26 November 2019 04:34
Black Friday began earlier than ever this year, with Walmart kicking off holiday discounts on TVs, air fryers and trampolines in October. Now, after weeks of "Early Black Friday" sales and "HoliDeals," it's finally time for the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Roughly 165 million Americans are expected to shop during the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation. And though a growing number of Americans say they'll be buying online this holiday season, retailers are continuing their tradition of in-store doorbusters and ever-earlier openings. For those planning to shop the old-fashioned way, here's a roundup of what's opening when.
6am: Kmart is among the first to open its stores, with doorbuster deals that include $19 Nerf water guns and $25 weighted blankets. Stores will stay open until midnight. 7am: Big Lots and Dollar General open. 8am: Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's stores open. 2pm: J.C. Penney opens its stores.
5am: Sears, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's reopen their stores. Home Depot and Joann Fabrics and Crafts also open, as do some Gap stores. 7am: Target, GameStop, Burlington, Michael's and Staples open their stores. Also opening: Apple, Office Depot, OfficeMax and Five Below. 9am: Costco, which stays closed on Thanksgiving, opens its doors. Its Black Friday deals include $130 off Dyson vacuum cleaners and $250 off Apple MacBook Pro laptops. Didn't think she'd call your bluff, and now you've got 11 people to cook for and almost no time or idea how to do it. You can do this, but you're going to need some Thanksgiving dinner cooking hacks… and lots of them. From ways to keep yourself organized to faster cooking methods that give you back precious minutes on the big day, we've plumbed the depths to bring you the best cooking tips and hosting tricks designed to conserve what little time and sanity remains, aaand deliver a Thanksgiving for the ages. (This, and Aunt Janet-proofing the liquor cabinet.) Map out what exactly you have to do, what you need to do it, approximately how long it will take and how much oven and stovetop space it'll require (often overlooked). Next, type it up neatly in a list or spreadsheet (seriously, you'll feel better) or plug into a handy planning app like Big Oven to keep yourself organized and on track. Make your motto "high and dry" (don't worry, we'll explain) and you'll be in excellent shape no matter how much--or little--time you have. Brining, or the infusion of salt into the meat for flavor and moisture, has become a somewhat ubiquitous pretreatment for notoriously dry turkey and is highly recommended. A dry brine (vigorous salt rub) is a much simpler endeavor than the classic wet brine, requiring fewer steps, less time, space and equipment. Get Chowhound's dry-brined roast turkey recipe here. Much can be said for high-heat cooking with regard to crispy skin and moist meat and, naturally, it cuts cooking time down quite a bit. The below recipe calls for just a two-hour roast at a scalding hot 500-525 degrees Fahrenheit for a 16- to 18-pound bird. Be careful to adjust for time and weight and this should yield a juicy bird with extra crispy skin. To get the perfect temperature and ensure your turkey is done, make sure to get yourself a digital instant-read meat thermometer. Get the high-heat roast turkey recipe. Spatch cooking, an increasingly popular method by which the turkey's backbone is removed and breastbones are cracked so the bird cooks flat (and fast), is a no-brainer if time is of the essence. Admittedly, you won't get that Norman Rockwell glamour shot for Instagram, but your turkey cooks in a fraction of the time and the risk of drying out decreases greatly. To save even more time, have your butcher spatch the turkey for you and remember, you can and should still brine it. Get Chowhound's butterflied ('spatched') roasted turkey recipe. Now playing: Watch this: Turkey-cooking tech for Thanksgiving If your turkey motto is "high and dry," make your motto for everything else, "What can be done before, should be done before." Catchy, right? Read more: The ultimate guide to perfect mashed potatoes Though technically simple to make, this side dish hall-of-famer is a sneaky time-suck on Thanksgiving with all its scrubbing, peeling, chopping, boiling and mashing. The good news is you can make them up to two days ahead, and reheat without losing any of the fluffy, creamy goodness. Use this make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe. Save even more time (and confuse anyone who lives with you) by washing your potatoes in the dishwasher. This Chowhound list of make-ahead recipes will be your best friend for an easy day-of. Gravy can be refrigerated or frozen ahead of time and whisked back to life in a saucepan before serving. Get Chowhound's make-ahead turkey gravy recipe. Get our make-ahead apple and sage stuffing recipe. Making desserts ahead of time is a no-brainer since they keep well. Get Chowhound's make-ahead pumpkin swirl cheesecake recipe. Somehow lost in the shuffle, this is arguably the best part of Thanksgiving, or any holiday: The booze! Get Chowhound's make-ahead hot spiked wassail recipe. Some people love cooking and will be delighted to pitch in, but give options like a dessert or simple side dish. If you are going to ask for help, do it passively and make sure they really have the time. Get out there and hack your way to a Thanksgiving so delicious and stress-free, you might just volunteer to host Christmas. For more Thanksgiving tips, hacks and recipes, check out Chowhound's Ultimate Thanksgiving guide and Ultimate guide to Friendsgiving.