8 Essential Tips if You’re Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 3:52 PM, November 10, 2015


Aired November 10, 2015

Hosting your first Turkey Day meal and feeling overwhelmed? Never fear, because we have solutions for just about every Thanksgiving challenge you might face!

Tip 1: Stock up on Staples Ahead of Time

Some items on your shopping list are going to be obvious – like a turkey, ingredients for stuffing, etc. But there are a lot of items you’re going to have to have on hand that might not be so obvious. Check out Rachael’s list and you’ll be prepared!

Tip 2: Don’t Spend More than You Need To

Want to serve a Thanksgiving feast for under $5? We’re not joking! Our couponing expert Cindy Livesey shows you how it’s done!

Tip 3: Decorate on a Budget

If it’s your first time hosting a holiday meal, chances are you don’t have a huge stash of entertaining supplies. No need – Nate Berkus shows you how to improvise classy décor for practically nothing!

Tip 4: Cook the Meal Like a Pro

You’re going to need to know how long to cook your turkey and whether to cook the stuffing inside or out. Moreover, you will need to make sure your sides are ready at the same time as your main dish! Click here for the definitive guide.

Tip 5: Learn How to Carve Your Turkey Properly

There’s nothing like spending all day cooking a bird and then having it hacked apart into sloppy pieces. Learn how to properly carve your turkey so that it will look just as beautiful on a platter as it did in the roasting pan!

Tip 6: Have a Plan B Ready

Even the most seasoned hosts and cooks run into last minute issues on Turkey Day. Rachael and Curtis Stone troubleshoot everything that could go wrong on the big day here. Make sure to bookmark this page!

Tip 7: Don’t Forget Dessert

If you’ve spent so much time thinking about to prep the bird that you don’t have time to sort through dessert recipes, we’ve got you covered. Check out 13 amazingly delish dessert options.

Tip 8: Clean Up Your Act

One key to a successful party is to keep the mess under control. Peter Walsh has six brilliant tips, including creating a simple rolling dish bin to get dishes from the dining room to the kitchen quickly!

What’s your biggest fear when it comes to preparing a Thanksgiving meal? Share below, plus, watch Curtis Stone demonstrate how to carve a turkey -- blindfolded! (Do not try this at home!)