People Magazine rounded up the best Thanksgiving cooking secrets from your favorite chefs!
- Robert Irvine – he likes to put his carving board in a sheet pan to catch all of the drippings and mess from carving a turkey or ham and it makes cleanup simple.
- Kristen Tomlan – puts hard brown sugar back to life by putting it in a microwave-safe bowl, draping a damp paper towel over the top, microwaving for 30 seconds at a time and stirring in between until it softens.
- Alex Guarnaschelli – she takes premade cookie dough and rolls in sugar or nuts then slices and bakes. She also says that you can mix chocolate candies or chocolate chips into the dough, roll into balls and bake.
- Jay Rohlfing – prefers to sit his turkey outside in a brine overnight if you are in a climate where the temperature may be in the 30s. He says it’s like nature’s refrigerator and it frees up space in the fridge for other ingredients.
- Pawan Pinisetti – recommends toasting spices before you use them. Put them in a sauté pan or in a 325-350 degree oven for a few minutes and the flavors and oils will be awakened.
- Cassidee Dabney – keeps cutting boards clean by using parchment paper to line all pans and trays for easy cleanup and it keeps your cutting board from staining.
- Tony and Cathy Mantuano – for crispy turkey skin, rub it with grappa before seasoning. Grappa is grape-based and it’s the residual sugar that gives the skin it’s crispy texture and the alcohol is cooked out in the oven.
- Neall Bailey – takes gingerbread cookies to another level by adding black pepper to the dry ingredients, making then stand out over the norm.
- Bobby Flay – says it’s important to have a pot of hot chicken stock to reheat the turkey. After carving, he drenches the meat with the hot stock to bring back the moisture.
- Trisha Yearwood – for her deviled eggs her mother taught her to flip the raw eggs over the night before preparation. This means that the yolks will be even instead of lopsided from sitting in a carton.
- Amanda Cohen – makes her cleanup easier by putting a big plastic container on the counter, filling it up with soapy water and dropping in plates and silverware as the table is cleaned. This way she doesn’t need to wash the dishes – the next day a quick rinse and wash is all that is needed.