The Hungry Mouse’s Online Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner

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I have no idea how it’s Thanksgiving week already!

If you’re like me, you might be scrambling around for a few last-minute holiday ideas.

Now, we’re not big on turkey here at the Mouse House, so I’m the last one to be dishing out advice on making the big bird.

There is, however, a lot of culinary inspiration online these days. Here’s a guide to some of the best Thanksgiving content I’ve run across.

Online Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner: Thanksgiving round-ups

A lot of sites have published “all-inclusive” type Thanksgiving guides.

The New York Times has a whole compendium of articles—ranging from recipes to history—that’s worth a read. So does

Epicurious has put together a similar list at their Thanksgiving Headquarters, including a first-timer’s guide for preparing a holiday feast that’s loaded with good tips for planning and staying organized while you cook.

Yankee Magazine also has a good list of tips and recipes for entertaining.

Love her or hate her (or both), Martha Stewart is always worth checking out around the holidays. From 12 complete menus with recipes—from classic, to Southern style, to buffet.

Martha also has 22 pie recipes that range from traditional (apple, pumpkin, pecan) to more contemporary (mini-cranberry meringue, pear and sour cherry, and honey-walnut).

The guys over at The Bitten Word have put together a great list of this year’s Thanksgiving menus according to the big food magazines. (Thanks to fabulous foodie Emily Szopa from the Chicago Dining Examiner for tipping me off to this.)

Online Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner: Turkey talk

More and more people start their Thanksgiving bird by brining it overnight in a solution of sugar, salt, and water. This helps keep the bird plump and juicy as it cooks. While I haven’t brined a turkey before, I have done this many times with chicken with fantastic results.

They also have an interesting technique for injecting your turkey with olive oil to keep it moist and flavorful.

If you don’t feel like roasting your bird for hours, take a gander at Mark Bittman’s tried-and-true method for butterflying and roasting a whole turkey in 45 minutes.

Boston Globe Food Editor Cheryl Julian demonstrates the butterflying method really well here:

Bittman’s braised turkey is also pretty interesting.

Not sure how to tell when your turkey is done? Here’s a quick video for visual reference of just how to take your bird’s temperature.

If you’re feeling adventurous, Chef Emory Davis has a really thorough series of videos on how to deep-fry a turkey. If you’re looking for an exact recipe, Alton Brown‘s deep-fried turkey with brown-sugar brine sounds amazing.

How to Deep Fry a Thanksgiving Turkey — powered by
If you’re after a turkey fryer, this 30-Quart Outdoor Turkey Fryer Kit seems to be one of the standards out there.

As part of their 2008 Thanksgiving Guide, the San Francisco Chronicle hosted a reader-judged Iron-Chef style cook-off between four-star chefs Michael Mina (of Michael Mina restaurant) and Douglas Keane (of Cyrus).

Online Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner: Last but not least?

The New York Times has a great video on turkey carving that shows you just how to get the most meat off your bird.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. You always find such interesting links. I have been informed that this Thursday's potluck turkey will be brined, which, come to think of it, I've never had. But, like you, I'm not a fan of turkey. My solution will be "Show up with Glazed Pork Belly" and let the chips fall where they may. Happy Tday. :D
  2. Awesome list! I've already got my menu, but i'll take a look at those. We usually do a deep fried turkey--you can't beat it for a juicy bird. We no longer roast. But this year we've decided to try a turducken from The Cajun Grocer; i'll have to let you know how it turns out. Happy Thanksgiving, little mouse!
  3. Dad has been brining for years for good result. We are going a notch beyond, starting the brine today, marinating tomorrow, and roasting on Thursday. Sounds divine (easy to find Annatto Paste at your local Mexican grocery... easy in Chicago, maybe less easy in other places). Adding the twist of vertically roasting it.
  4. Jessie! Great compilation! I watched the brining video on Epicurious. That's what I will do. Just got the turkey yesterday. One thing they should have added is that the bird needs to be rinsed after it comes out of the brine. Thanks!!Cheers! Gabi @
  5. I always brine my turkey and while I'm a tad bias it is the most juicy I've ever had. This year I'll be doing a post Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving dinner (you are invited) and making an apple cider brine. Congrats on another great post!