10 Tips For Cooking The Perfect Holiday Dinner

source: The Pioneer Woman

I don’t know about you, but I tend to get pretty overwhelmed when cooking for a large group of people. It can be so difficult to time the cooking of the different foods, all while trying to ensure everything tastes the way you want it to. If you’re scheduled to cook a holiday dinner in the near future, check out these helpful tips to make the process go more smoothly.

1. Peel Garlic Like A Pro

source: All Recipes

It may sound silly, but peeling garlic can take up a lot of precious time in the kitchen. Use the flat side of your knife to crush the garlic. This will make the peel come off in one complete piece, while also making the garlic easier to mince.

2. Cook What You Can Ahead Of Time

source: WiseBread

When it comes to cooking large meals, you want to cook and prep everything that you can the day before. That way, you can focus on things like the turkey, etc. that you aren’t able to tackle until the day of.

3. Make Potatoes In A Crock Pot

source: The Pioneer Woman

You can make roasted, baked, scalloped, and mashed potatoes using a crock pot. By using a crock pot for your potatoes, you’ll be able to dedicate more time to the other dishes, while also freeing up valuable stove space.

4. Bake A Week In Advance

The great thing about baking is that it can be done far in advance. When the day of your dinner arrives, all you’ll have to do is stick a pie in the oven. Bake your dessert at least a week in advance (or a couple of days is fine, too), and freeze it if necessary.

5. Moist Stuffing

source: Kim’s Healthy Eats

Stuffing seems like it would be easy to make. However, if you want perfectly cooked stuffing inside the turkey, you’ll have to overcook your turkey in the process. The only way to ensure stuffing is moist, yet slightly crispy on top, is to cook it separately.

6. Perfect Vegetables

source: NYT Cooking

There’s a secret to roasted vegetables that are tender on the inside, yet perfectly charred on the outside. Click here to learn more!

7. Make “Fancy” Butters

Sure, plain butter for dinner rolls is fine. But making a “fancy” butter will show your guests just how much thought you’ve put into your meal. Click here for some awesome flavored butter recipes.

8. Carve A Perfect Turkey

The moment of truth — the turkey is ready, and now it’s time to carve it. Don’t panic! Click here to learn the best (and easiest) way to carve a turkey.

9. Step Up Your Cranberry Sauce Game

Some people absolutely hate cranberry sauce because they’re thinking of the jelly, canned version. Click here for a cranberry sauce recipe that will turn even the biggest hater into a true believer.

10. Set The Table Beforehand

source: Loris Decor

Although this isn’t a cooking tip, it will make hosting a holiday dinner less stressful. Set the table the night before, and get out all of your dishes that you’ll need for cooking the next day. That way, the actual cooking process won’t be as rushed or stressful.