These kitchen gadgets are a must-have when preparing for the big day. From the best food processor to a classic chef's knife, these tools will make Thanksgiving meal prep a breeze.

Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD
Updated September 14, 2020
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Is your kitchen geared up for Thanksgiving? Here are our favorite tools to make delicious sides, turn pan drippings into gravy and carve a mean bird.

Tools for the Turkey

All-Clad Stainless-Steel Roasting Pan with Rack
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Roasting Pan with Rack

Even a small turkey is a big bird for the oven, and you'll need a roasting pan that can hold it. Those made of heavy stainless-steel won't warp while heating or risk a bird-on-the-loose disaster like a flimsy disposable pan might.

Buy It: All-Clad Stainless-Steel Roasting Pan with Rack (from $160, Williams Sonoma)

Ultimate Maple Cutting Board by John Boos
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Cutting Board with Reservoir

Two challenges when carving the turkey are to keep juices off the counter and the bird itself off the floor. The Ultimate Maple Cutting Board by John Boos ($205) has a drawer to collect drippings and a grippy pattern carved onto the cutting surface to hold the turkey in place.

Buy It: Ultimate Maple Cutting Board by John Boos (from $166, Amazon)

ThermoPro Digital Instant Read Thermometer
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Instant-Read Thermometer

One could argue the success of Thanksgiving dinner rests squarely on an instant-read thermometer, which tells you when your turkey is done (and safe to eat). Pros, like chef Hugh Acheson, like the hyper-precise Thermapen ($85 and up), but a $14 model will do the job.

Buy It: ThermoPro Digital Instant Read Thermometer ($14, Amazon)

OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Fat Separator
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Fat Separator

You'll want to defat drippings before you use them so your gravy isn't greasy. This tool lets fat rise to the top, leaving the defatted liquid to pour out a spout at the base. OXO's has a strainer for debris and a plug so liquids and fats don't mix in the spout.

Buy It: OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Fat Separator ($15, OXO)

OXO Good Grips Triple Timer
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Kitchen Timer

Multitasking is the name of the game when you prep for T-Day. You'll want a timer that can keep tabs with several displays and is easy to set.

Buy It: OXO Good Grips Triple Timer ($20, Amazon).

Shun Classic Chef's Knife
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Chef's Knife

A great knife—sharp, well-balanced and ergonomic—will speed up holiday prep and be a pleasure to work with. With care, stainless- and carbon-steel knives can become lifelong kitchen companions.

Buy It: Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife ($150, Amazon)

Tools for Sides and Desserts

KitchenAid Stand Mixer
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Stand Mixer

Get the loftiest egg whites for meringues and marshmallow fluff with a stand mixer. It's more powerful than a hand mixer and lets you walk away so you can multitask to finish your holiday meal.

Buy It: KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer (on sale for $300, Williams Sonoma)

Silpat Silicone Baking Mat
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Silicone Baking Mat

Make any baking pan nonstick by slipping a reusable silicone baking mat onto it. Use it for gooey jobs like making cheese crisps or baking a batch of cookies. Otherwise, use Reynolds pre-cut parchment paper sheets.

Buy It: Silpat (from $15, Amazon)

De Buyer Komi Vegetable Slicer
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For consistent, paper-thin slices of most fruits and vegetables, use a mandoline. Go for a simple style that's easy to adjust.

Buy It: De Buyer Komi Vegetable Slicer (on sale for $28, Williams Sonoma).

Le Creuset brown casserole dish
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Casserole Dish

Keep the sides (they're the best part, right?) warm and toasty by taking them from oven to table in a covered casserole dish.

Buy It: The Heritage Rectangular Casserole by Le Creuset (from $115, Amazon)

steamer basket
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Steamer basket

A basket makes steaming vegetables a snap. A model with a stay-cool, nonmetal handle makes lifting it out of the pot a cinch.

Buy It: Crate & Barrel Stainless-Steel Vegetable Steamer with Silicone Feet ($17, Crate & Barrel).

cuisinart food processor
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Food processor

Perhaps the most important tool for the Big Day, a food processor can chop up cranberry relish and make the silkiest purees. The Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-cup has a mini bowl, too, for small--volume jobs like salad dressing.

Buy It: Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-cup Food Processor ($280, Williams Sonoma).

Thanksgiving Toolkit | EatingWell November 2019