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Food Network Reveals The Ultimate Guide To Thanksgiving Entertainment

Survey reveals 43% of hosts plan to spend at least $200 on this year’s feast


 Thanksgiving is one of the biggest meals of the year, and some hosts are already starting to feel pressure in the kitchen, according to a recent survey from Food Network. The survey, conducted in September 2019 by the digital team at Food Network and Open Mind Strategy, found that over a third feel stress and anxiety when they think about hosting Thanksgiving this year – particularly out of fear of disappointing guests with bland and overdone dishes.

“Thanksgiving is a holiday full of wonderful traditions that Americans look forward to every year,” said Michelle Buffardi, Vice President of Digital Editorial for Food Network, Cooking Channel and

“However, without the right planning and preparation, it’s easy for hosts to become overwhelmed by the pressure to please guests and end up missing out on cherished time with friends and family.”

To ensure a stress-free yet delicious holiday feast, the experts at Food Network have created the ultimate guide to ensure the iconic feast goes off without a hitch, suggesting three key ingredients: planning, preparation and inspired takes on Thanksgiving classics.

With the majority of hosts planning to serve exclusively homemade dishes (57%) and provide all of the food (51%) this year, it has never been more important to make a game plan for Thanksgiving well in advance. Although nearly half of hosts (44%) will start to plan what they’ll serve two weeks ahead of time, Food Network suggests taking it a step further.

  • Three weeks out: finalize the guest list to confirm the number of people attending and any special dietary needs. This also leaves ample time to place rental orders for chairs, cutlery and plates if needed.
  • Two weeks out: be sure to place an order for a fresh turkey/ buy a frozen turkey; this is also a great time to shop for the non-perishable goods. The final menu and recipes should also be finalized by end of week.

This year, over a third of hosts expect to spend more time in the kitchen as compared to last year, but Food Network suggests preparing food in advance to cut down on day-of cooking time. While the majority of hosts (61%) will start cooking the meal the day before, Food Network suggests starting a few days ahead:

  • Three days out: start defrosting the frozen turkey in the refrigerator and setting up your tablescape to ensure there is plenty of room for your food (and guests).
  • Two days ahead: make the items that can either sit or be refrigerated for two days, such as pumpkin pie, rolls, cornbread and casserole. These items can be easily reheated for a fresh out of the oven taste.
  • The day before: pick up your fresh turkey from the butcher, finish any remaining baking and purchase your perishable items. This is a great time to finish setting the table.
  • The day of: all that’s left to do is prepare your turkey and put together the gravy and fresh greens. Simply reheat the items made in advance, and you’re ready to serve.

While two in three hosts rely on tradition for their Thanksgiving menu, Food Networks suggests following the lead of the 47% of hosts who say they get inspiration from online recipes.

“Adding your own unique flair to holiday classics is a great way to keep your guests satisfied, and there are more ways than ever to find fun and innovative recipes,” continues Buffardi. “Food Network has a multitude of resources, from surfing online to browsing through apps and watching fan-favorite cooking shows, that will help home chefs across America whip up a delicious (and exciting) spread this year.”

For this season, Food Network has a variety of trendy, must-have recipes, including a Butter-Blanketed Turkey that results in crispy skin and decadent flavors, a beautiful, bright pink Cranberry Pie and a festive Apple Pie Puff Pastry Turkey.

This survey was conducted online by Open Mind Strategy on behalf of Food Network, fielded 9/13 – 9/17, 2019, among 2,000 nationally representative respondents aged 18-54.

FOOD NETWORK is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

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