Planning ahead is essential for any dinner party host. In his book Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain put it like this: “Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance, as they say in the army – and I always, always want to be ready.” Thanksgiving dinner is the ultimate test of culinary preparedness (it’s why there’s a turkey hotline and cannabis-infused gravy recipes) and Prior Preparation is the home chef’s best friend.
A delicious meal starts with the right equipment. Here are the kitchen must-haves to ensure your Thanksgiving dinner is executed with military-grade precision.
Our Table™ 6-Piece Stainless Steel Roaster Set
This is the basic Thanksgiving starter pack: the tools you need for a delicious tryptophan trance in six stainless steel packages. The Our Table set includes a roasting pan with a removable V-rack, two turkey lifters, a bulb baster and a cleaning brush. It can hold a bird up to 25lbs and has double-riveted handles for an extra-secure grip. All you need now is the ingredients.
OXO Good Grips® 4-Cup Fat Separator
A fat separator is exactly what it sounds like: a tool to separate fat from other cooking liquid. It’s a gravy godsend – just pour the drippings into the jug (with the spout plugged) and let it sit for a few moments until the fat floats to the top. This Oxo Fat Separator has a release valve on the bottom in addition to the spout, making it easy to drain the broth into whatever you’re using before starting the roux. Plus, it’s got the two magic words: dishwasher safe.
Abbott Acacia Wood Serving Boards
Setting a holiday table can be a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – fitting the various bowls and dishes together in a serving-friendly way that doesn’t disrupt the place settings isn’t always easy. Abbot’s versatile serving boards come in two sizes that give you a bit more wiggle room with how and where you place them, and the acacia wood finish looks elegant for a coffee table charcuterie or main meal accompaniment.
Abbott Abo Serving Board & Paddle Serving Board
$34 and $65, MUST Société
Wüsthof Classic 2-Piece Straight Carving Set
The Wüsthof family has been making kitchen knives since the 1880s, showing the world just what German engineering can do in the kitchen. Their custom steel formula has 40 steps to ensure maximum durability and sharpening ease before the knives are forged and laser-cut. This 2-piece carving set comes with a hollow-ground carving knife and carving fork that slice through meat cleanly without tearing.
Kilne Magnetic Strip
When a cook finds a knife they really love, they hardly ever want to put it down. Always keep yours within reach with the Magnetic Strip from Canadian brand Kilne. Made from durable acacia wood, the accessory is meant to be mounted on your wall to create a handy storage spot for your most crucial culinary tools. You can also get an Essential Knife Set that comes with a chef’s knife, bread knife and paring knife along with the strip.
The Kilne Magnetic Strip
Lavatools Javelin Instant-Read Thermometer
Meat thermometers are no joke: if you really want the pro look, Lee Valley carries a model that comes with a pager so you can be notified the second your turkey is the optimal temperature. That’s a bit extra, but the Javelin Instant-Read Thermometer has an excellent reputation and remains ever-easy-to-use. It turns on and off automatically when you release the probe, measures temps in 4 seconds, and has a magnet inside for easy storage.
Seed & Sprout Set of 5 Eco Brushes
Cooking a Thanksgiving dinner on a purely dishwasher-safe basis would be a miracle. If the sight of a green and yellow dish sponge makes you cringe, Seed & Sprout’s bamboo handle plant fibre brush set includes a vegetable brush, bottle brush, pot brush, dish brush and oval scrubbing brush that are fully vegan and eco-friendly. Your potatoes and electric knives will be polished by only the best of bristles.