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10 Surprising Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks Using Everyday Objects

You don't need pricey, complex cooking tools to speed up your meal prep. All of these makeshift kitchen tools are already in your home.

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Apples can absorb salt in soups and stews

Salting to taste is one thing, but it is possible to overdo it. When you find yourself getting heavy-handed with the saltshaker, simply drop a few apple (or potato) wedges in your pot. After cooking for another 10 minutes or so, remove the wedges along with the excess salt. For cooking ideas, try some of the best Thanksgiving recipes of all time.

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Cheesecloth can help remove turkey stuffing with ease

Following the best preparation tips for your Thanksgiving turkey can make all the difference at dinnertime. To keep turkey dressing from sticking to the bird’s insides, pack the dressing in cheesecloth before you stuff it into the turkey’s cavity. When the turkey is ready to serve, pull out the cheesecloth and the stuffing will slide out with it. This November, check out these Thanksgiving “facts” that aren’t actually true. 

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Scissors can easily cut herbs

Use clean household scissors to snip fresh herbs and green onions into salads or mixing bowls. Scissors are also perfect for cutting steam vents in the top crust of a pie about to be put in the oven. Follow this timeline to prepare and host the big day.

BasterBW Folsom/Shutterstock

Use a baster to pour perfect batter

To make picture-perfect pancakes, cookies, and muffins, simply fill your baster with batter so that you can pour just the right amount onto a griddle or cookie sheet or into a muffin pan.

SprayER 09/Shutterstock

Nonstick spray can keep your grater clean

Put less elbow grease into grating cheese by using a nonstick cooking spray on your cheese grater for smoother grating. The spray also makes for easier and faster cleanup. These Thanksgiving vacation ideas will help you unwind after hosting.


Dental floss can cleanly cut cakes

We know apple pie is America’s favorite dessert, especially on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have cake to celebrate the holiday! Use dental floss to cut cakes, especially delicate and sticky ones that tend to adhere to a knife. Just hold a length of the floss taut over the cake and then slice away, moving it slightly side to side as you cut through the cake. You can also use dental floss to cut small blocks of cheese cleanly. These are the 20 most-asked Thanksgiving questions, answered in 20 words or less.

vegetable-peelercliplab pro/Shutterstock

Use a vegatable peeler to slice slivers of cheese or chocolate

When you need cheese slivers that are thinner than you can cut with a knife, or you want to decorate a cake with fine curlicues of chocolate, reach for the vegetable peeler. This tool can also soften hard butter fast. When you need to soften cold, hard butter in a hurry, shave off what you need with a vegetable peeler. You’ll have soft butter in moments.

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An ice cube tray can store leftover wine

Here’s what to do with that half-drunk bottle of red or white wine: Freeze the wine into cubes that can be used later in pasta sauce, casseroles, or stews. And if you need a pick-me-up after a day of cooking, freeze coffee ice cubes for the ultimate iced coffee hack. These are the 15 things you should never discuss at Thanksgiving dinner.


Use an ice cream scoop to make butter balls

At your family’s gathering, scoop out large globes of butter or margarine to serve to your guests. A smaller scoop or melon baller can create individual-sized balls of butter. You can also try this pre-scooped ice cream hack to serve dessert faster: Place several scoops of ice cream onto a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet, spaced apart. Place the sheet with the scoops back in your freezer to re-harden. Remove the scoops from the wax paper and pile them up in a self-sealing plastic bag. Now, all you need to do is place a scoop next to your pumpkin pie—and make sure you serve the ice cream at the right temperature. Plus, the next time the kids want a scoop of strawberry ice cream, they can help themselves.

Coffee-filterMarie Shearin Images/Shutterstock

A coffee filter can degrease gravy

Beef and poultry drippings from a roast make the most delicious, flavorful gravy base, but they’re often small grease bombs. Save the flavor and kill the fat by straining the cooking juices through a paper coffee filter. Next, check out these 27 Butterball Hotline calls to share this Thanksgiving.