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Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet
Here are the answers to your most frequently asked (and Googled!) questions when planning and preparing Thanksgiving dinner.



Two Ways to Brine

Wet Brine


  1. In large stockpot, mix 2 gallons cold water and 2 cups coarse kosher salt.
  2. Add turkey; brine should cover the bird. Cover and refrigerate 8-12 hours.
  3. Remove turkey from brine; rinse under cool water, rubbing inside and out to release salt.
  4. Pat dry with paper towels.

Dry Brine


  1. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
  2. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt inside the cavity.
  3. Generously salt the outside of the turkey (up to 1 cup).
  4. Transfer to baking sheet and loosely cover with foil. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours, removing foil for last 2 hours.
For super-crispy skin, leave uncovered in the fridge for 2 hours to help dry it out before roasting.

Potatoes & Gravy

Perfect Potatoes in 4 Steps

1.  Add 4 pounds potatoes, cut and peeled, to boiling water. Cook 20-25 minutes, until tender. Drain.


2.  Mash potatoes in a mixing bowl.


3.  Add milk (up to 1 cup) in small amounts, beating after each addition.


4.  Add 4 ounces cream cheese, 1 stick butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash until light and fluffy.

The Easiest Way to Peel Potatoes


Foolproof Turkey Gravy

1.  Pour out turkey drippings, reserving 1/4 cup and the brown bits in the pan.


2.  Sprinkle in 1/4 cup flour and cook on medium heat.


3.  Stir constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbling.


4.  Pour in 2 cups broth and heat to simmering, stirring constantly. Let bubble for 1 minute.


5.  Stir in browning sauce, if desired, and flavor with salt and pepper.


Fix a Gravy In Trouble


Place a slice of fresh bread on top of the fat for a few seconds to absorb it; remove bread before it breaks into pieces. 


Pour into food processor and process until smooth, or press gravy through a strainer; return to saucepan and heat. 

Too thin? 

Dissolve 1 tablespoon flour in 2 tablespoon water; stir into gravy with fork or wire whisk. Boil and stir 1 minute. 

Too pale? 

Stir in browning sauce, soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce in color (start with 1 teaspoon).

Too salty? 

Add a raw peeled potato, cut into eighths; cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes, then remove potato pieces.

Stuffing & Sides

Classic Cranberry Sauce

1.  Rinse 12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) cranberries.


2.  Bring 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to a boil.


3.  Add cranberries and boil for 5 minutes.


4.  Stir until cranberries start to pop. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.


You can use fresh or frozen cranberries interchangeably in our classic recipe; if you’re using frozen, just be sure they aren’t in a syrup.

Pies & Desserts

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

pumpkin pie spice ingredients

  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves

How To Cut Bars Into Triangles

How-to-Cut- Bars-into-Triangles
Betty’s got every Thanksgiving recipe you could ever need – and then some!