CHOW Associate Editor Roxanne Webber shares the basic principles of timing for a simple Thanksgiving menu by demonstrating the things that people do wrong, including leaving too little time for the turkey to defrost (patience is key when H2O is changing state) and trying to cook everything at once. Do it right: Start defrosting the turkey Sunday, make sure you have your utensils on Tuesday, do your shopping on Wednesday, and make your stovetop dishes on Thursday while your turkey roasts; as the turkey rests, reheat the dishes that you made the day before.

More Thanksgiving Rights and Wrongs:
How to Make a Moist Thanksgiving Turkey
How to Make Thanksgiving Stuffing
How to Make a Flaky Thanksgiving Pie Crust
How to Store Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

You’re Doing It All Wrong is constructive criticism. Don’t take it the wrong way: Just learn the right way.

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