5 Things That Will Make Cooking Thanksgiving Easier, According to Our Tools Editor

published Nov 13, 2021
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Credit: Brittany Conerly

I both look forward to and am wary of Thanksgiving: It’s a marathon of cooking that, year after year, leaves me feeling fulfilled and exhausted. What makes Thanksgiving easier, though? Besides an extra hand in the kitchen? Having the right equipment.

Because, truly, the best gear makes it so much easier to cook your best. And there are some specific pieces of equipment that, while you might not use a ton outside of Thanksgiving, are absolutely worth investing in. Here are five Thanksgiving-specific tools I think you should have on hand. (Who am I? I’m Kitchn’s resident gear expert!)

1. A roasting pan

A great roasting pan makes it so much easier to cook a giant, hulking turkey. It also handily keeps the bird up and out of the pan drippings, so it’s easier to make gravy. If you want to be sure that this is the best roasting pan, you can read all about my in-depth testing here.

2. A pie dish

Sure you could use a disposable pie plate, but if you invest in a beautiful pie dish it’ll be well worth it. Not only does a ceramic plate like this help to dress up your homemade creations, but it’ll also help brown your crust evenly.

3. A gravy separator

To de-fat pan juices for gravy, a gravy separator is mighty helpful. Because you want the flavorful drippings and not necessarily all of that fat! This one’s easy to use, fairly priced, and dishwasher-safe (essential for Thanksgiving cleanup, in my experience!).

3. A carving board

A carving board like this — with a poultry-shaped well in the center — will cradle the bird, helping you carve it with ease. This is actually one of my go-to cutting boards far beyond Thanksgiving. I use it at least once a week for resting and carving roast chicken.

4. A carving knife

If you want picture-perfect slices of turkey, then you need a carving knife. The long blade produces even slices easily. Even a chef’s knife is not quite up to the task — leading to torn skin and jagged pieces. No, what you want is a carving knife … and this one is my favorite.

5. A potato ricer

If you’re a fan of creamy mashed potatoes, you need a potato ricer, which will ensure silky smooth spuds. This ricer’s made from heavy-duty plastic that won’t bend no matter how hard you press. If you’re wondering, I have destroyed more than one metal ricer with, what I’m assuming, is my unnatural hand strength.

Do you have something to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!