Got a game plan for this year’s Thanksgiving feast yet? For serious cooks, Turkey Day spreads can take days, or sometimes even weeks, to orchestrate. But whether this holiday is an opportunity to observe old family traditions or experiment with celebrity chefs’ newfangled recipes, the actual execution of the meal doesn’t need to take all day.
We admit that there’s no way to roast a 20-pound turkey any faster than usual. But there are still ways to reduce unnecessary stresses, like herb chopping and potato mashing.
The secret (short of having an army of helpers) is an arsenal of smart kitchen tools. Food Republic has rounded up 10 gadgets for making your Thanksgiving cooking chores quicker, neater and sometimes even a better looking endeavor. Because the faster you get dinner on the table, the sooner you can make a beeline to the couch for the football game.
1. Maverick Pro-Temp Commercial Thermometer
Don’t rely on those inaccurate pop-up timers that come plugged into store-bought turkeys. This commercial grade probe thermometer gives accurate readings within seconds. And in case you don’t know the correct internal temperature of a perfectly moist bird (165 degrees), a handy chart on the body of the thermometer will remind you. $79.95, chefsresource.com
2. Prepara Collapsible Potato Masher
Stand mixers and potato ricers may make a great mash, but cleaning either is a time suck. This hand-held masher can do the job just as well with far less maintenance. The swiveling stainless steel head also makes it easy to store in a utensil drawer. $20, surlatable.com
3. Core Bamboo Bread Cutting Board
Break bread without being a slob. This clever bamboo cutting board has a removable woven surface and traps crumbs in its base. Save the bits for topping side dishes like mac and cheese or gratins. $39.99, macys.com
4. Flex-it Measuring Cups
Simplify dinner prep with these lightweight silicone cups. A simple squeeze creates a spout for pouring liquids and batters without drips and stains. It’s a great alternative to having glass or steels cups strewn all over your kitchen counter. Prices vary, containerstore.com
5. OXO 4-Cup Fat Separator
Unadulterated pan drippings are easy to capture with this gravy gadget. A strainer/lid catches unwanted scraps from your roasting pan, and a rubber stopper keeps fat from rising to the top of the spout. And don’t mistake it for a tool exclusive to the holidays — it’s perfect for making stocks all year round. $14.99, oxo.com
6. Mastrad 10-Blade Herb Scissors
Save the cutting board for other chores. These multi-blade shears let you clip herbs — because what’s stuffing without tons of sage? — directly over your prep bowls, sautee pans and baking trays. $11.95, surlatable.com
7. All-Clad Tri-Play Stainless Steel Pouring Stock Pot
This solid stock pot isn’t just for gas ranges but is also designed for use on induction burners — a great option for fast and precise cooking. A wide surface area allows for good browning, a tapered top slows evaporation during boiling and a lift-up handle locks into place for easy portability. $299.95, williams–sonoma.com
8. Laguiole Olive Wood Carving Set
With all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the unveiling of your turkey, it would be a crime to tear into it with a dull kitchen knife. Give your bird some respect with this highbrow French-made carving knife and fork. $149.95, williams–sonoma.com
9. Corkcicle Wine Chiller
With pre-prepped dishes and mise en place taking up every last inch of your fridge, finding space for a bottle of white wine is futile. Keep your Riesling on the table and use this icicle shaped insert instead. It eliminates the need for an ice bucket and keeps your Riesling at the perfect temperature for up to an hour. $24.95, corkcicle.com
10. Slice & Serve Pie Slicer
Save yourself the trouble of washing your jus-stained knife come dessert time — this smart spatula does double duty. Sharp, serrated edges make clean cuts into your cake or pie while a sliding mechanism drops slices neatly on your plate. $12.95, crateandbarrel.co
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