I admit it.
For the last five years, I have hosted Thanksgiving four out of five times. I have purchased a pre-cooked Thanksgiving turkey each and every time I have hosted.
I know what you’re thinking…I’m a total cheater.
One can’t possibly earn her holiday-hosting stripes until she has cooked a bird for eight hours. I get it. In fact, I know some women that would scoff at me behind my back. (I think they’re all probably related to me, but that’s beside the point.) 😉
I also understand that some family Thanksgiving traditions are deeply rooted in women sharing the day together camped out in the kitchen. If that’s your family, I think that’s awesome. So please carry on and ignore my little public service announcement. (And please scroll to the bottom and leave me a comment sharing your tradition with us – we’d love to hear it!)
But for my family, I love me a pre-cooked (to perfection by the way) bird. And here are seven reasons why I think some families should consider it:
1. Guaranteed turkey awesomeness. I don’t know about you, but I have had some terrible turkeys in my lifetime — and from good cooks ta-boot! Since most of us don’t have time to cook a meal all day long, Thanksgiving is often the only time we serve turkey to our families. This lack of experience does not usually bode well for our cooking skills come game day. The four precooked turkeys I’ve had in the last five years have been juicy and delicious. I used to think I didn’t like turkey, but it turns out that I’ve just never had one cooked to perfection before.
2. You still get that amazing turkey smell throughout your house. Yup, that’s right friends. A pre-cooked bird still needs to be warmed in your oven for 60-90 minutes before serving. (Plus, you could potentially fake it for late arriving friends and family…just sayin’.)
3. You can focus on creating killer side dishes. Ironically, my husband and I both love to cook. Having the turkey taken care of, frees us up to experiment with different recipes for our side dishes. Should we try a new twice-baked potato recipe? Why not.
4. You get to sleep in. I have vivid memories of my mom and/or aunts waking up at the crack of dawn to begin the preparation of the turkey. We usually have family visiting from out of state, so the extra time to tend to other tasks or just get a little more rest before the big day is great.
5. You can focus on spending quality time with family and friends. I know that this is still possible even while cooking your own turkey. But… My own experience has been that the turkey can be a very distracting part of the Thanksgiving festivities. It’s nice to have the free time to mingle with your guests without having to worry about that pesky bird in your oven.
6. Speaking of a bird in your oven, that brings me to the next reason: It frees up your oven. If your kitchen boasts double ovens than this might not be as important to you. I only have one oven and trying to get anything else cooked takes serious planning and coordinating.
7. Reduces your Thanksgiving-day stress. I know some of you may disagree. But I have been in enough households on Thanksgiving Day, to know that this is at least partially true. Let’s face it, for some of us, cooking a big bird all day is stressful. Especially, when you throw in-laws and extended family into the mix.
Well there you have it friends. Seven reasons to indulge and go pre-cooked this year. I know a pre-cooked Thanksgiving turkey isn’t for everybody, but for some of us it’s a welcomed break from the typical holiday servitude. 🙂