The upshot of having a kid is that you’ve got the ultimate one-upper during the “What are you thankful for?” portion of Thanksgiving dinner. The downside is that all their sippy cups, bowls, and other kid accoutrements have overtaken cabinet space from items crucial to the “Preparing Thanksgiving dinner” portion of Thanksgiving dinner. Things like, say, a pan to cook the bird in. Should you find yourself in need of some last-minute cookware, or just want to enhance your cooking skills (or lack thereof), everything on this list has been well reviewed by trusted outlets like Cook Illustrated or The Sweethome. They’ll also be useful long after your guests have left. For example, that roasting pan? Perfect place to store sippy cups.
Lamson Forged Carver SetYour house means you carve, which means you are now a man; make sure your tools fit the moment. Lamson’s high-carbon stainless steel blades are hot-drop forged, which, in addition to sounding badass, makes for a harder, sharper, more elastic blade that slides through turkey like the butter you just slathered it in. Technically you have 4 handle finish options — silver, earth, rosewood, and fire — although clearly you only needed one.
Lamson Forged Carver Set ($180)
SpitJack Magnum Meat Injector GunSure, you could brine your turkey overnight in a plastic bag full of saltwater. Or you could inject that sucker with 60 cc’s of pure flavor. This injector’s 2 heavy-duty needles — one with a slanted opening for spice- and herb-infused marinades and a closed one with side perforations for liquid-only — look like they could stop a charging velociraptor. Dinosaurs were also birds, incidentally, and probably delicious.
SpitJack Magnum Meat Injector Gun ($73)
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Roasting PanAbout that roasting pan — this stainless steel beauty has been The Sweethome‘s top pick for 3 years running, and not just for Turkey Day. Its sturdy construction makes it a great option for vegetables, chickens and other roasts. Of course, if you only turn on your oven on Turkey Day, you can ignore everything after “top pick.”
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Roasting Pan ($128)
Bayou Classic Turkey Fryer Pot With Accessories And Outdoor BurnerAnother alternative for those whose ovens are pure decoration: drop that bird into a vat of boiling oil ( gently, gently) and serve it up the true ‘Merican way, deep fried. Consider this your ultimate starter kit: heavy-duty, low to the ground steel burner, and 30-quart stockpot with perforated poultry rack, thermometer, and dingle dangle.
Bayou Classic Turkey Fryer Pot With Accessories ($44)
Bayou Classic Single Burner Patio Stove ($47)
CDN ProAccurate Quick-Read ThermometerWhether roasted or fried, this Cook’s Illustrated-approved meat thermometer will be able to tell you in 6-8 seconds whether you’ve cooked your turkey enough. It’s a small but very necessary tool for making sure that you don’t accidentally give your in-laws salmonella. If you want to do so intentionally, it can help with that, too.
CDN ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer $18
OXO Good Grips Poultry LifterNobody wants your grubby mitts all over that tender, juicy, mouth-watering turkey they’ve been drooling over for hours because you didn’t put out any decent apps. Plus, it’s a perfect complement to the dingle dangle.
OXO Good Grips Poultry Lifter $10
John Boos Au Jus Cutting BoardIt’s a little pricey for a cutting board, but you get what you pay for and in this case you pay for a solid maple, natural oil finish, easy-on-your-knives, won’t harbor bacteria cutting board. Plus there’s the self satisfied chuckle you’ll give yourself every time you pull it out and rhyme “John Boos Au Jus.” You can’t put a price on that.
John Boos Au Jus Cutting Board $136
Finex Cast Iron SkilletThis cast iron skillet is as versatile, durable, and quintessentially American as the rest of them, but adds a spring handle for quicker cooling and a geometric shape for easy pouring. On your wedding day, when your father in law told you, “Treat her right and she’ll make you happy forever,” he could have been talking about this skillet. He wasn’t (and you shouldn’t make that joke to your wife), but he could have been.
Finex Cast Iron Skillet $195
Breville Sous Chef Food ProcessorThe Sous Chef has a massive 16-cup bowl, which comes in handy when cooking for crowds. It’s got a 1200-watt motor powerful enough to cut an entire potato in under a second, and an adjustable slicing disc that’s so accurate, The Sweethome claims it can replace a countertop mandolin. At 20 pounds, it can also double as a free weight in your home gym.
Breville Sous Chef Food Processor $400
Williams-Sonoma Trudeau Herb MillGrowing your own rosemary bush gives you both hippie and foodie cred, but one hell of a chopping headache. Solve that problem right quick with this simple rotary mill. As a bonus, if your kid acts up you can threaten to go Fargo on them until they profess how thankful they are to have all 10 of their fingers.
Williams-Sonoma Trudeau Herb Mill $20
Fatherly Advice NapkinsThese napkins are printed with letters from notable authors and historical figures to their sons (you might recognize some from the book Letters Of Note), like this Rudyard Kipling gem: “Never stop a motor bus with your foot. It is not a croquet ball.” Sound advice in 1908 and still applies today, although in honor of Thanksgiving perhaps you’d like to replace “foot” with “relatives.” Your house, your rules.
Fatherly Advice Napkins ($35)
Waring Cordless Wine OpenerFor the amount of wine it’s going to take to tolerate a full day with your relatives, an electronic wine opener is worth the investment in protecting your wrists from corkscrew-induced carpal tunnel syndrome.
Waring Cordless Wine Opener $52