Thanksgiving Chemistry Topics and Projects

Thanksgiving Chemistry Topics and Projects

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!

Does Eating Turkey Make You Sleepy?

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."

Re-Use the Turkey Thermometer

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. While you may not eat turkey very often, the same temperature setting also works for chicken.

Make Your Own Christmas 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 economical and easy, plus getting a tree to take water reduces its flammability.

White Meat and Dark Meat

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.

Silver Polishing Dip

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.

Are Copper Bowls Better for Whipping Egg Whites?

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 over-beat the egg whites.

Baking Ingredient Substitutions

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). The most common substitution is for baking soda or baking powder. You can also make your own buttermilk or cream of tartar.

Colored Fire

Amanda Stuffle / EyeEm / Getty Images

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.

Snow Ice Cream Recipes

Elizabethsalleebauer / 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.

How Much Weight Can You Gain in a Day?

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?

What Are Tears of Wine and What Do They Mean?

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.

Poinsettia pH Paper

Madeline T / Getty Images

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.

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.