Complete Holiday Dinner Timelines for Your Winter Feasts

kimberlymichelle

The first time I hosted a holiday meal at my house was the first time I realized that the most important thing about the entire day was timing. I had 12 (overextend, much?) amazing items on the menu, but failed to completely grasp the reality of the fact that we had only one oven. Needless to say, it was a learning experience.

Everything’s gotta arrive properly hot or properly chilled on the table, no matter what’s on your menu. That’s why over the years, I’ve developed holiday dinner timelines for meal prep that I stick to religiously. Pin and print these out, and your next holiday meal will go off without a hitch.


 

Brisket Dinner

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1 week ahead

  • Gather recipes and make your shopping list!

3 days ahead

  • Shop for groceries.

2 days ahead

1 day ahead

  • Cut/prepare any vegetables for side dishes the next day and store them in the refrigerator.

8 hours ahead

6 hours ahead

  • Cook your vegetables and any side dishes. Cover with foil until you’re ready to reheat them.

1 hour ahead

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Warm brisket for 30 minutes, and then remove it from the oven and cover it with foil before serving.

30 minutes ahead

  • Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

15 minutes ahead

  • Warm latkes and all other side dishes in the oven.

 


Prime Rib Dinner 

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1 week ahead

  • Gather recipes and make your shopping list!
  • Reserve a prime rib for December 22nd.

3 days ahead

  • Shop for groceries and pick up prime rib.

1 day ahead

  • Cut/prepare any vegetables for side dishes the next day and store them in the refrigerator.

8 hours ahead

  • Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for two and a half hours.
  • Roast your turkey

5 hours ahead

3 hours ahead

  • Prepare your side dishes (e.g., mashed potatoes, vegetables) and keep them covered with foil until you’re ready to reheat them.

1 hour ahead

  • Make your gravy.

15 minutes ahead

  • Warm up side dishes.
  • Carve prime rib.

 


 Turkey Dinner

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  • If you’re going fresh, order your turkey.
  • Gather recipes and make your shopping list!
  • Purchase any kitchen tools or serving pieces that you’ll need.
  • Assign duties to family members.

3 days ahead

  • Shop for groceries.
  • If you’re buying a frozen turkey, put it in the refrigerator to thaw.

1 day ahead

  • Cut/prepare any vegetables for side dishes the next day and store them in the refrigerator.
  • Brine your turkey and let it dry in the refrigerator.
  • Make your stuffing and store it in the refrigerator.

8 hours ahead

3 hours ahead

1 hour ahead

15 minutes ahead

  • Warm up side dishes.
  • Bake any biscuits or bread.

Images: Getty

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