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8 Thanksgiving Essentials for the Kitchen

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Thanksgiving will be here in the blink of an eye. Now is a good time to take an inventory of your kitchen utensils and pans for the holidays and gather your Thanksgiving essentials. Don’t be caught at the last minute without something you find out you need. Trust me…I’ve been there! And it’s not fun. If you’re having company it’s stressful enough without needing to improvise.

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If you roast a turkey an good roaster pan is essential. I have had my Calphalon classic nonstick roaster for more than 20 years. My husband and I received it as a wedding gift. Not only is it good for turkey but I have also used it for lamb and pork roasts. What I love about using it for turkey is all the drippings are in the bottom of the pan, ready when you are to make gravy.

Speaking of drippings I love my fat separator. How I ever made gravy before I had it I’ll never know. Honestly, I’ve only had mine a few years but I use it every time I make gravy. I have the OXO Good Grips 4-cup fat separator. While I may not always roast a turkey large enough to produce that much in drippings, I’d rather have one that is too big, than too small. I truly believe my gravy is better because of this gem.

Now this may be old school but I love my turkey baster. Plus it makes it so easy to baste the bird rather than trying to use a spoon. Oh, the times I’ve burned myself. This angled turkey baster is also from OXO Good Grips. I have three favorite things about this item. First the angle of the baster. My old one was straight and I used to burn myself using it. Second the cleaning brush. You think just washing it with hot soapy water will do the trick but using the brush makes me feel like it’s thoroughly clean. Lastly, the integrated stand. No more laying it on the counter to roll around. Makes it a little less messy too.

Never dry out your turkey again and know exactly when it’s done with a digital thermometer. I have an older version of this Taylor digital thermometer. What I really like about this one is the ability to set a temperature and a timer will sound when it reaches that temperature. I learned to set it for 5 degrees less than done because the turkey will continue to cook as it rests before carving.

One thing many don’t think about until it’s too late is a carving board. Plastic vs. wood, in my opinion, is a personal preference. I will say that wood is better on your good knives. This turkey cutting board is not only a good size to carve your turkey but it has helpful hints and tips for reference.

So you’ve got the turkey out of the oven and cooked to perfection. It’s on the cutting board. Now comes the intimidating part of carving the bird. A good carving set is essential. I have had my Wusthof knives for more than 20 years and I wouldn’t own another brand. Beautifully crafted they last a long time.

Mashed potatoes are a popular holiday side dish. Growing up my Mom always used a ricer. Hmm…never heard of a ricer, you say? Well, let me explain. You pass the boiled potatoes through a ricer and they come out like pieces of rice. It’s the only way my Mom made mashed potatoes and the only way I do too. I have this Norpro version but there are other. I find this one to accomplish the task quickly and it’s easy to clean.

Moving on from the turkey to dessert. Pies are always popular for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin, apple, sweet potato. I love my Pyrex pie plates. I have about 4 and they are so versatile. You can toast nuts and coconut in it, bake chicken and, of course, make all sorts of pies.


Find more essentials on my Amazon Thanksgiving Essential Page. Then, after the celebration, make this Turkey Biscuit Stew with leftover turkey!

Thanksgiving kitchen essentials.


Erin Mackey

Monday 13th of November 2017

Love these suggestions! I'm definitely looking for a fat separator now!!

Felesha Bell

Wednesday 8th of November 2017

I love that mashed potato gadget!! I have one just like it!!

Matt @ Plating Pixels

Wednesday 8th of November 2017

Never heard of a ricer but sounds useful! Need that thermometer with alarm too.


Wednesday 8th of November 2017

That ricer is my favorite product up there. I need one badly!

Luci's Morsels

Wednesday 8th of November 2017

Why don't I have all of these yet! These are all so awesome and it's time for some kitchen gadget upgrades!