I Tried 4 Popular Ways of Making Stuffing and Found One That Blew Me Away

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Credit: Photos: The Kitchn, Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Despite nan large turkey connected nan table, we each cognize nan existent prima of Thanksgiving is nan stuffing. It’s often wherever family tastes and traditions are found, and astir families person their ain thought astir what stuffing should be. But because I was raised connected bagged stuffing mix, I don’t person a go-to look — and truthful each twelvemonth I find myself flipping done nutrient magazines, scrolling done look sites, and (unsuccessfully) trying to decipher Grandma’s stained look cards successful hunt of nan eventual Thanksgiving stuffing.

I’m fresh to extremity my hunt and find nan look that tin yet go a family tradition. It needs to beryllium flavored pinch each nan classical autumnal herbs and spices and brace good pinch nan vacation turkey, and nan crisp topping must springiness measurement to a moist and tender interior. After looking astatine each of nan stuffings and dressings served crossed nan state (including rice, oyster, and sausage stuffings, among others), I decided to attraction this showdown connected bread-based stuffings that each person their ain small twist. After a hotly contended side-by-side sensation test, nan winning look was a return connected nan classical I hadn’t tried earlier — and I can’t hold to service it for years to come.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Meet Our 4 Stuffing Contenders

Whether you telephone this starchy broadside crockery stuffing aliases dressing depends connected wherever you unrecorded and really you cook it. Southerners telephone it dressing sloppy of whether it’s cooked wrong aliases alongside nan bird. More broadly speaking, nan word stuffing refers to nan herbed breadstuff substance that is really stuffed wrong nan turkey and baked, while dressings are baked successful a casserole dish. Since nan interior of stuffing cooked wrong nan turkey tin harbor bad bacteria, we urge avoiding this believe and cooking nan broadside crockery separately. As a result, we’ll return nan quality successful titling arsenic simply a matter of semantics for this sensation test.

Read more: What Do You Say? Stuffing aliases Dressing?

I chose 4 celebrated recipes that each had classical spirit profiles pinch a twist. Each 1 utilized breadstuff arsenic a guidelines for nan stuffing. I didn’t see recipes that called for sausage aliases mushrooms, and excluded oyster stuffings arsenic an wholly abstracted class arsenic well. The stuffing contenders were baked successful an oven and nary relied connected dense cream, which would bring them squarely into savory breadstuff pudding territory.

How I Tested nan Stuffing Recipes

Each stuffing look was prepared and baked connected nan aforesaid time and tasted successful a side-by-side test. I followed nan recipes precisely and made an effort to minimize variables wrong my control. I utilized nan aforesaid brands of ingredients wherever applicable, specified arsenic broth and butter. I baked each of nan stuffings successful nan size and style of baking dishes nan look indicated, and did not trial baking nan stuffings wrong a turkey. In nan end, nan victor won by unanimous consent.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

1. The Stuffing That’s Not Better than nan Box: Chrissy Teigen’s Herby King’s Hawaiian Stuffing

King’s Hawaiian rolls are 1 of my absolute favourite market shop buys, and I was convinced Chrissy Teigen was superb for choosing them for her Stove Top-inspired stuffing. But moreover though I genuinely wanted to emotion this recipe, I didn’t. This look is nan easiest of nan bunch and is prepped successful a skillet truthful that it tin spell consecutive from stovetop to table, but that’s wherever my praise ends.

The stuffing is assembled connected nan stovetop alone, leaving it a spot soggy and lukewarm. Teigen does connection a broiling option, but that didn’t rather hole nan squishy broth-soaked bread. The nostalgic spirit of stuffing is connected point, acknowledgment to nan inclusion of poultry seasoning, but now that I’ve sewage a vessel of it, will it simply spell to discarded until adjacent year? If you’re looking for that classical boxed stuffing flavor, prevention yourself nan problem and conscionable bargain nan Stove Top.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

2. The All-Seasons Stuffing That Isn’t Great for Thanksgiving: Smitten Kitchen’s Stuffing for All Seasons

Smitten Kitchen’s recipes are beardown contenders successful our look showdowns, truthful I had precocious hopes for this all-seasons stuffing. The look is made pinch torn pieces of baguettes (or different hearty achromatic bread) and flavored pinch butter, onions, celery, and caller herbs. The typical touch for this stuffing is nan summation of tart Granny Smith apples.

While nan baked stuffing was aureate and crisp connected apical and moist and tender underneath, it didn’t person nan correct proportions of breadstuff to veggies and seasonings. With a fewer adjustments, I tin ideate serving this stuffing pinch roasted pork aliases chicken, but this stuffing is not nan 1 to service connected Thanksgiving aliases Christmas pinch turkey and gravy.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

3. The No-Fail Classic: Martha Stewart’s Simple Stuffing

If what you really want this vacation play are nan classics, this is nan look for you. Complete pinch buttery browned bread, tender vegetables, and caller herbs, this stuffing is nan cleanable accompaniment to turkey and gravy. Because nan look calls for a information of nan stuffing to spell into nan turkey and nan remainder baked successful a baking dish, nan output is rather large. But elemental adjustments tin beryllium made to fresh nan look into a baking dish, leaving nan turkey to roast (safely!) connected its own. The spirit was buttery and herby, pinch shallots and achromatic vino elevating nan spirit ever truthful slightly, making this broadside crockery consciousness typical capable for nan holidays.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

4. The Crowd-Pleaser (and Clear Winner): Kish Family Two-Bread Stuffing

Top Chef champ Kristen Kish’s mom came up pinch nan thought to harvester a achromatic breadstuff stuffing and cornbread stuffing into 1 to please some sides of their family. And aft 1 sensation of this stuffing, I’ll ne'er spell backmost to a one-bread stuffing again. This stuffing has thing for everyone — from chewy toasted achromatic breadstuff to crumbly cornbread, caller herbs, and tender vegetables, each successful cleanable proportion. The only drawback to this look is that it makes a lot! If you’re hosting a smaller gathering, particularly this year, see preparing conscionable half nan recipe. Don’t interest — location will still beryllium capable to spell backmost for seconds.

Do you person a favourite stuffing recipe? Tell america beneath successful nan comments.