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313 Cooking Hacks That'll Make Your Friends Say "Barefoot Contessa, Is That You?"

An official culinary guide for all the Bootleg Contessas out there.

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Thanksgiving is coming up, and that means you'll probably have to bring some sort of edible dish to the table. To lessen your gravy-garnished stress, I've compiled lists of some of the best culinary tips and tricks the internet has to offer. Enjoy! πŸ’


3. 17 Thanksgiving Mistakes Everybody Makes

You're not buying your turkey soon enough.

"If you're buying a frozen turkey, buy it one to two weeks ahead of time and store it in the freezer.

If you're buying a fresh turkey, you should pick it up or have it delivered on Tuesday before Thanksgiving (Monday will work, too), giving you time to brine it. Reserve it two weeks in advance, either by calling your local grocery store or by scheduling delivery from an online retailer."

β€” Christine Byrne


7. 23 Basic Cooking Mistakes Everyone Makes


If you want to brown something, don't crowd the pan.

"If you're attempting to brown something and you put too much stuff in the pan, the temperature will drop and you'll never get the nice, brown outer layer you're searching for." β€” Samantha Elizabeth, Facebook

β€” Ahmed Ali Akbar

8. Here Are The 16 Best Cooking Tricks I Learned In Culinary School

Cooking for a crowd is all about keeping it simple.

"There are several tricks to make cooking for a crowd easier, but the best thing I learned was to keep it simple. If you plan on having family over for dinner, don't cook several courses β€” instead, focus on making one thing and make it great. Roasted chicken and pasta were always safe bets and made serving guests a breeze."

β€” Jesse Szewczyk


Wrap your Thanksgiving turkey in parchment paper to maintain the moisture.

"When the turkey is nearly done, rip off the paper and turn up the heat to make the skin nice and crispy."

β€” Emily Shwake


11. 12 Food Hacks We Know Work Because We Tried Them

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

Ripen an avocado in 10 minutes by baking it in the oven.

"This won't work if you've got a completely ~rock solid~ avocado. But if you have one that's just a few days under, the heat will quickly soften up the whole thing, especially around the edges."

Read more: I Tried The 10-Minute Avocado-Ripening Hack Everyone's Been Talking About

β€” Melissa Harrison


15. We Tested Pinterest Cooking Hacks And Here's Which Ones Worked

Melissa Harrison / BuzzFeed

Add mayo to cake batter to make it even better.

"THE IDEA: Some swear by mayo as a secret ingredient to make cakes extra moist. For this, we added a cup of it to boxed cake batter.

DID IT WORK? Yes. (Sorry!)

THE RESULTS: I didn't really want this one to work because I was already a little grossed out at 1) the idea of adding a condiment to cake batter, and 2) the fact that when you do that, the batter starts to smell like chocolate-y mayo which is an aromatic combination that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemies.

But TBH: The cake with the mayo tasted better. It was way more moist than the version I'd baked according to box instructions. Also, thankfully: You couldn't taste or smell even the slightest bit of mayo in the final product. (And makes sense that the mayo would work some magic β€” it's mostly eggs and oil anyway.) So, did it work perfectly? Yep. Was it also kinda gross getting there? Also yep! 😬 "

β€” Marie Telling & Melissa Harrison