Once November arrives, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming holidays with your family. Thanksgiving is a holiday when family gets together to rejoice in each other’s lives and give appreciation for what we are thankful for. Tradition is to make a huge feast for thanksgiving with turkey as the table centerpiece. For food lovers, this is one of your favorite holidays.
By now, your thanksgiving food list has surely been modified and narrowed down to include the essentials like turkey, stuffing, and potatoes, along with the additional sides, soups, and desserts that you have decided on. The next thing to do is to create a grocery list so you can make the food on the menu you created. One very important part of the process is often missed, and that’s ensuring you have all the right kitchen equipment and items you need to cook your thanksgiving meal with success. Having the right thanksgiving kitchen items can be the difference in having perfectly prepared and cooked dishes. Being prepared can also be a game changer and help create a positive cooking experience vs a stressful one. So, before you do your shopping, its important to create a list of all your thanksgiving meal items, including food ingredients as well as cooking and plating equipment. Here are a few things to get you started.
A Roasting Pan
A roasting pan to cook your turkey is one of the most important kitchen items you will need aside from a good oven. Any roasting pan will do as long as it’s large enough to fit your turkey. There are a few different kinds to consider. A roasting pan with a non-stick rack works marvelously because the turkey is slightly elevated, so the bottom won’t get soggy. This is especially helpful if you’re stuffing your turkey.
A Carving board, Carving knife, and Kitchen Scissors
You may already have a cutting board and knife, like most kitchens do, but you should check to make sure you have the right kind of knife and that it is still sharp. Cutting a plumply stuffed turkey is not always the easiest thing to do without it falling apart. Kitchen scissors are also extremely helpful in more ways than one.
There are a several types of carving boards and for thanksgiving, owning the right kind can be very beneficial. Consider a cutting board with a moat which prevents any juices leaking from the turkey as you cut it from falling on the floor or table. There are also cutting boards with groove which keeps the turkey from sliding as you cut it. These cutting boards are great for cutting other things as well and can also double as a serving tray for your thanksgiving dinner items.
Between all the dishes on your menu, you will need enough cookware to make everything. From soups, and sides to sauces, a quality cookware set that can go the distance with your thanksgiving menu is one of the secrets to cooking everything just right.
Arguably one of the kitchens best countertop appliances is the air fryer. Air fryers are a great cooking tool for thanksgiving. One of the biggest hurdles thanksgiving chefs must deal with is where to cook everything. There is no way you can fit all those dishes in the oven at once. Many people map out a cooking schedule over the course of thanksgiving week because it’s impossible to cook it all in one day. Owning an air fryer is extremely beneficial during this time because you can make tons of thanksgiving food items in an air fryer that you would normally use your stovetop or oven. Not only will an air fryer help cook your delicious sides and desserts for thanksgiving, but it’s an awesome tool that can be used all year and is often much easier and quicker than cooking with an oven or range. There are a million and one awesome thanksgiving recipes you can find online for air fryers.
Baking Dishes, Baking Trays, and Pie Pans
Honestly, you can never have enough of these for thanksgiving. Glass and ceramic baking dishes are the preferred method for baking all your casseroles, cornbread, and other thanksgiving recipes and is good looking enough to be brought to your thanksgiving table ready to serve directly from the baking dish.
You will probably be roasting lots of veggies and other things, possibly even baking cookies so you will need plenty of baking sheets. Baking sheets are relatively inexpensive and can also be used to keep your oven clean when you’re making your thanksgiving pies since they often can drip out from their pie pan as they’re baking. Pies are a thanksgiving feast specialty, so don’t forget to get some pie pans too.
More Cooking Tools and Utensils
During the year you can get away with preparing dishes using the versatility of your innovation with whatever kitchen tools you have, but when you’re cooking like a professional chef, there are a few things that will help elevate your dishes to perfection.
One of the most important things you can do when cooking any kind of meat is ensure its cooked to the prefect temperature, inside and out. This is where owning a food thermometer comes into play. A good one can provide you with more accurate readings and will last for eons.
You will need plenty of serving and cooking utensils and they can run out quickly when you’re cooking a lot and serving many dishes at once. Check your menu to see how many you need or you will be washing dishes instead of spending time at the table.
If you’re planning on baking pies and making desserts, you will need a rolling pin, mixer, and plenty of bowls. You will also need a potato masher, every thanksgiving meal has at least one type of mashed potatoes.
For stuffed turkey lovers, you will need a fat separator to assist you in making the gravy and buying some cotton butchers twine is the only way you can keep the turkey stuffing from falling out while its being cooked.
This is a tough one to gauge how many you will need, but you will need a few. Some of the dishes can be stored in the cookware or bakeware that the food is made in, but most of the leftovers will need to be stored properly. You may even want to use food storage containers through the week leading into thanksgiving as you’re cooking through your menu. These are important. They make cleaning up easy, and provide a nice way to share leftovers with your family members to take home with them.
Aluminum Foil & Parchment Paper
I’m going to go first person for a second and say I don’t particularly like to use aluminum foil in my kitchen and prefer to use parchment paper when necessary. But for holidays such as thanksgiving, I like to make an exception and load up because it just makes life easier. Aluminum foil especially comes in handy when you run out of cookware and bakeware lids and can be clutch if you run out of food storage containers.
Make your thanksgiving week enjoyable by adding one or two decorations to your kitchen to spice up the holiday vibe. You will be spending a lot of time cooking, so bring your favorite tunes to the kitchen. Hang up a few decorations. Preparing thanksgiving takes a lot of time and dedication, pace yourself and enjoy the process.