Thanksgiving dinner is right around the corner, as millions of Americans prepare to stuff their turkeys and stuff their faces.
While the annual November holiday is a time to gather with friends and family, it’s also a time to eat as much turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie as humanly possible. At first, cooking Thanksgiving dinner may sound like a lot of fun, but there’s actually a lot of hard work and preparation that goes into making the meal.
Luckily, there’s TikTok – the video-sharing social media platform full of helpful tips and tricks to make sure cooking Thanksgiving dinner goes smoothly. How did the pilgrims survive the first Thanksgiving without viral TikTok hacks?
Here are five cooking hacks going viral on TikTok that will help reduce cooking times, and reduce stress levels in the kitchen.
The perfect mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple. The creamy, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes complete every dinner table. But if it’s done wrong, it’s likely to ruin the entire day.
When cooking mashed potatoes, the first step is to peel the potato skin. But peeling potatoes can get a little messy, and it can also be time-consuming. In one viral TikTok hack, user Lora shared an easy way to both peel potatoes and mash them all in one step.
First, she boils the potatoes whole (and unpeeled) in a pot. Once the potatoes are hot and mushy on the inside, she sets them aside. Then, she grabs a bowl and sets a baking rack on top of the bowl. Cut the cooked potato in half, lay it on the rack, and then smash the half of the potato onto the rack and into the bowl. This hack removes the skin and mashes the potato at the same time.
TikTok user Nicole Jaques also shared her potato peeling hack in a video that has more than 85k likes. Take a potato and cut it in half, all the way around the potato, before putting it in a pot to boil. Once they’re done boiling, place your fingers on each side of the potato and pull. The skin will slide right off, leaving a perfectly unpeeled potato.
Cutting board hack
Thanksgiving dinner preparations can be even more frustrating when the necessary tools you need in the kitchen just aren’t working properly. For finicky cutting boards that won’t stay in one place, TikTok nutritionist Claire went viral after showing users a helpful hack for keeping cutting boards still.
Simply take a wet paper towel and ring it out. Place the slightly damp paper towel under the cutting board. This will make the cutting board super secure, so that there are no accidental cutting mishaps in the kitchen.
“This may come in handy next week!” she captioned the post.
It’s no secret that the best part about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. One TikTok has gone viral for the fool-proof way they stored their leftover turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.
TV dinner trays from Amazon make it easy to store leftovers in the fridge, and even simpler to take them out and enjoy without opening and closing several plastic containers. “Put the lid on into the freezer, they’ll last about three months,” said TikTok user @charlottefashionplate. “Or, you can give individual dinners to those in need. Happy Thanksgiving!”
Clean up made easy
The worst part about cooking any big meal is the amount of time it takes to clean the kitchen. Luckily, TikTok user @desireyourhome has gone viral for sharing their easy cleaning hack.
It’s inevitable that grease and oil may result after spending all day cooking, frying, and baking. But disposing of liquid oil is an art in itself, and it may ruin your sink if it’s poured down the drain.
“Take some baking soda and place it in the skillet of grease,” said @desireyourhome. “Let it sit for a few minutes. Then, after a few minutes, you want to mix it up. It’ll start to look like gravy, but it’s not.”
“After you’re done mixing, place it in a bowl that will not melt,” she continued. “Set that bowl to the side because the grease is still hot. Rinse out that dirty pot or that dirty pan, and then before you leave, dump the grease.”
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, not for hammering away in the kitchen. These cooking hacks will speed up the extensive process, and may even add a little more flavour to your Thanksgiving meal.