Once that cool breeze of fall season hits, the kitchen gets a little more hectic with holiday preparations. That said, you're bound to run into some roadblocks where you need expert tips and tricks. Take a deep breath, sip on that eggnog, and let us help you on your holiday cooking journey. We've broken down the major parts of the season with our best guides on cooking survival.
Here you will find what to prep when, how to scale recipes depending on your group size, how to set up your home depending on the function, and all the little things you're most likely forgetting about.
- Thanksgiving Prep Timeline
- Get Your Home Ready for Holiday Entertaining
- Festive Ways to Connect Virtually During the Holidays
- Tips for an Organized Thanksgiving (or other holiday gatherings)
- Using an Instant Pot & Converting Conventional Recipes
- How to Host a Cookie Exchange
- How to Host a Cocktail Party
- Keto Holiday Menu
- Vegan Holiday Menu
- Gluten-Free Holiday Menu
- Easy Recipes for a Stress-Free Holiday
- Hanukkah Menu
What to Buy
- Thanksgiving Gadgets
- Casserole Carriers
- Thanksgiving Meal Delivery Services
- Serving Dishes and Pieces
- Products Our Editors Wouldn’t Host Thanksgiving Without
Substitutions & Storage
Between diet restrictions and just simply forgetting to pick up specific spices at the market, we have all the ways you can substitute one item for another. Additionally, you're probably wondering how long certain items keep or how to organize your fridge in advance of entertaining—we can help with that too.
Common Cooking & Baking Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Ingredient Substitutions and Equivalents
- An Essential Illustrated Ingredient Substitutions Guide
- Quick and Simple Broth Substitutes
- Spice Substitution Guide
- Flour Substitutes for All-Purpose
- Milk Substitutes
- Keto Sweeteners
- An Essential Food Storage Guide
- Decoding Expiration, Use-By, Best-By, and Sell-By Dates
- How to Tell If Baking Soda Is Still Good
- How to Organize the Fridge
- How to Organize the Freezer
- The Best Way to Package Meat for Freezing
- Tips and Methods on How to Freeze Fish
There's a lot to consider when preparing a turkey even if it's not your first rodeo. Between choosing the size, fresh vs. frozen, brining, equipment, and more, cooking a whole turkey can seem like a daunting task. These are valuable and informative pieces for even the most seasoned cooks.
- Different Types of Turkeys
- How Much Turkey Do You Need for Thanksgiving?
- Cooking Turkey for Beginners
- Thanksgiving Turkey Questions, Answered
- How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey
- How to Cook a Frozen Turkey Without Thawing It
- How to Fix Common Turkey Problems
- The Best Turkey Brines
- 24 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes For Your Holiday Menu
- How to Deep Fry a Turkey
- How to Cook a Turkey
- How to Smoke a Turkey
- Air Fryer Turkey
What to Buy
- Mail Order Turkeys
- Turkey Fryers
- Roasting Pans
- Carving Knives
- Turkey Basters
- Wines to Pair with Turkey
Most likely, if you're not team turkey, you're team ham. Ham is one of the go-to dishes for big family celebrations, but there are a number of varieties and preparations. Here's what you need to know before you get started.
- Types of Ham
- How to Select and Store a Ham
- How to Heat a Fully Cooked Ham
- How to Cook a Frozen Ham Without Thawing
- Can You Refreeze a Ham?
What to Buy
Prime rib is a big tradition for most around the holidays. Methods range from closed-oven to the instant pot, but the end result should be tender, juicy, and cooked to medium-rare. Once you taste a properly cooked, true prime rib, you will understand its high price tag.
Cranberry Sauce & Gravy
Is the table really complete without a side of cranberry sauce and gravy? But before you dive into a recipe, get a few tips under your belt so you can make the best version for you and your guests.
- Making a Smooth Roux Gravy
- Which Gravy Thickener Should You Use?
- Storing Leftover Gravy
- Cranberry Cooking Tips
Few things are more comforting than the smell of freshly-baked bread coming from your kitchen. Except maybe, breaking bread with the ones you love and smothering it in butter, gravy, and all the fixings at the table. Don’t be intimidated—baking bread is easy when you know the basics.
- Storing Muffins & Quick Breads
- Ultimate Guide to Baking Bread With Yeast
- Why Won't My Bread Rise?
- What to Know About Sugar in Bread
- Making a Sourdough Starter
- Tips for Making Gluten-Free Bread
- How to Soften Stale Bread
- Reasons Your Homemade Bread Is Crumbly
- Pairing Bread & Cheese
What to Buy
There's a lot to consider when diving into pies. What style crust? When to par-bake or blind bake? What makes the filling liquidy? What are baking apples? Baking should be fun, so that's why we compiled these handy resources, below.
- Elevate Your Holiday Pies, According to the Pros
- How to Make Store-Bought Pies Better
- How to Freeze Pie Dough and Pie Crusts
- Pie Weights: What They Are and How to Use Them
- How to Dock a Pastry
- Prevent a Soggy Bottom Pie Crust
- The Difference Between Pumpkin Puree vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Tips for Making Perfect Pie Crust
What to Buy
Whether you're baking for Santa, your friends, or just to have on the holiday table to share, we brought you tips to reinvent your tried-and-true recipes as well as how to keep them at their best.
- Professional Baking Tips for Holiday Cookies
- How to Freeze and Thaw Cookie Dough
- How to Cut Cookies Without a Cookie Cutter
- What to Use If You Don't Have Parchment Paper
- How to Keep Cookies Soft
- Festive Treats
- Christmas Cookies
- Super Easy Cookies
- Cookies to Make With the Kids
- Vegan Cookies
- Keto Desserts
- No-Bake Cookies
What to Buy
Whether you bake a cake from scratch or use a store-bought mix (no one needs to know), a cake can make anyone feel extra special. Click through to find out how much cake will feed your guests and what equipment you should consider.
- Baking Times Depending on Cake Pan Size
- How Many Slices Per Cake?
- Decorating Tips
- What to Use Instead of a Springform Pan
What to Buy
Get into the holiday spirit, whether that's with a classic aperitif or mocktail. In party planning, the general advice is that guests will drink two drinks the first hour, and one drink per hour after that. These drinks can be cocktails, beer, wine, or nonalcoholic beverages, and many guests will opt for a combination throughout the night. Unless you've done some time as a bartender, it can be hard to tell exactly what to have on hand.
- How to Stock Your Bar for a Party
- How to Create a Drink Menu for a Cocktail Party
- Plan Your Holiday Drink Menu Based on Timing
- To Shake or To Stir?
- Using Herbs and Spices in Cocktails
- How to Create Dairy Cocktails
- Learn Your Liqueurs and Cordials
- Holiday Party Punch Recipes
- Holiday Mocktail Recipes
- Keto Cocktails
- Festive Christmas Cocktail Recipes
- Traditional Christmas Cocktails
- Holiday Wine Pairing Guide