Don't Burn Down the House and Other Advice for Thanksgiving Dinner


Lots of things could go wrong with your Thanksgiving turkey. It might be dry. The stuffing may be dangerously undercooked. The bird could slide off the tray onto the dining-room rug. You might catch the house on fire.

Don't laugh. There are three times as many cooking fires on Thanksgiving than any other day, according to the National Fire Protection Association. 

“Thanksgiving is a festive but hectic holiday, where people are often preparing several dishes at once. They’re also entertaining friends and family with lots of other potential distractions,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. She didn't mention kids, wine and football games in particular, but we got the idea.

It's no surprise that one of their suggestions is to not use turkey fryers, those giant pots of oil set over a propane flame so you can deep fry your big bird. What could go wrong?

They also suggest:

  • Put timers in different rooms so you can hear them if you're off mingling with guests or watching football. 
  • Save your outfit with the billowy sleeves for a time when you aren't the one who has to lean over the stove to stir the gravy.
  • Don't drink and cook
  • Don't leave the turkey cooking while you run out Christmas shopping

Thanksgiving's costly; make food guests can eat

Another reason not to set the house on fire cooking a turkey (as if you needed one) is that Thanksgiving can be an expensive proposition. A survey found the average family will spend about $186 giving thanks this year, up about $10 from last year, accoding to, which conducted the survey.

Sure some of that's on travel (about 18 percent) but the bulk is on food, drink and the rest.

And the last thing you want to do is spend time and money making a fabulous feast only to find out not all of your guests can enjoy it because of allergies or food preferences.

Take a look at these tips for preparing a Thanksgiving feast that's gluten- and allergy-free. It includes recipes for gluten-free stuffing, cranberry chutney, and green bean casserole.



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