Is There a “Correct” Time to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner?

Yes. It's 4 p.m., argues one magazine.

Thanksgiving time
There is a correct time to eat dinner on Thanksgiving.
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The “correct” time to eat a Thanksgiving dinner is 4 o’clock.

That’s the multitiered argument laid out by The Atlantic, which starts with the main attraction: the bird. Four o’clock is perfect, for starters, because the turkey takes at least four hours to cook, after the time it takes to prep and truss, and then must rest for a half hour, too.

Some argue that dinner should start earlier, perhaps at 2 p.m., but this is incorrect, according to the magazine, because that would mean cooking begins at 9a.m. and at that point, you might as well just go into work.

Earlier dinners also skip right past the delayed gratification that huge holiday meals, like Thanksgiving, are all about. But, conversely, eating too late, like a regular dinner time of 7 p.m., unfairly denies you the pleasures of a post-turkey nap and an evening leftover reheating ritual.

And don’t forget — the later the meal, the later your dear family members are in your house; asking nosy questions and picking political fights.

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