Thanksgiving Chemistry

Celebrate Thanksgiving With Chemistry

Are you looking for some chemistry associated with the Thanksgiving holiday or just some fun chemistry projects you can do on Thanksgiving? Here is a collection of Thanksgiving content all related to chemistry. Happy Thanksgiving!
Turkey is not the reason Thanksgiving makes you tired.
Kristian Bell, Getty Images
It seems like everyone feels like taking a nap after Thanksgiving dinner. Is the turkey to blame or is there something else making you snoozy? Here's a look at the chemistry behind "tired turkey syndrome." More »
Roast Turkey
Last Resort, Getty Images
That little pop-up thermometer that comes with many Thanksgiving turkeys can be reset so that you can use it again for another turkey or other type of poultry. Learn how the thermometer works and how to fix it after it 'pops' so that you can use it over and over again. More »
Keep your tree alive by using a tree preservative.
Martin Poole, Getty Images
A lot of people who put up Christmas trees choose Thanksgiving Day or Thanksgiving weekend as the traditional time to put up the tree. If you want the tree to still have needles by Christmas you either need a fake tree or else to give the fresh tree a tree preservative to give it the help it needs to make it through the holiday season. Use your chemistry knowledge to make the tree preservative yourself. It's really economical and easy! More »
Dark meat and white meat are caused by the different types of fibers in turkey muscle.
Jupiterimages, Getty Images
There's some basic biochemistry at work behind white meat and dark meat and why they are different. Here's a look at why the meat comes in different colors and how that applies to the way turkeys live. More »
You can use chemistry to remove the tarnish from your silver without even touching it.
You can use chemistry to remove the tarnish from your silver without even touching it. Mel Curtis, Getty Images
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to break out the fine china and silver. Laboring over the holiday silver isn't anyone's idea of a fun way to celebrate Thanksgiving, so use a little electrochemistry to remove the tarnish without any scrubbing or rubbing. More »
Egg whites whip better in a copper bowl.
Egg whites whip better in a copper bowl. Andersen Ross, Getty Images
As it turns out, the answer is yes. If you're whipping up egg whites for a holiday treat, you may want to use a copper bowl. The copper from the bowl reacts with the egg whites to give you a more stable meringue, plus it's harder to overbeat the egg whites. More »
If you run out of an ingredient while cooking for Thanksgiving, you can use chemistry to make a substitution.
If you run out of an ingredient while cooking for Thanksgiving, you can use chemistry to make a substitution. Dave King, Getty Images
If you run out of an ingredient for your Thanksgiving baking, chances are you can apply chemistry to make a substitution. This is a list of ingredient substitutions you can make that can save you a trip to the store (which probably isn't open on Thanksgiving anyway). More »
Green fire is easy to make and doesn't require any hard-to-find chemicals.
Green fire is easy to make and doesn't require any hard-to-find chemicals. Anne Helmenstine
What's better than a cozy holiday fire? A colored cozy holiday fire, of course! Learn how you can color the fire in your fireplace using safe household ingredients. You can soak pinecones in colored fire ingredients and give them as gifts, too. More »
This girl is catching snowflakes on her tongue.
This girl is catching snowflakes on her tongue. Somehow I think these snowflakes are fake (ick) but it's a great photo. Digital Vision, Getty Images
Actually, you'll get flavored snow slushy unless you apply some freezing point depression to your ice cream-making process. When you make snow ice cream you can use snow and salt to freeze a flavored cream mixture or else you can use ice and salt to freeze actual flavored snow. It's a pretty great family project, either way. More »
Pie Eating Contest
Pie eating contest at the Jefferson School, Washington, DC. August 2, 1923. Library of Congress

You may be more stuffed than the turkey by the end of Thanksgiving, especially if you have pie and return to the fridge for turkey sandwiches. Have you ever wondered if biochemistry sets a limit to how many calories can be converted into fat from a day of unlimited eating? More »

Here are tears of wine on a glass of white wine.
Here are tears of wine on a glass of white wine. PhotoAlto/Isabelle Rozenbaum, Getty Images

 Wine is a traditional accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner. If you swirl a glass of vino, you may see rivulets stream down the side of the glass. These are tears of wine or wine legs. Some people believe they indicate quality of the vintage, but that's not exactly how it works. More »

Poinsettia
Poinsettia. Emily Roesly, www.morguefile.com

You can make your own pH paper with any of a number of common garden plants or kitchen ingredients, but poinettias are common decorative plants around Thanksgiving. Make up some pH paper and then test the acidity of household chemicals. More »

It's easy to make colored fire pinecones.
It's easy to make colored fire pinecones. Anne Helmenstine
All you need are some pinecones and one easy-to-find ingredient to make pinecones that will burn with colored flames. The pinecones are easy to prepare, plus they can be given as thoughtful gifts. More »
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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Thanksgiving Chemistry." ThoughtCo, Nov. 5, 2017, thoughtco.com/thanksgiving-food-chemistry-609249. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, November 5). Thanksgiving Chemistry. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/thanksgiving-food-chemistry-609249 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Thanksgiving Chemistry." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/thanksgiving-food-chemistry-609249 (accessed December 11, 2017).