Don’t get caught without essential kitchen tools this Thanksgiving!
Okay… so you’re hosting turkey day this year and you’ve planned the perfect Thanksgiving dinner menu.
Grocery list, check! Ingredients for the recipes triple checked!
Kitchen tools, not so much…
Take it from us, nothing is worse than being in the middle of preparing one or more recipes—especially on a holiday—only to find out you’re missing a key kitchen tool.
For example, nobody wants lumpy gravy, but without the proper whisk, we see lumps in your future. (Sorry, Friend.)
We’re speaking from experience because it’s happened to us. It’s a revolting discovery. And typically, one you don’t have time to troubleshoot.
But you don’t have to scramble or stress this Thanksgiving. Cuz we’ve got your back.
Check out this list of must-have kitchen tools for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. And get your kitchen tooled now before life gets in the way and it’s too late!
Countdown to Thanksgiving Day 2018
1. Roasting Pan
A delicious turkey or roast of any kind starts with a high-quality roasting pan that can move from oven to stovetop for gravy or sauce. We like this one, by Calphalon.
2. Fat Separator
Fat separators are an essential kitchen gadget. They quickly separate pan drippings from fats to create healthy, grease-free gravy. They’re also wonderful for de-fatting stocks and broths.
3. Meat Thermometer
This investment pays for itself in perfectly cooked meat or poultry. It’s happened to us all… you splurge on a turkey or prime rib roast only to discover it turned into “shoe leather.” Why? Because of an inaccurate temperature reading.
We like to have 2 different types of thermometers on hand: an instant-read and an oven probe model. They serve 2 different purposes.
One allows easy temperature monitoring while roasting from within the oven or stovetop pan itself. The other is for an instant, accurate temperature reading on the spot.
Every kitchen should have both.
Our favorite thermometer products come from ThermoWorks, due to their extraordinary quality and accuracy. The Thermapen Mk4 is considered the gold standard in instant-read thermometers by professional chefs and gourmet home cooks alike.
Another thing we love about ThermoWorks products is that they all come in a variety of color choices. Pick your favorite and find it easily in your utensil drawer!
4. Oven Thermometer
You can’t always believe the temperature on your oven dial. Average oven temperatures can be off from 10 to 100 degrees! Ensure your turkey or pie is perfect. Adjust your temperature dial to calibrate with the real oven temperature.
5. Cooking Twine for Trussing
For consistent, even roasting of a turkey or chicken, trussing is key. Place the turkey or chicken breast side up with the opening of the chest cavity visible. Herbs, aromatics and citrus can be placed in the cavity if desired. Cross the legs and secure together with butcher’s twine several times. Cut off excess twine. Tuck the tips of the wings under the shoulders prior to roasting. This protects the wing tips from burning. It also makes for a pretty presentation on the carving board.
6. Brining Bag
A brine soak made of salt and water creates moisture and flavor in lean meats like turkey, chicken and pork. Read instructions for salt to water ratio and brine times for optimal results. Herbs add to flavor. But concentration levels and brine time based on the size of what you plan to brine are key factors for success.
These extra large bags are food-safe. They’re a great alternative when you don’t have enough space in your refrigerator for a tall brining container. Be sure to seal the bag’s zipper carefully. And put a tray or pan under the bag in the event it leaks.
7. Turkey Baster
8. Meat Injector
TIP #2: Don’t pull the syringe complete out when refilling. Pull it toward you and angle the syringe pointed toward other directions. You’ll get more even coverage.
9. Turkey Lifters
Transferring a large, hot bird from the roasting pan to the carving board can be a daunting task. Turkey lifters make it a breeze!
10. Carving Board
11. Carving Knife
For even and uniform slicing, a carving knife is optimal. Its ultra-thin and longer blade create clean cuts. TIP: Use in a sawing motion when slicing.
To reduce spills from stock-pot to bowl, a ladle with a handle at a 45-degree angle makes light work of the process. This ladle holds 6 fluid ounces and makes it easy to measure stocks and liquids as you go.
14. Dry Measuring Tools
15. Liquid Measuring Cups
These glass measuring cups are durable and won’t absorb odors or colors. They are accurate, easy to read and microwave safe. We like the variety of sizes in this set.
