Chefs' 50 Best Thanksgiving Tips

Food Network Magazine turned to seven reigning Iron Chefs—and dozens of past competitors—for some holiday advice.

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11. Cut the bird into 10 to 12 pieces and do a chicken-fried turkey (a riff on an eight-piece fast-food chicken order). Your guests can have their favorite cut, and you'll bring some playfulness to the meal.
Mike Lata
Fig, Charleston, SC

12. Rub the interior of the turkey with concentrated chicken base (such as Knorr) or a homemade chicken-stock reduction and butter.
Adam Perry Lang
Cookbook author

13. Create a delicious holiday aroma throughout your home by boiling a pot of water with orange rind, cinnamon sticks, whole star anise and whole cloves.
Ian Kittichai
Ember Room, New York City

14. I like to spread a mixture of breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and pork fat under the skin of the bird, particularly under the skin of the breasts. The pork fat keeps the breasts moist and adds flavor.
Fabio Trabocchi
Fiola, Washington, D.C.

15. For easier carving, remove the wishbone before roasting. Stash it in the roasting tray so it will cook; you can still make a wish.
Brad Farmerie
Saxon + Parole, New York City

16. I put half a cup of coffee beans in the cavity of the turkey. It creates great depth of flavor.
Tom Douglas
Dahlia Lounge, Seattle

17. Use your oven space wisely: Make dishes like mashed potatoes ahead and heat them in a double boiler to save room in the oven for things that need to crisp, like stuffing.
IRON CHEF Jose Garces

18. I always have fun, upbeat music playing as people enter the house. Then during dinner we switch gears to piano or jazz to allow for more conversation.
Susan Feniger
Border Grill, Los Angeles

19. Leave your turkey unwrapped in the refrigerator overnight. You'll get crispier skin when you cook it.
Laurent Tourondel
Arlington Club, New York City

20. Don't be too cool for a meat thermometer.
IRON CHEF Michael Symon