Here are five things our chefs have learned over the years that will save you trouble this Thursday. These tips will ensure all anyone will be talking about on Black Friday is your delicious cooking.

Sound appetizing? (Pun intended) Let’s review:

1) Make Your Stuffing Separately

Our chefs were surprised to learn it’s actually best to roast a turkey on its own—if you’re anything like our chefs, you’ve probably grown up cooking your stuffing inside of the turkey’s cavity. But,  experts say choosing to cook your stuff inside the turkey is the quickest way to dry the bird out, as both the turkey and the stuffing needs to reach a proper interior temperature of 165 °F (especially if you want to avoid any foodborne illnesses this year).

2) Learn From Martha Stewart on How to Truss

Our friends at Martha Stewart Living have a very easy how-to guide for trussing any bird, which is a must before roasting—whether it’s a chicken or a Thanksgiving turkey. Trussing your turkey is the second way to prevent overheating and dry meat, which is a common issue for any home cook at Thanksgiving.

3) Get Turkey to Room Temp Before Roasting

You clearly know to preheat your oven—did you know you should also be “preheating” your turkey, too? While it’s totally acceptable to refrigerate a turkey or a chicken for up to four days, sticking a cold bird straight out of the refrigerator into a preheated oven can actually lower the temperature in the oven itself. Multiple temperatures in different areas of your oven can spell disaster for cooking times, and whether or not the meat will remain moist.

4) Get the Right Appliance for Perfect Mashed Potatoes

You can make perfectly acceptable mashed potatoes by, well, mashing them. But, we recommend shopping at So Gourment for our perfect appliances, such as a ricer for your mashed potatoes.

5) Ditch Store-Bought Desserts and Whipped Cream

Thinking about all of the effort that goes into cooking Thanksgiving dinner is overwhelming, and buying store-bought desserts is very tempting. But one of the most important lessons our chefs have learned is that you can make desserts and everything else—if you make it ahead of time.

“If you spend your time wisely in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, you can avoid all kinds of headaches on the day of, right?” Chef Ten, an expert from Sur La Table said, “It could be a side dish or your dessert, which can remain in the fridge for up to three days without showing their age.”

*Adapted from Cooking Light