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Tools of the trade: Equipment for Thanksgiving

November 13, 2012

Before you start your recipe search, I find it easier to spend some money. Because, honestly, you need something to store your food in, mix your food in, and eat your food on. I’ve learned through the years to take a few tools into my welcoming embrace, because I’ve cooked without them before. And it was absolute hell. No one gives a flying squirrel if you’re trying to de-fat the broth to make your gravy. They want the food. Now.

Before you start your shopping spree, it’s important to know what you’re making. Are you going to do three pies this year? You only have two pie plates? First of all, shame on you. Second, it’s good to know this now so you can purchase accordingly. Make a general list of what you plan to make and what type of pan, container, etc. is used to hold it.

  • Kitchen twine. Works great to tie that turkey into submission and making a bouquet garni to infuse flavors into liquids
  • Pie plates come in various sizes and I love them all. I find it much easier to have a couple of deep dishes on hand for fruit pies and 9″ for everything else.
  • 9 x 13 glass baking dish for stuffing, cakes, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, layered dips, etc. Might wanna get a couple of these babies.
  • Roasting pan. I feel like this tool is the pièce de résistance for Thanksgiving cooking. If you have the cash, I recommend a tri-ply stainless steel one that can go straight from the oven to the stove top to make your gravy. You can always throw some wine or stock in the bottom, scrape and place back in the oven if this type of roasting pan isn’t your thing. Some people are into some weird stuff, so I’ve learned to not ask questions.
  • A flat whisk works worlds better than a balloon whisk for making gravies and sauces because it makes more contact with the surface of the pan.
  • Thermometer. You can go a couple of ways with this. A stick or probe thermometer will require you to open the oven several times to check the temp. An in-oven thermometer won’t. They’re both accurate, so it’s just a matter of preference.
  • Fat separator. Like the story above, it’s better to use a fat separator than grab the turkey carver and go after a family member in a stressed out frenzy. It’s quicker, and easier. Get one.
  • Gravy boat. This is somewhat out of my purview as we do something quite horrifying in our house. We keep it in a two-cup measuring cup. *Gasp* Yeah, I know. But it pours great, heats up easily and we’re not planning on having Better Homes magazine come and take pictures anytime soon.

From → Holiday cooking

  1. I’m enjoying your recent Thanksgiving blog posts. In this one, I’m intrigued by the flat whisk and may have to pick one up this weekend to try on my gravies and sauces. It also reminded me I need to pick up another Pyrex liquid measuring cup as my spare didn’t survive my last bread making experiment.

    • Thanks! It’s definitely nice to have a blog this time around because I get sidetracked on what I need to do. Especially since I’m feeling the pressure as it’s getting closer to “T-day.” The flat whisk is a really great tool and you can get them at a reasonable price. I’m intrigued and what to know more about your baking experiment. If it broke a Pyrex cup, I must try it!

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