Our Favorite Cooking Tools (and Recipes!) for Your Thanksgiving Feast (2024)

October 31, 2023October 31, 2023

Ace every dish with helpful tools, sturdy cookware, and functional servingware.

Hosting Thanksgiving is no small undertaking. Coordinating ingredients and cook times, adapting to dietary restrictions, and navigating family dynamics can be tricky to balance. While we can’t control everything about the day, we can prepare you with the right tools.

If you’ve ever cooked a complicated dish or hosted a large group, you probably already know that the right tools can make a huge difference. But when it comes to Thanksgiving, you may think that the tools aren’t worth a single meal. And I’d tell you that you’re wrong.

Beyond their massive helpfulness in the prep and cook phases, most of the kitchen items that make hosting Thanksgiving easy can be used throughout the year. In fact, there’s not a single product on this list of must-haves that can’t be used over and over again. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

For the bird

Our Favorite Cooking Tools (and Recipes!) for Your Thanksgiving Feast (1)

Roasting pan with rack

Want a guaranteed great turkey? Get a roasting pan with a rack. Elevating your bird over the large pan allows air to circulate and helps create an even heat distribution. Remember to baste your turkey every 40 minutes or so to make sure it’s super juicy and tender when it’s time to eat.

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Yummly Smart Thermometer

Anyone who enjoys eating meat should have a meat thermometer. Whether you’re checking your Thanksgiving turkey for doneness or making sure your steaks are cooked to your exact preference, the Yummly Smart Thermometer takes all the guesswork out. The Bluetooth-enabled digital thermometer links to your phone so you’re always in control.

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Heavy-duty carving board

A carving board is different from a cutting board because of one key feature: it has a groove around its border specifically for catching any drippings that can be used in gravies and other sauces. This cutting board has grooves and carved spikes to help secure large poultry, roasts, and larger vegetables. Seems ideal for Thanksgiving turkey if you ask me.

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14 cup food processor

When I got married, I registered for a 3.5 cup food processor thinking it would be enough. It’s probably my biggest registry regret. I never use it because it’s way too small for anything I need it for. When you’re making crust for 4 different pies or dicing up veggies for roasting, bigger is always better. Trust me when I say you will never regret buying a 14 cup food processor.

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Ninja blender

The first time I saw a Ninja blender in action, it was being used to make soup. It literally created warm butternut squash soup out of whole squash in a matter of minutes. Since then, I’ve been forever changed. Whether you need to whip up a dip, make a soup, or even whipped cream, a Ninja professional-grade blender can do it all — Thanksgiving and any other day of the year.

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Stoneware baking dishes

Oven-safe bakeware that also doubles as servingware is always great to have on hand, and it’s even better when it looks nice on the table too. This 5-piece set from Staub isn’t just functional, it offers a timeless appearance you’ll be proud to serve. From Thanksgiving sides to full-blown casseroles, stoneware baking dishes will always come in handy.

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KitchenAid Stand Mixer

If you’re wondering why you see a KitchenAid stand mixer in just about every registry- and cooking-related RegistryFinder.com blog, it’s because they are freaking amazing. Everyone in the world needs to have one of these. It’s a game-changer for mixing dough, making pie fillings, and shredding poultry. With over 80 attachments to accessorize with, there’s not much you can’t make with this classic kitchen appliance.

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Warming buffet server

When you’re feeding a large group, the last thing you want is for the food to be cold by the time everyone sits down to eat, let alone when they get up for seconds! A warming buffet server ensures that every bite is the perfect temperature. This unit features three 1.5-quart trays with lids, stay-cool handles, and full heat control.

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Crock Pot slow cooker

I love a slow cooker for so many reasons. The “set it and forget it” directive is beyond accurate, it’s super easy to clean, and with this 6-quart cook and carry Crock Pot, it’s never been easier to transport a delicious, hot dish. The locking lid secures all the goods, whether you’re taking them from the kitchen to the table or all the way across town.

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Large serving platters and bowls

I’m a big fan of family-style hosting, whether it’s Thanksgiving or a gathering of friends or family. Large serving platters and big bowls don’t just make it easy for everyone to grab what they want, they also look nice. It really is that simple. And don’t forget your serving utensils, like salad servers, tongs, and pie slicers.

Thanksgiving should be as stress-free as possible. While having the right tools can’t solve every challenge (believe me, I wish they could), they can make your prep, cooking, and serving so much simpler. They can even help you take some of your most famous dishes to a new level by giving you more time to experiment with new ingredients or techniques. Believe me, you’ll be thankful you leveled up your kitchen tools this holiday season and for years to come.

Written by Brittney Winters-Gullo, who is quite literally purchasing every single item in this blog post before Thanksgiving 2023.

View more articles by Brittney

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The ideas are ours, but we may be compensated if you make a purchase by clicking on one of the links. Thanks for your support!

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Our Favorite Cooking Tools (and Recipes!) for Your Thanksgiving Feast (2024)


What tools do I need for Thanksgiving dinner? ›

  • Roasting pan. You'll need a roasting pan whether you're serving turkey or any other roast, including whole roasted cauliflower. ...
  • Digital thermometer. ...
  • Carving board. ...
  • Disposable gloves. ...
  • Extra baking dishes. ...
  • Baking sheets. ...
  • A sturdy rolling pin. ...
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil.

What is the most important food on a Thanksgiving table? ›

Stuffing. Good stuffing is key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner. At its simplest, stuffing is seasoned bread cubes mixed with onions and herbs. The stuffing is traditionally baked inside the bird but can also be baked in a separate baking dish.

What should I start cooking first for Thanksgiving? ›

Since it's the main event, the turkey should be the first dish you start cooking in the morning. "The resting process is an absolutely imperative part of the cooking process," Holzman said. Many people overcook their turkeys in the oven and overlook letting them rest, rendering the final product dry and rubbery.

What are the top 10 Thanksgiving foods? ›

Top 10 Thanksgiving Dishes
  1. Turkey.
  2. Stuffing/Dressing.
  3. Pumpkin Pie.
  4. Sweet Potato Casserole.
  5. Mashed Potatoes.
  6. Ham.
  7. Green Bean Casserole.
  8. Cranberry Jelly.
Nov 22, 2023

What is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu? ›

The classic Thanksgiving dinner includes old-time favorites that never change: turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, and pie. But the way these dishes are made or added to is everchanging because of food trends and different dietary requirements.

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