5 Thanksgiving tools you cannot live without

Oooh, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and already I am counting the days. Is it too early to contact Julie to find out what I can bring? Yeah, probably.

But, I have been thinking, especially after Women’s World Magazine asked, about my favorite kitchen gadgets and tools for Thanksgiving. I compiled my list of 5, based on what my family likes to eat for Thanksgiving. Your list of tools might be different.

Of course, there are certain basics, including a turkey roasting pan, turkey platter, even a can opener. For those of you who are looking for a hostess gift or new addition to your own kitchen, I offer these 5 essential kitchen tools for Thanksgiving:

Turkey Lifters by Cuisinart. I have seen a few different versions of these, chose the ones that are most comfortable in your own hand. Much better than trying to heft the turkey bird out of the pan with a mish-mash of random kitchen tools (I see you reaching for the slotted spoon and pancake spatula!)

Browne Cuisipro Stainless-Steel Potato Ricer. Again, there are a few different manufacturers that make a potato ricer. I have found using this tool the easiest way to ensure consistently fluffy and mashed potatoes. You force a cooked potato (or two) through the chamber, and out the other side comes evenly mashed potatoes. I like this version because it comes with 3 interchangeable disks, to allow you different consistencies of mash. In the off-season (i.e. not Thanksgiving) this ricer is also good for making Spaetzle!

Taylor Digital Instant-Read Thermometer. Taylor has a couple different styles of instant-read thermometers. Last year I was hot on the $10 instant-read from Taylor, which comes in many different colors. This year, Taylor is out with something new, and the waterproof digital thermometer looks good. No matter what you do, or how awesome a cook you are, a thermometer is super handy for ensuring your turkey is cooked to the correct temperature. With loads of food born bacteria around, do yourself (and your guests) a favor and serve a properly cooked bird.

Henckel Four Star Boning Knife. Since Julie cooks the big items for Thanksgiving for our family (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, oh, and cleans the house!), I asked her what she could not live without. A quality boning knife was on her list for carving and serving the turkey. Using a knife made for the job means your final product will come out nicer – who wants a turkey who looks like it was carved with a hack saw! As usual, most every knife company offers a boning knife, so chose the brand that works best for you.

Hamilton Beach Crock Pot. You might be wondering if I have gone off the deep end – a crock pot for Thanksgiving? Isn’t the holiday all about Cooking. For. Days? All together in the kitchen, with your closest relatives and friends? Well, yes. But, sometimes you run out of space in the oven. Or maybe you only have 4 burners on your stove (can you feel my pain?). A slow cooker can solve many of those problems, especially if you check out the CrockPot Holiday Food at A Year of Slow Cooking. Stephanie has loads of excellent recipes including Cornbread Stuffing and Green Bean Casserole!

I have told you my favorites – what are your I-can’t-possibly-even-begin-to-think-about-Thanksgiving-without-these-kitchen-gadgets gadgets?

Photos courtesy of Amazon.com


  1. I have to agree w/ Gudrun on the crockpot for Thanksgiving… if it weren’t for our crockpot, we wouldn’t have had sweet potatoes last year!

  2. Kitchen Gadget Girl

    nice! Do you have a recipe to share? And most importantly, were there marshmallows involved? 😉

  3. Rough Recipe for Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes (take 2)

    2-3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
    1 bottle maple syrup (anything from Log Cabin to Vermont 100% Maple)
    1/2 cube (1/4 cup) butter
    Water if needed to cover potatoes by 1/2

    Place everything in crockpot and cook on low for 2-4 hrs, or until potatoes are soft. If needed, transfer at last minute to stove to reduce liquid.

    Serve hot and enjoy.

    No marshmallows, but you could sprinkle on some toasted pecans.

  4. Kitchen Gadget Girl

    wow, that is easy! I am going to try that this year, sweet potatoes are usually the item I leave until the last and then sometimes, I forget them 🙂

  5. I certainly agree about the boning knife. I must admit that I’ve used the wrong knife at times to bone poultry and I’ve got the scars to prove it.
    .-= Scott L @ Chefs Knife Sharpener ´s last blog ..Furi Ozitech Diamond Fingers Pro Knife Sharpener =-.

  6. Kitchen Gadget Girl

    Ouch! What other knives do you recommend as essential for the home chef?

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