Many Americans will forgo technology for several hours as they sit down around the Thanksgiving table on Thursday. Holidays and family time are often used to unplug from electronics and mobile devices and take a break from screens — unless, of course, there is a football game on it.
But hey, it's 2017 and no one needs a few anxiety-riddled hours of separation from their beloved smartphones, particularly if they could come in handy. Mobile devices can actually make the holidays and cooking Thanksgiving dinner a more efficient and stress-free event.
Here's how to integrate apps into your Thanksgiving dinner without your family giving you grief about it:
1. Recipes: NYT Cooking
The New York Times Thanksgiving 2017 page offers recipes and tutorials for everyone from the cooking novice to the culinary artist. Learn basic knife skills, how to brine and roast a turkey and how to cook the basics like cranberry sauce, potatoes, gravy and pie crusts.
Cultivated recipe collections for each classic Thanksgiving dish make picking the winning recipe a breeze. To get adventurous with the menu, try twists on classic holiday ingredients such as butternut squash with pecans and currants, sourdough stuffing with kale and dates and roasted pumpkin with cranberry, pecan and chile pesto.
2. Recipes and grocery lists: BigOven
BigOven offers more than 350,000 recipes to users, along with nutritional information, notes, suggestions, photos and reviews. The app goes a step further easing the meal planning process by allowing users to create grocery lists in the app and import recipes.
Recipes are broken into seasonal, course, ingredient, dietary lifestyle and equipment collections. Turkey recipes span the breadth of classic Thanksgiving turkeys, deep fried birds, the intricate "Turducken" and vegetarian stuffed tofu turkeys.
3. Set multiple timers: Minima Software's Timer+
Chances are, Thanksgiving dishes are going to go in and out of the oven and on and off the stove constantly.
Timer+ lets users run several stopwatches and timers at the same time, labeling them and setting some on repeat. Don’t let any dishes fall under the radar and burn because someone wasn't alerted when it finished cooking.
4. Turkey cooking time: Safefood's Turkey Calculator
The turkey app calculates how long a turkey needs to cook based on the bird's weight and whether or not it is stuffed. Technology may seem to have cook time down to a science, but it never hurts to have a back-up pop up timer in the turkey.
If turkey crises pop up, as they often do, try calling Butterball's Turkey Talk-Line, an annual holiday service put on by the company since 1981 to answer customers’ turkey-related questions with expert advice.
5. Ingredient alternatives: Gormaya's Substitutions
Substitutions offers more than 1,300 food and drink substitutions, helping cooks accommodate certain diet choices and food allergies and aversions. Categories with suggested ingredient alternatives include alcohol, seafood and meat, dairy, gluten, allergies, low fat, low carb, low sodium, vegan and migraines — a condition particularly common during the holiday season.
6. Conversions: Forward Leap's Kitchen Calculator
The kitchen math phone makes switching between weight and volume measurements easy. Users can distinguish measurements in terms of specific ingredients, such as ground, slivered or whole almonds and sliced, whole or mashed bananas. Chefs can also use the app to scale ingredients up for double and triple batches, because there’s no such thing as too many Thanksgiving leftovers.
7. Catering: ezCater
So you dropped the ball. Maybe the turkey burned, maybe you just gave up after trying to juggle more than two recipes at a time. That's ok, because plenty of people are there to cook meals for you. The ezCater app will connect you to local businesses who can cater a group anywhere from 5 to 2,000 people, and your guests never have to know.