Thanksgiving is, in my personal opinion, the absolute best time of year, when friends and family come together to celebrate each other and give thanks for all they have the opportunity to share.
While the holiday kicks off the best time of year, though, that doesn't mean that it always goes as smoothly as we would all hope or expect it to. From unforeseen travel delays to forgetting to take the turkey out on time, here are the most common mistakes men make during Thanksgiving. Hopefully you can avoid doing them this year.
You Don't Have A Game Plan
Like everything in life, heading into Thanksgiving Day takes planning. That doesn't mean you need to stress out about it and overthink who's bringing what, but it does mean you need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This is as simple as making a checklist for yourself and assigning tasks to guests. The last thing you need is for someone to forget butter just when everyone arrived to start cooking together.
Thawing A Turkey Takes Longer Than You Thought
I can't tell you how many of my buddies continue to forget the simplest thing to do before the oven can even be turned on to cook the turkey—the amount of time it takes to thaw the damn thing! The general rule is that the soon-to-be delicious bird thaws at a rate of four pounds per day. So if you've got a 12-pound turkey, you'll need three days, Einstein.
Never Forget To Dry
You wouldn't go out to start your day without drying off, right? Of course not. The same goes for your turkey before popping in the oven, guys, so make sure to wipe it down with paper towels to help crisp the skin on the outside and inside of the cavity.
You Put Stuffing Inside The Bird While Cooking
No harm, no foul here, but just expect your bird to have to cook a hell of a lot longer now because there's extra stuff in there (pun intended). Adjusting the cooking time is absolutely important and not just because everything will taste bad, as it's a safety issue that will leave your turkey dry, undercooked and the stuffing filled with, you got it, salmonella.
Put the baster down and proceed to the living room to watch football, guys. There's absolutely no need to baste the turkey over and over and over again, so avoid the common practice that so many men annually make. Each time you open the oven door, the temp inside drops, affecting the cooking time. Plus, over-basting can leave your turkey meat soggy, leaving it to dry out and taste more like jerky
You Forget About The Fine Details Of Hosting
This is understandable given the fact that you're handling hosting, cooking the bird and making sure there are clean dishes to use. Unfortunately, I've seen buddies completely butt-fumble the holiday away by forgetting to assign guests something to bring—like mashed potatoes, rolls, veggies, etc. Just because you're hosting doesn't mean you have to handle everything, so don't try to be a hero.
Back in my younger days, I was responsible for bringing the wine to Thanksgiving at my parents' house. Luckily, they had plenty of wine and other booze for us to drink on all night long, because the jackass over here totally fudged up and forgot grocery stores—every single one of them—are closed on Thanksgiving. So if you're planning on drinking booze, make sure you stock up the day or two before so you're not shutout like I was that one year.
You Butcher The Bird While Carving
In addition to waiting 15 minutes after taking the bird out of the oven before slicing up, make sure you don't become a savage and just rip, tear and cut up the thing, either. It's important to know the portions you'll be serving and then what to do with the uncut leftovers, too—which should be stored in a air-locked bag or container.