Thanksgiving Cooking and Baking Tools

Whether it's your first Thanksgiving or you're a Turkey Day pro, these cooking and baking tools are essentials to get you through the holiday.
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Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Thanksgiving Cooking Tools

You'll need all of the basics plus a few essential tools to cook turkey, gravy and your favorite side dishes for the big day.

Get Prepped

There's a lot to measure and chop when you're making a feast. Have a wide range of wet and dry measuring cups and spoons. A good peeler will save your hands when prepping piles of carrots, potatoes, apples or squash. In a pinch, a paring knife could do the job too. Grate butter for pie dough and vegetables for casseroles and freshly grate spices with the multi-purpose box grater.

Turkey Fundamentals

Start with a roasting pan and metal rack to prevent sticking. Butcher's twine is for trussing turkey legs. Keep the turkey moist by using a baster every hour. During cooking, use an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature is accurate. For a moist bird insert an instant-read thermometer into the deepest part of the turkey breast. A large cutting board is essential when prepping vegetables, and the rim collects juices as you carve the turkey. Pour pan juices through the fat separator in order to make gravy.

The Basics

A well-stocked kitchen will have most of these items around, so you won't be scrambling come Turkey Day. Different-sized saucepans are great for gravy, cranberry sauce and potatoes. A slotted spoon, cheesecloth, strainer and colander will take care of every straining job that comes your way. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up brown bits on the bottom of the turkey pan; chefs call this deglazing. Then use a whisk to help incorporate the bits into the gravy. And finally, use a ladle to transfer it into a gravy bowl. Use tongs for green beans. We think you know what to do with the potato masher.

Baking Best Bets

Whether your specialty is pies, loaves or muffins, having a wide range of bakeware pieces is always helpful. A hand sifter or ordinary sifter both ensure fluffy and light batters; stir 'em up in a glass or metal bowl. You'll need a rolling pin to make a crust. Oven mitts are useful, and a folded-up dry kitchen towel works too. Cool the desserts on a wire rack and dole it all out using a pie server.

Make Accurate Measurements

Precise measurements are the key to great baking. There are two kinds of measures: Glass cups for wet ingredients like oil, milk or stock; and flat-topped metal ones for dry things that you can level off like flour, sugar and shortening. A hand sifter helps take the clumps out of flour, sugar, spices or any other dry ingredient. Spice up a classic recipe with a little lemon zest or fresh nutmeg; all you need is a fine grater.

Prepare Your Pies and Biscuits

Biscuits get their uniformity from round cutters with handles. Trying a pumpkin cheesecake this year? Springform pans make it possible to release cakes without wrecking the sides. Let the cake cool in the pan, unlatch the sides and behold a perfect, round result. Tart pans need to match the size called for in your recipe. Some have removable bottoms so you can just pop your tart up out of the pan. Avoid the tricky task of transferring pies to serving dishes by baking and serving in a glass pie dish.

Trays and Cooling

We love using baking sheets for organizing ingredients before cooking, and of course for cooking itself. Use them for toasting nuts, roasting veggies or catching drips. Biscuits and muffins are made all the easier in nonstick muffin tins. Sweet and savory loaves bake beautifully in a small metal loaf pan. Transfer baked goods to a cooling rack using an oven mitt.

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