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Our favorite tools to survive Thanksgiving

By Carolyn Malcoun, October 28, 2010 - 12:01pm

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Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. I love it so much that we not only spend the big day with our family, we also host a Thanksgiving party for our friends the weekend before the real deal so we can have that yummy meal two times each year.

Related Link: Recipes, menus and step-by-step planners so you can have the easiest, healthiest Thanksgiving ever

After testing a few Thanksgiving stories in the EatingWell Test Kitchen and hosting my own pre-Thanksgiving dinners, I realized that there are three tools that make getting the feast on the table a whole lot easier. Are they in your kitchen?

Here are my top picks.

Related Link: Save 1,273 Calories with These 7 Cooking Tricks for a Healthier Thanksgiving

1. Roasting Pan—While roasting countless turkeys in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, we also tested several different types of roasting pans. We loved the look of shiny, stainless-steel roasters and loved the lower price of thinner-gauged metal pans, but our favorite was the Calphalon Unison Nonstick Roaster (about $150, williams-sonoma.com). The dark-colored, heavy-gauge, infused-anodized aluminum conducts heat more evenly and yields a perfectly browned bird with luscious pan drippings.

Related: EatingWell's Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

2. Remote Digital Thermometer—Do yourself a favor and ignore those pop-up thermometers that come pre-installed in most conventional turkeys: the only thing they’re good for is yielding a dry, overcooked turkey. Yuck. Once you try a remote digital thermometer, you’ll never use another one when you’re roasting a big hunk of meat. More convenient and more precise than a standard instant-read thermometer, a remote digital thermometer constantly monitors the internal temperature of roasting meat—while the oven door is closed—and sounds an alarm when it reaches the desired temperature. One word of caution: The sensor probes can be easily damaged, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and storage. Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer (about $25) can be purchased at amazon.com.

Related: Step-by-Step Photos to Help You Carve Your Turkey

3. Fat Separator—Once the turkey is done, it’s time to make the gravy. When making pan gravy you want to use the flavorful pan drippings, minus the fat. The easiest way to separate the two is with a fat separator specially designed for this task. Just pour the pan drippings into the measuring-cup-like tool, let the fat rise to the top, then pour the juices from the spout as the fat stays behind. We like the Oxo Good Grips 2-cup Fat Separator (about $11), which comes complete with a strainer top and a rubber stopper to help keep the fat out of the pour spout. Look for it at Cooking.com.

Related Link: How to Make Perfect Pan Gravy
Healthy Gravy Recipes

Which kitchen tool is most essential to your Thanksgiving meal? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Food Blog, Entertaining, Holidays, Kitchen tools, Product reviews

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.

Carolyn asks: Which kitchen tool is most essential to your Thanksgiving meal?

Tell us what you think:

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