Thanksgiving is almost here! Every year time seems to go by faster and faster, don’t you agree? If you’re anything like me, you’ve already got the menu and shopping list already figured out. What are your favorite tools for cooking? Are you looking for gadgets to make your day easier? Here are my essentials for Thanksgiving Dinner; they’re all products I use and love, and help me save time when I’m preparing multiple dishes!
I make really good use of my oven on Thanksgiving Day, so I don’t always have room for the turkey to bake for 3+ hours. That’s why I have an electric roasting oven. It goes right on the kitchen counter, out of the way of my prep station; and I can just turn it on and let the turkey bake, not having to worry about it! Here’s the recipe I always follow for my turkey, and it turns out perfect every time. Just… remember to take out all the bags of inside parts first, like I always forget to.
Besides my coffee maker, my KitchenAid mixer is my most used kitchen appliance! From shredding chicken to mixing cookie dough, this mixer saves me so much time and is easy to use. The attachments are my favorite part; I currently just have the paddle, the whisk, and the dough hook, but that’s all I need right now.
One advantage of having a slow cooker is that you can set it and forget it. It also frees up oven space; so if you’ve got a good recipe for stuffing or green bean casserole, you can easily put it in your slow cooker and put something else in the oven instead. I’ve also been known to have two slow cookers sitting on my kitchen counter to accommodate all the food!
I only recently discovered the joys of having an immersion blender. No longer do I have to create more dishes just to make mashed potatoes! This immersion blender mixes everything together in a short amount of time, and you can do it right in the dish you were cooking them. It’s also amazing for blending soups to make them creamier without actually adding cream.
There’s nothing worse than having an under-cooked turkey. Or overcooked, for that matter. But you don’t need to constantly stand over it to check its temperature. Get a meat thermometer with a timer and that you can keep in the turkey while it bakes; once it reaches your desired temperature, the device will beep and you’ll have a perfectly cooked turkey!
What’s the best part about Thanksgiving? The leftovers! I love either taking some home with me, or having a ton left at my house if I’m cooking. True story: I bring my own storage containers whenever my mom cooks a holiday dinner. I might be crazy, but it saves me from having to giver her containers back!
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you can buy cheap containers at the dollar store for your guests to take home food. That way, they won’t have to worry about giving back the containers but they still get food! I do this whenever I’m making food for a friend.
How many pie pans do you have? I have… one. And usually I bake more than one pumpkin pie. In this case, I’m okay with buying disposable pie pans, especially because it creates less dishes.
Speaking of disposable pans, there’s also no shame in using disposable casserole pans to make everything else! I love cooking, but hate seeing the pile of dishes when everything’s done. The dollar store is a great place to find what you need at cheap prices!
Measuring cups and spoons
I have to include these because I always seem to run out. I have two sets of measuring spoons and cups, but it’s never enough when I’m doing batch cooking. Once again, I’m recommending the dollar store for these because they’re simple and get the job done!
If you make your own bread for Thanksgiving, you’ve gotta get a bread machine! Just add all the ingredients and press a button, and after about 90 minutes you’ve got perfectly mixed bread dough. I don’t like actually baking my bread in the machine, so I just use the Dough function and bake it in my own loaf pan, or just make dinner rolls instead.
Don’t pay full price for a bread machine, though! Check your local thrift store; I found mine for 6 dollars, which is a total steal. And it works just fine!
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What are your must-have tools for Thanksgiving Dinner? Share below in the comments!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.