My Thanksgiving family tradition is trying new recipes. When we moved to New York from Chicago it was just five of us and no one would dream of replicating the meal my grandmother put together for at least 20 people every year.
So when I got talked into hosting Thanksgiving this year, I went to the plethora of cooking magazines to make my list. On the list is Salted Caramel Apple pie from Cooking Light, shaved brussels sprout salad from Better Homes and Gardens and what I am most excited for, dry brined herb turkey from Food Network Magazine.
But as I was reading the recipes it came to my attention that despite the ridiculous number of gadgets I own, I hadn’t cooked Thanksgiving for company in a number of years. Missing from my collection were two basic things – a baster and a fat separator! I know, the horror! The turkey rub called for a spice grinder.
So now I am freaking out about what else I could be missing. So I reached out for some help.
Here’s the list of gadgets and accouterments you really do need to host Thanksgiving dinner:
Before you start, planning the multiple trips to the store, not only to get the best prices, but to keep everything as fresh as possible can make a person stir crazy. And honestly, the fresh herbs are the most expensive and go bad the fastest. Not anymore though. The Swag is an eco-friendly, reusable and affordable produce bag that can keep your fruits and veggies fresher longer, so they stay on your plate and out of the trash.
Tovolo has two really cool products for making a turkey.
The first is a traditional bulb baster – but with a twist. While this gadget is not really something one would normally be excited about, the design of this baster is rectangular, not round, which means goodbye splatters! It’s really a smart design and even if you have a baster, you may want to get one of these anyway.
The other item they have is a gravy strainer. Again, something most people have if they cook anything that they make gravy for. Why should you get this one? The top is a strainer, which leaves the goo out straight away. It separates the gravy locking the fat down so it cannot escape. Now if they only had something like that for our thighs after eating these meals! The Tovolo doesn’t stop there though. It is also a drip-free server which holds… wait for it… 4 cups of gravy!
From Sabatier comes an amazing set of kitchen shears. Now, I have 3 sets of shears, two of which are Henkels, which I use regularly for pretty much everything. So why would I be excited about these? They come with a sharpener. Silly little detail that can make a huge difference in the kitchen.
Although we are trained to take the turkey out when the popper pops, that can lead to dry turkey if you don’t catch it in time. But chasing to the oven can be a hassle. Meater has the perfect solution with their wireless, internal thermometer that is Bluetooth enabled. That’s right, they not only give you a gadget that helps cook a perfect turkey but offers an excuse to check your phone!
The next must-have item on the list is good baking sheets. Whether you are just learning to bake or an expert, you haven’t baked until you use the T-Fal Air Bake cookie sheets. I am trying to think back to when I got my first sheets, and I am going back at least 15 years. I even have their double-wide version that makes cookie-making go much faster. In a use and dispose world, T-Fal has created something that truly lasts. So why get excited all over again? They come in a gorgeous copper color now. The cheerful color will get you through hours of baking.
While you’re baking, it’s a great time to make a decorated loaf of bread – something cranberry or pumpkin to be sure! And while it may seem a bit basic, this loaf pan from Bellacor will wow your guests.
No matter how big your stash is Thanksgiving is a time to run out of coasters, potholders and spoon rests. Gecko solved all of those problems with one – really, just one! – gadget. Their silicone coasters have grooves to collect water from sweating glasses, while they can also be put on the counter for a wet spoon, grabbed to open jars and open hot lids. Use the whole set together into a honeycomb for use as a trivet.
OUCH! It happened again. Burned by the oven. It doesn’t matter if your mitts go to your shoulders, it’s going to happen. What doesn’t have to happen? Days upon days of healing. Curoxen is a natural and organic first aid ointment kills 5 times more bacteria than antibiotic creams – without the chemicals.
The turkey is basted, the fat is separated and the burns are soothed. Why not stop for a drink? Before you pour, grab a TRIbella aerator. The aerator pours wine in three perfect streams. The air between the streams will allow your wine to naturally breathe.
Honestly, even if it didn’t work, I would use it just for the fun of the three spouts! Oh! And it’s no drip feature, which also works, saves your tablecloth!
Ran out of glasses? Do the kids want to be like the adults? Problem solved by GoVino. These shatterproof, dishwasher safe 16 oz wine glasses are not only great to have around, they are reusable and sommelier approved. I know my kids are excited to use them, and honestly, my husband who has broken so many glasses I no longer count will be getting one too!
Turkey is cooking, wine is poured, so now it’s time for some appetizers. I’ve looked cheese boards, but honestly, I am not a fan of the wooden ones. That’s why this stone cheese board from Brooklyn Slate Co. and sold by Knack is a great option. Plus, the slate surface makes it label each cheese so the guest who prefers mild swiss doesn’t get sharp provolone.
The worst part of Thanksgiving is the cleanup. Residual bits of food coated in congealed gravy – YUCK! What’s worse is cleaning up when you slop on the garbage can trying to open it. simplehuman’s sensor can make cleanup, well, at least a bit easier! The motion sensor adapts to you and the surrounding environment — no false triggers or unexpected lid closures. And, no telling kitchen helpers where the garbage bags are with their liner pocket, which stores and dispenses liners from inside the can. Plus, it comes in 5 colors including the hot color of the season Rose Gold.
So now it’s time to pack up the leftovers. Whether it’s the half an onion left from a recipe, a half a can of olives or the perfect size Tupperware you lost the lid for, Farberware’s Food Huggers save the day. Forget the disposable elastic covers that look like hair –, the Food Huggers are a better eco-friendly alternative – and they actually stay on!
What gadget are you missing or need an excuse to buy? Tell us below!
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