4 ways to avoid a Thanksgiving dinner disaster. (One of them is eating out)

You can still have a turkey like this even if you have a kitchen disaster on Thankgiving Day, or you can find one like it at one of several South Florida restaurants hosting Thanksgiving this year.

If you’re reading this on Thanksgiving Day, something has gone terribly wrong.

A guest canceled and now you’re short a green bean casserole. You woke up the morning of Thanksgiving and realized the turkey’s still frozen. You burned the gravy while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or the Vikings vs. the Lions. (Separate question: why are you watching this awful game?)

Don’t panic.

Here’s a handy Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide for a host of last-minute emergencies. We tell you which grocery stores are open (and closed), who to call with a question about cooking the bird, where to pour that extra grease and — catastrophe! — where to dine out if your whole meal goes up in flames.

I forgot an ingredient! What’s open?

Thanksgiving Day
A Whole Foods Market purchase awaits placement in a car trunk. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


  • Milam’s Market: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Winn-Dixie: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Whole Foods Market: Hours vary by location.
    • Coral Gables: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Downtown Miami: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • North Miami: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Pinecrest: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • South Beach: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sedano’s Supermakets: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Publix: All locations closed on Thanksgiving.

It’s Thanksgiving Day and the turkey’s frozen!

Thanksgiving Day
A frozen bird (Deb Lindsey?Washington Post)


Fear not. Breathe. You can still cook the turkey in the oven, though it’ll take longer, according to the USDA’s website.

Check Butterball’s website to determine the cooking time for your bird’s size and add about 50 percent to the time. So your 10-18 pound bird, which would normally take a little more than three hours, will instead take between 4.5 to five hours at 325 degrees.

Whatever you do, never deep fry a turkey that is still frozen. The oil will instantly burst into a geyser of flames and start one of the thousands of Thanksgiving Day fires that happen every year in this country. Ten people die and 50 are injured on average every year from these frozen turkey fires, according to State Farm Insurance.

Still have a question? There are several toll-free numbers you can call on Thanksgiving day to help you talk through your Turkey tragedy.

Butterball: 800-288-8372
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 888-674-6854
Sara Lee Desserts Pie Hotline: 888-914-1247

What do I do with all this grease?

Thanksgiving Day
It can be tempting, but don’t pour grease down your sink.


If you pour the hot, greasy drippings from your turkey (or roasted Caja China pig) down the toilet or sink drain, you’re asking for an emergency plumbing situation, the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department says. Once the grease cools, it will harden inside your pipes and clog them.

Instead, the county suggests pouring the grease into an old can, letting it cool and throwing it away in your regular trash.

Can we just go out?

Thanksgiving Day
Roasted turkey from Icebox (Courtesy of Icebox)


You tried to deep fry a frozen turkey, burned the house down and now everyone’s hangry and staring at you.

Here are 36 South Florida restaurants where you can eat out instead of cooking on Thanksgiving from Miami.com.