcerer's robe and follow along! More