15 Essential Kitchen Tools for Thanksgiving
For the other 364 days of the year, your kitchen may hum along just fine without any need to think about what kind of tools, gadgets and what-nots are available for use. But come that magical Thursday, the unprepared commence on a mad dash to grocery stores for ridiculously marked up roasting pans, basters and other necessities.
It's time to step away from the madness. Grab these 15 essential kitchen tools and have a fun, stress free and much more affordable Thanksgiving this year.
1. Cutting BoardsIf your culinary skills branch out further than the microwave, then you likely have a cutting board laying around the kitchen somewhere. However, when preparing a feast, big or small, having one chopping block available simply won't cut the mustard. A pack of color-coded cutting boards makes separating veggies from meat easy. And if you're planning on cutting a lot of juicy fruits or meats, a grooved cutting board will keep the cutting surface clean.
2. A Good Chef's KnifeA good chef's knife will go a long way while prepping for Thanksgiving dinner and every other dinner year round. This versatile kitchen tool will slice, dice and chop just about anything you put before it. A good chef's knife is more than a workhorse for big feasts like Thanksgiving, it's also an investment for and easier cooking experience all around.
3. Roasting PansFor the Pièce de résistance, the turkey, you need a sturdy vessel that can be counted on for Thanksgivings to come and other cozy winter dinners ahead. Roasting pans can be super-affordable or all-the-bells-and-whistles pricey (and run a gamut of price points in between.) First and foremost, measure your oven space before purchasing a new roasting pan. The most important feature is getting the pan in and out of your oven easily.
4. Meat ThermometerCooking thermometers allow you to know exactly when the turkey is ready and safe to consume. Once your bird hits 165ºF, your good to go! Easy to use, clean and store, there really isn't a reason to not have one of these in your kitchen.
5. A Turkey Baster or a Basting SpoonJuicy turkeys don't just happen. They are lovingly saturated with hot and fatty drippings from the roasting pan. Scoop or suck up these juices with a turkey baster or basting spoon to avoid a dry turkey with your Thanksgiving meal.
4. A Kitchen TimerNobody likes being shackled to the oven all day. A kitchen timer helps alleviate this common Thanksgiving issue. Keep your dinner moving along to a steady rhythm of perfected productivity with a kitchen timer that will buzz, chime or ring when it's time to baste, remove or fuss over anything cooking in the oven.
8. A Carving KnifeAfter all the effort you put into roasting or frying your turkey, isn't it worth slicing into with the right knife? The most popular carving knives have a rounded tip and a granton edge. This shape and style allows for optimal blade to meat contact and provides an easier slice without drag. Additionally, granton edges will cut thin and thick slices alike. If you aren't interested in cutting thin slices of turkey for sandwiches after the big day, any other style of carving knife should work perfectly for your Thanksgiving feast.
13. WhiskFrom homemade whipped cream to perfecting your pie crust and beyond, the whisk is a valuable tool for Thanksgiving. French whisks are the most versatile choice and are perfect for mixing, beating, scraping, aerating, emulsifying and deglazing. A piano whisk is constructed with thinner wire and is perfect for delicate sauces and lighter applications.
14. Mixing Bowls and Measuring SuppliesUsed for everything from mixing pie crust ingredients to turkey stuffing, mixing bowls should be a part of every well-stocked kitchen. Stainless steel mixing bowls are a professional favorite as they stand up to constant use and are easy to clean. Measuring supplies, including measuring spoons, measuring cups and kitchen scales will keep every recipe in check for novice and seasoned chefs alike.
15. A Food Mill or Potato RicerFood mills and potato ricers are both handy tools to have for creating perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes and smooth cranberry sauce. Food mills are incredibly versatile tools to have on hand and provide an even consistency for anything you need to run through a sieve. Potato ricers are easiest to clean and take up far less space in storage.
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