16. Food Processor
We couldn’t live without our food processor. It chops, slices, dices, shreds, grates, pulses, purees, blends, creams, churns, emulsifies, whips, grinds, and crumbs. Thinking of tackling homemade yeast rolls this Thanksgiving? Or creating your pie dough from scratch? Pop the dough blade in and watch the magic happen.
17. Baking Sheets
Every kitchen needs high-quality baking sheets. These commercial grade half sheet pans conduct heat beautifully allowing you to roast, bake, toast and warm. They’re also a must to place under some baking dishes for easier transport into and out of the oven. They’re also excellent to control drip from bubbly dishes in the oven, like pies. They last a lifetime when hand-washed and won’t warp in at hotter temperatures. We like to line ours with parchment paper sheets for easy cleanup.
18. Rolling Pin
19. Pastry Mat
A sanitary, non-stick surface is critical when rolling out pie or noodle dough. This silicone pastry mat won us over with its large size and flat surface. Clear measurement and conversion guides make pie crust rollouts a breeze. It also adheres nicely to the work surface – a must!
20. Dough Cutter / Bench Scraper
21. Oven-safe Pie Dish
A quality pie dish ensures even browning and crispness of the crust. Let’s face it… the crust is our favorite part of the pie! Glass pie dishes offer visibility and monitoring of the bottom crust. We also love a beautiful, presentation-worthy version for the table.
22. Vegetable Peeler
Vegetable peelers are designed in two styles, the swivel peeler, and the Y peeler. Most of us have a preference, in that hand and wrist movements vary greatly. Generally, home cooks prefer swivel peelers for a more intuitive movement. When it comes to the large potato and vegetable peeling preparation that takes place on Thanksgiving, a quality peeler matters. These peelers are both comfortable to hold and have sharp blades. If hand-washing is a no go, choose the OXO model as it won’t rust in the dishwasher.
23. Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife is one of the most important kitchen tools and a good one can last a lifetime with sharpening of course. We like this one because it is comfortable for any hand size to hold. Its ultra-sharp blade adapts well when changing motions and cutting directions. Use it to chop, dice, mince, and slice from vegetables to herbs to meats. And bonus, the price is right for this kitchen staple!
24. Casserole Set
If you don’t have a casserole set, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to add one to your kitchen. These timeless pieces move from oven to table to refrigerator. While there are many baking sets on the market we like this one for its white exterior and durability. Practical and attractive, this set will endure for years to come.
25. Presentation-Worthy Baking Dish
These baking dishes are versatile and move beautifully from oven to table. A perfect vessel for make-ahead casseroles, lasagna, cakes, and roasted veggies. Safe for oven, broiler (to 500 degrees Fahrenheit), microwave and freezer. All foods look amazing in these gorgeous white dishes.
This compact hand mixer whips a mean potato and makes easy work out of whipping cream. And it comes in a wide variety of colors to match your kitchen décor!
These stand-mixers are an investment, but well worth it. They’re hands-free, powerful, and time-saving with less mess. They mix, blend, and whip. The dough hook makes bread and pizza dough prep a cinch. This model’s attachment options will surely delight those who enjoy a culinary adventure. Find the perfect color to enhance your kitchen’s design with dozens of options to choose from.
27. Mixing Bowls
In addition to glass mixing bowls, we think it’s important to have a set of stainless steel mixing bowls. These are lightweight, offer large capacity prep space, and they nest for easy storage.
28. Silicone Spatulas
A good set of spatulas are a kitchen staple for baking and sauteeing. They are phenomenal tools for scraping every last bit of your creation so nothing goes to waste. They’re also the perfect tool for folding ingredients. We like these because they’re heat-resistant. And, they come in a variety of shapes for different uses. They’re also easy on non-stick surfaces.
29. Wooden Spoons
We never use plastic utensils to stir or serve hot liquids or foods. While they are easier on non-stick and ceramic surfaces, chemicals can leach into the food. We prefer all-natural, non-toxic wood utensils to protect pan surfaces.
