With the pandemic, many of us are choosing to keep gatherings small and for some stay in and make our own Thanksgiving dinner. This means a lot of Thanksgiving rookies in the kitchen. And Thanksgiving is a big deal. It’s the biggest holiday meal of the year (not to make you nervous). Even if you just make the turkey and a couple of no-fuss sides, the last thing you need is to be caught without a meat thermometer and end up with a dry turkey. So, for the first-time turkey roaster and even the more seasoned Thanksgiving hosts, we’ve rounded up the essential tools and kitchen-ware needed for a Thanksgiving to remember.

Meat Thermometer. This is one of the most important tools to have at Thanksgiving and year-round. It helps ensure the meat is cooked to perfection. Undercooked poultry is a definite no-go. And sometimes even the best gravy can’t fix an overcooked, dry turkey. We love this one, but you can find these almost anywhere kitchen gadgets are sold.

Roasting Pan. If you plan on roasting your turkey, a roasting pan is a must! For a splurge-worthy option that is sturdy, well-constructed, and built to last, we like this one. For a more affordable option, try this one. When buying a roasting pan, keep in mind the size of the turkey when looking at options.

Turkey Baster. Keep dry turkey at bay with this leakproof, ergonomic, easy to clean baster.

Fat Separator.  While this might be overkill, a fat separator is useful for making delicious, non-greasy gravy and stocks. We recommend this one from a trusted brand.

Gravy Boat. Sure, you could just put your gravy in a bowl, stick a ladle in, and call it a day. But what fun is that? Get yourself a gravy boat. This one is insulated with stainless steel to keep gravy and liquids hot.

Carving Knife & Fork Set. This three-piece set is sure to easily slice and glide through the turkey.

Potato Masher. Potatoes are cheap, so skip the box and make them from scratch. Trust us. Using a potato masher is easier than getting out the mixer and creates the consistency of true, homemade mashed potatoes. Pro Tip: It’s also super useful for mashing up bananas for banana bread.

Serving Platters. This simple, white porcelain set of three serving platters will go well with any tablescape and provide ample space to serve turkey and other side dishes.

Warming Plates/Trays. While not required, warming plates are definitely nice to have so that you don’t have to stress about food getting cold. It’s difficult enough to sync up all the different dishes so that everything is ready at the same time. This will help you make some things ahead of schedule and keep them hot until dinner. We like this one because you can put your dishes directly onto it and it features adjustable temperature control.

Serving Utensils. You’ll want to make sure you have enough serving utensils for all the different side dishes and desserts. This set should do the trick.

Pie Plates. If your goal is a no fuss cleanup, opt for disposable pie plates. If you’re going for aesthetics, a ceramic one looks prettiest. We like this one in three different colors. Glass or metal are good options too, but if your pie requires a long baking period, opt for glass or porcelain to prevent overcooking and browning.

Casserole Dishes. Green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole — make sure you have enough casserole dishes to accommodate all your sides. Here is a simple three piece set that stacks together for easy storage. If you want to splurge and have one that will last forever and get so much use out of, we highly recommend a Le Creuset.

 

… and it all else fails, use your Instant Pot. Yes we are serious. It is the holy grail of kitchen gadgets for good reason! You can make a ton of sides and even turkey breast in the Instant Pot in record time! It’s been quite a year, so make it easy on yourself and check out these Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes.