How not to screw up Thanksgiving dinner, according to YouTube

With these five YouTube videos to help you, there's no way you're going to botch your turkey this year. (Safety not guaranteed!)


Jordan Valinsky


Published Nov 22, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 6:54 am CDT

If you’re freaking the hell out about making Thanksgiving dinner, well… that’s fair. It’s a daunting task that involves a lot of moving turkey legs. Worse yet is that you’re surrounded by annoying friends and family; but, if you have no clue on what the hell you’re doing, we’ve got you covered.

From cooking the turkey, selecting the best boxed wine so you can’t hear that raspy voice of your second cousin, and gorging yourself with pecan pie until you choke, here are five videos from YouTube to help.

1) Cooking the f*cking turkey

Chef Mary Risley of Tante Marie’s Cooking School hosts the only turkey cooking video that you need to watch. In her wonderfully acerbic eight-minute video, Risley advises you with a simple recipe that won’t make you the disdain of your guests. Her approachable screen presence is appreciated as she doesn’t stress you out more than necessary.

“It’s just a fucking turkey,” reasoned Risley. We’re thinking Thanksgiving at her place next year with that can-do attitude.

2) Mashed potatoes: you’re (probably) doing it wrong

Don’t throw your potatoes in a food processor, go hang yourself if you’re going to skimp on the milk, and, most importantly, don’t buy the wrong type of potatoes. No, no, no! But don’t stick your head in a pot of boiling water if that scares you! Margo True, the food editor for Sunset magazine, offers tips on how not to screw up the creamy delicacy. She offers useful tips that even me, a self-proclaimed mashed potato connoisseur, found helpful.

3) Creating your stuffing

With the seemingly endless amount of seasonings and add-ons, creating a passable stuffing that works in concert with each other is probably the most challenging task. But don’t freak out, Jack Scalfani from Cooking with Jack (naturally) is here to show you how to make the perfect side dish. He suggests to leave the bread out overnight and don’t overdue it on the raisins to overpower the dish.

4) These daddies know their wines

Daddy Brad and Daddy Clay knows that this time of year isn’t easy on your wallet, so they have an alternative to pricey, bottled wine for your meal: Go boxed! Yes,  decent boxed wine offerings do exist, as you’ll find out in the delightfully irreverent seven minute video. Did you know that one box of wine is the equivalent to four bottles of wine? The chardonnay from Angel Juice is your best bet, the drunk dads reason. Oh, and avoid the small stores, as Costco and Sam’s Club have the best prices.

5) Perfecting the pecan pie

The disembodied head of an Australian chef knows a thing or two about your nutty cravings. The “Aussie Griller” recommends making your pie crust (listening to him say butter like butta should be enough incentive), then assembling the pecans and concocting the sauce to his instructions. Being the “Aussie Griller,” he suggests grilling the pie for an hour for a different taste. So scrumptious, no dingo could resist this.

Photo via TanteMaries/YouTube

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*First Published: Nov 22, 2012, 1:39 pm CST