30. Can Opener
We love this can opener because it cuts and opens lids from the side so there are no sharp edges. It’s also sanitary, never touching the contents of the can. The large knob and easy grip handles make for the most comfortable can-opening experience we’ve ever had!
31. Cooling Rack
Cooling racks are a baking essential. They allow air to circulate around your baked goods to cool down evenly without carryover-baking.
32. Potato Ricer
33. Pie Cutter
Keep your pie slices in one piece for a beautiful presentation. A cake and pie cutter makes both cutting and serving your pie creations easy and pretty.
34. Ice Cream Scoop
Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream with your apple pie! This great scoop makes for easy and comfortable work. Even with rock-hard ice cream.
35. Disposable Containers for Leftovers
Extend your hospitality long after the big Thanksgiving feast! Send your friends and family with a care package in these smart containers. Don’t forget yourself! Save your leftovers in oven-ready aluminum containers to eliminate unnecessary cleanup.
Leftovers for Guests:
LEFTOVER STORAGE + REHEATING:
36. Disposable Containers for Portability and Warming
These containers work brilliantly for Thanksgiving, especially when preparing dishes in advance. The sturdy lids allow for smart condensed storage when stacked in the fridge. They can also be stacked in the oven at a low temp for holding. Adjust your oven racks so two containers with lids can sit side by side and stack easily per rack.
37. Serving Platters
Coordinating white serving platters in varying sizes showcase dishes beautifully when entertaining. These platters are dishwasher, freezer, microwave, and oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
38. Gravy Boat
This piece is perfect for hot gravy. But you’ll get lots of mileage out of it beyond Thanksgiving. It’s perfect for sauces, maple syrup and chilled items like salad dressing or milk. The matching dish catches drips so your table and linens stay beautiful. It’s also microwave safe for easy reheating.
39. Serving Utensils
Serving utensils are practical. They also add the finishing touch, complimenting each dish. The classic design of these utensils work with a variety of styles when entertaining and for everyday use.
40. Buffet Warmer/Server
Buffet warmers and servers are practical when entertaining. They keep your dishes warm and present nicely. They also allow you to enjoy both your guests and the food. When using, preheat the warming tray and servers. Ensure your food is warm and at proper temperature when placing in the trays. They hold temperature rather than heat.
41. Slow Cooker
Simplify your meal preparation by adding a slow cooker strategy this Thanksgiving. Countless classic recipes can be made in your slow cooker… saving you time, precious cook-top and oven space. It also serves to keep soups and other dishes warm. Use it to whip up favorite appetizers, turkey, sides, and desserts this season. And, for easy family meals on busy work days any time of the year.
Hand held immersion blenders eliminate steps in recipes… like the need to transfer food before blending. Pureeing hot soups is a cinch with this kitchen gadget. Use it to quickly emulsify your salad dressings. They are convenient, affordable, portable, compact for storage and don’t take up precious counter space. We like this one for its power and quick, precise, fine blending.
This Vitamix classic countertop blender is a powerhouse in terms of the blade action and motor. In fact, it has the most powerful motor for a home unit. Whole food ingredients are quickly blended with ease. We like this low profile version because it fits easily on the countertop under most kitchen cabinets. With a variety of speeds and a pulsing option, any desired texture can be achieved. Use it for no-cook soups, smoothies, desserts, dressings, cocktails, salsas, relishes, and so much more. This is an investment piece of equipment you will enjoy for years to come!
43. Bread Basket
This beautiful hand-woven basket is perfect for dinner rolls and bread. It’s also wonderful for utensils such as forks and knives in a buffet line. Line it with your favorite linen to complement your tablescape, like these organic flour sack tea towels. Make sure it’s large enough to cover your contents, keeping rolls warm this Thanksgiving.
44. Wine Opener
We like this waiter, sommelier-style corkscrew. This style of opener maintains the most control. This is an important function, especially when opening older, fine bottles where the cork can fall apart upon opening. It’s compact, affordable, and it yields excellent results when opening a bottle of wine. The serrated foil cutter easily allows you to cut the foil, just below the lip of the wine bottle. The corkscrew glides through the cork with ease. Cheers!
Quoted prices subject to change. Prices noted here are valid as of the date this article was published.