With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s important that those who celebrate it, and more importantly, are tasked with the yearly feast, have the right equipment. The following are nine must-haves for Thanksgiving:
A roasting pan is imperative for a decent sized turkey. Make sure that it comes with a rack, is made of stainless steel and has bolted on handles that are easy to grip. Racks allow the juices to drip down into the pan and should, ideally, be non-stick. The stainless steel should be of heavy gauge. The lower the number, the heavier the gauge.
Also called a braiser, the Dutch oven is good for making stews as well as braising meats and vegetables.
Use a silicone brush to add pan juices to the turkey or ham. Silicone brushes won’t absorb odors or get bent out of shape. They’re easy to clean and don’t shed bristles.
These dishes are made of ceramic and are often pretty enough to take from the oven to the table. They are used to make casseroles, gratins and mac n’ cheese.
Pie dishes made out of ceramic or glass won’t react when exposed to acidic fruit such as apples. It’s valuable to keep in mind that glass holds heat, so the outside of a pie baked in a glass dish can be done while the inside is still a bit raw. The trick is to turn the oven temperature down 25 degrees Fahrenheit to let everything bake more evenly. Check on the pie 15 minutes before the recipe says it’s supposed to be done then every five minutes after that.
Cooling racks defeat soggy bottoms of fried and baked goods by letting air circulate around them. Make sure the racks are made of stainless steel and footed.
For cooks who don’t want to risk guessing if something is done by sticking in a fork or a toothpick, an oven thermometer is just the thing. A turkey is well done at 170 degrees F.
A cook should have a chef’s knife to chop vegetables and crush garlic and spices; a paring knife to peel and core fruits and vegetables; a serrated knife for bread; kitchen shears; poultry shears to cut through bone and cartilage; a cleaver and a boning knife.
A big cutting board can be used to carve the turkey. A channel captures the juices instead of letting them run over the edges of the board. Though some people recommend a plastic cutting board for poultry, wood is more aesthetically pleasing if the bird is carved at the table. Good woods for cutting boards are maple and teak.
Tongs are good for a surprising range of activities. Some are big and strong enough to turn a turkey in the oven. Others can be used to lift and grab salad or help stir foods in a pan.
If you’re able to round up these tools in time, you’ll be well equipped for a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy!