Thanksgiving Equipment & Gear

Whether it's your first Thanksgiving giving or you're a Turkey Day pro, these cooking and baking tools are essential 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.


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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 make freshly grated spices with the multi-purpose box grater.


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Turkey Fundamentals

Start with a roasting pan and sturdy metal rack to help your turkey brown more evenly and to prevent sticking. Butcher's twine is for tying herbs into a bundle and for trussing your turkey's legs for an elegant presentation. Keep the turkey moist by using a baster every hour or so during cooking. No baster? A spoon works fine too. During cooking, use an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature is accurate (some ovens can be 50 degrees off). For a perfectly moist bird insert an instant-read thermometer into the deepest part of the turkey breast or leg. A large cutting board is essential when prepping vegetables, and the rim collects juices as you carve with a carving knife and carving fork. Pour pan juices through the fat separator to separate the juices from the fat in order to make good gravy.


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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 cooking gravy, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. A slotted spoon, cheesecloth, fine-mesh strainer and colander will take care of every straining job that comes your way. Use the wooden spoon to scrape up the yummy brown bits on the bottom of your turkey pan; chefs call this deglazing. Then use the whisk to help incorporate the bits and juices into the gravy. And finally, use the ladle to transfer it into a gravy bowl. You can use tongs for tossing 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.


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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

You'll put baking sheets to serious use on Thanksgiving. We love them 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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