This Is Every Tool You Need to Make Thanksgiving Dinner
Once you’ve checked off these items, you'll be prepared for anything Thanksgiving dinner throws your way.
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Thanksgiving Tool Kit
Whether it’s your first or hundredth time hosting Thanksgiving, you'll undoubtedly find yourself rolling out pie dough with a wine bottle (because you lost your rolling pin), sieving gravy through a paper towel (because your fine mesh strainer is nowhere to be found) or coming up with any number of creative solutions for missing tools. But not this time. This year Food Network Kitchen has put together a list of the most important items you'll need to pull off dinner for your group of family and friends.
Sure, you won’t use a roasting pan on the reg, but this investment piece is a holiday must that will last for many, many years to come. You’ll want a heavy-duty pan with high sides to keep any juices from splashing out as you transport your turkey from oven to counter.
And look for one that comes with a nonstick rack. The rack helps air circulate around your bird as it cooks, rendering perfectly crisp skin, and the non-stick will make cleanup a little easier.
Our pick: 16-inch All-Clad dishwasher-safe roasting pan that comes with a non-stick rack, $129.95, Amazon
Tabletop Turkey Fryer
Not into roasted turkey? #FreeTheOven this year with a deep-fried bird. Instead of standing outside in the cold monitoring your turkey while it cooks, pick up an indoor tabletop turkey fryer that will safely produce a golden, crispy bird in no time. Butterball makes a reliable fryer. Plus, all the messy bits are dishwasher safe making cleanup a breeze.
Our pick: Butterball Electric Fryer, $85, Amazon
Some say tying the legs up close to the breast helps protect the faster-cooking white meat from drying out in the oven. Others prefer not to truss, so the skin around the legs can crisp. But one thing is undeniable: if you want that picture-perfect Thanksgiving bird presented for carving, you need to truss that turkey. And to keep your twine sanitary and tangle-free consider picking up a twine holder.
Our pick: Norpro Stainless Steel Holder with Cooking Twine, $18.99, Amazon
While you don’t need to have a regimented plan for your turkey, the occasional baste will prevent scorching, particularly useful if your oven has hot spots. Look for a baster with an ergonomic design (a little curve will help you reach in the hot oven without risking a burn to your hands). A removable bulb and cleaning brush will keep your baster squeaky clean for many holidays to come.
Our pick: OXO Good Grips Angled Turkey Baster with Cleaning Brush, $12.99, Amazon
Picture this: Your turkey looks golden and ready for carving, then you make the first cut. Your bird is raw inside. Avoid a Thanksgiving tragedy — invest in an instant read thermometer. You won’t have to guess on cooking temperature, and our favorite thermometer has helpful cook temperatures listed on the handle.
Our pick: Precision Pro Commercial Thermometer, $99.95, Williams Sonoma
Before you get to carving your perfectly cooked turkey, you’ll need to let it rest. Resting helps redistribute the juices drawn to the skin while cooking for a juicier bite. As for a place to rest and carve your turkey, choose a large cutting board with a juice groove to keep your counters clean while you work.
Our pick: John Boos Reversible Board with Juice Groove, $58.46, Amazon
Sharpen your knives because carving the bird is the main event. To get those perfect slices of turkey, you’ll need the right tools. Choose a carving knife with depressions in the blade for less friction and a smoother cut when slicing. Our pick comes with a carving fork so your bird doesn't slide around the board as you slice.
Our pick: Wusthof Classic Carving Set, $99.95, Amazon
Pots and Pans Set
Your parents have finally passed the torch — you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner. That’s some adult stuff and you’ll need more than that fry pan and pasta pot from college. Invest in a set like this 10-piece non-stick one from Calphalon that has everything you need.
Our pick: Calphalon 10-Piece Classic Nonstick Cookware Set, $159.99, Amazon
There is no way to avoid it: You'll be peeling for days before Thanksgiving if you plan to serve any combination of potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin or carrots, so you’ll need a workhorse of a peeler. We like the ergonomic shape of a y-peeler and our favorite comes in a set of 3, so you can even recruit some kitchen help.
Our pick: Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler (set of 3), $8.59, Amazon
Let’s be real, the mashed potatoes are almost as important as the turkey. So, pick up a potato ricer, and you’ll never serve lumpy mashed potatoes again. Need we say more?
Our Pick: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato Ricer, $24.95, Amazon
When it comes to casserole dishes, anything that can go from oven to table is gold. Your food will stay hotter for longer, plus you’ll have one less dish to clean after the big feast. We love these Le Creuset dishes because they are great at retaining heat, will last forever and look good on the table.
Our pick: Le Creuset Stoneware Rectangular Baking Dish, $50 - $100, Williams Sonoma
A lot of pepper grinding is bound to happen over the holidays and if your disposable or poorly crafted mill is slowing you down, try switching to a Magnum Pepper Mill. It’s easier to fill than the traditional pepper mill, so you can get back to seasoning in no time.
Our pick: Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill 9", $45, Amazon
Between all the twine cutting and herb snipping, a good set of sharp kitchen shears are an oft forgotten holiday tool kit must. Choose a pair that can be easily sharpened because any pair will wear down after heavy use.
Our pick: ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Kitchen Shears, $39.95, Amazon
Box graters are just so incredibly versatile it would be a shame to go without one. You’ll need it for the obvious grated cheese and shredded carrot needs, but you can also use it for less obvious tasks, like grating butter for the perfect-size butter bits in a flaky pie crust. We like this one with a measuring-cup catchall that attaches to the bottom.
Our pick: OXO Good Grips Box Grater, $17.95, Amazon
For those finishing touches, like a sprinkle of parmesan, a grating of fresh nutmeg or a zest of citrus peel you’ll need a Microplane rasp. We like this one with a comfort grip handle to protect your fingers. Rasps will also make quick work of grating garlic.
Our pick: Microplane Zester Grater, $12.99, Amazon
Nothing is worse than a greasy gravy. And while painstakingly skimming the fat from the top is doable by hand, after a long day of cooking, wouldn’t you rather this nifty gadget quickly do the hard work for you?
Our pick: OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Fat Separator, $14.99, Amazon
For any dish that requires a precision slice you can save yourself a lot of time and food waste by using a handheld mandoline. For us, basic is best, which is how we landed on this Japanese-style mandoline that is a dependable favorite.
Our pick: Benriner Mandoline Slicer, $34.95, Amazon
No Thanksgiving feast is complete without a slice of flakey-crusted, creamy pumpkin pie. And to get that perfect slice you’ll need the right pie plate. Our pick goes for function over form and no plate makes a more perfectly golden crust than a tempered glass pie plate.
Our pick: Pyrex 9-inch Tempered Glass Pie Plate, $26, Amazon