The thought of being tasked to prepare a full-on Thanksgiving meal for multiple people is a too much responsibility for some of us. Some are gifted with large families, meaning multiple hands and kitchens to help lighten the load, and some just love the challenge.

Not this guy.

Having never prepared a large meal for multiple people, I'm not sure the correct timing that's needed for prepping and getting the job of Thanksgiving meal preparing finished on-time.

I feel there may be quite a few people in Wyoming that are in the same boat. So, since it's Thanksgiving week and the timing is really important, I thought I would pass a few times on to you.

First off, if you're really having issues with your turkey, The Butterball Turkey Talk-line is open now. You can call them in a pinch and they have qualified operators standing by for all of your questions.

Helping Wyomingites Cook Thanksgiving Dinner For The First Time
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There are definitely pros at cooking for a large amount of people and those that have been doing it for years. Take a look at their timing philosophy.

Helping Wyomingites Cook Thanksgiving Dinner For The First Time
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Delish.com has broken down the timing you need to know for most of your Thanksgiving Dinner food & drink items. From soups & salads all the way down to the bird & desserts.

Here's a quick breakdown of the major Thanksgiving food times.

  • Turkey - May be the toughest food items gauge proper timing. Pros say you'll need to figure 1 day per ever 4 pounds. SO, 20 pound bird will need 5 days to properly thaw. Unstuffed bird can take 2-4 hours to cook. Let the bird rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  • Mashed Potatoes - Peeling the day before and keeping them in water in the fridge overnight, will save you time on Thanksgiving Day. You'll just need to pop them on the burner, let them boil, them smash them while the turkey is resting.
  • Stuffing/ Dressing - Using boxed stuffing? Doesn't take much time to get that ready. Making it from scratch? Have to pre-plan for that. You'll need a couple days to let your bread get stale, assemble ahead of time, then pop it in the oven when you put the bird in Thanksgiving morning.
  • Gravy - If you're not using any turkey parts to make your gravy, you can make it any time, then freeze it and thaw it Thanksgiving Day. Using turkey parts, you'll need to make it fresh.
  • Casseroles - No problem making them a day or two early, actually they're always better the next day. Green Bean Casserole, Corn Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Scalloped...etc. all will fall into this category. Just pop them in the oven after you pull the turkey.
  • Desserts/Pie- You can make these a day or two in advance to help guarantee freshness. Pie crust can be frozen, then put into the fridge when you're about ready to bake. Waiting until the day of will add more stress to an already busy day.

I hope this helps you a little, or at least gives you ideas of where to start.

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