This year, your Thanksgiving dinner might look a little different (read: smaller). But that doesn’t mean your meal—and your meal prep—can’t be just as thoughtful and festive. But before you start making that grocery list, make sure you’re stocked up with all the best Thanksgiving cooking essentials to chop, roast, baste and bake your way to a comforting and delicious meal.
From roasting pans with extra room for piling root veggies underneath the bird and a turkey baster with a flavor infusing needle, to a less expensive (but still fabulous) Dutch oven and a stylish but super functional apron to keep you clean as you thoroughly dirty your kitchen, here are nine essential tools to transform your Thanksgiving menu plan into a meal worthy of toasting—even if it’s over Zoom.
Best Roasting Pan
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 16” Roasting Pan
Whether you’re cooking a big turkey and planning for leftovers or going with a smaller bird or cut of meat, this stainless steel roaster covers all the bases. The removable rack facilitates even heat circulation and is designed to give extra space for vegetables under the turkey. Meanwhile, the wide grip handles give you a secure grip when getting your showstopper main in and out of the oven.
Best Turkey Baster
Frieling Stainless Steel Turkey Baster
While it looks unassuming, a good turkey baster is key to pulling a tender, juicy bird out of the oven. This stainless steel and silicone baster by Frieling is one of the best because it doesn’t drip, it cleans up easily (dishwasher safe!), and it has an add-on needle that allows you to infuse your turkey (or other roasts) with marinades, melted butter or whatever else you please.
Best Digital Thermometer
ThermoPop by ThermoWorks
With an instant-read digital thermometer, you will never overcook a turkey again. The professional-grade ThermoPop immediately registers temperatures between -58 to 572 degrees F, making it perfect for frozen foods, deep-frying and finding the internal temperatures of bread and meats (meaning it’s a must for your Thanksgiving turkey, but you’ll find uses for it
Best Dutch Oven
Great Jones The Dutchess
There is no need to pay top-ticket prices for a Dutch oven, full stop. Instead, prepare all your braised and saucy dishes in the super functional, exceedingly beautiful, and reasonably-priced Dutch oven from Great Jones. The oval shape provides ample space inside for that pile of braised cabbage or scalloped potatoes. And the enamel finish makes deglazing and cleanup a breeze. With seven colors to choose from, you can get matchy matchy with your tableware.
Best Baking Dish
Staub Ceramics 2-Piece
A good quality ceramic baking dish is your best friend on Thanksgiving, and year round. This set from Staub comes with two differently-sized baking dishes (7.5” x 6” and 10.5” x 7.5”), that both retain heat well for even cooking. Pop your green bean casserole or cornbread dressing in the larger one, then use the smaller one to roast some balsamic-caramelized shallots.
Best Potato Ricer
Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Ricer
Don’t get confused by the name. A ricer has one primary mission: perfectly smooth and creamy mashed potatoes. Oxo’s ricer has a sturdy steel body with ergonomic, no-slip handles that simplify the mashed potato process. The ricer also works well for making baby food or pureeing other soft cooked veggies.
Best Pie Plate
Pyrex Easy Grab 9.5 Inch Pie Plate
Ceramic pie plates are beautiful, but for the most even crust browning and filling setting, glass is superior. Pyrex’s pie plates are made with durable tempered glass which is safe for the dishwasher, freezer, microwave, and a preheated oven. And the scalloped edge gives the design a little flair that will be beautiful on your dessert table. The stackable set of two plates means you don’t have to choose between pumpkin pie and pecan pie this year.
Best Bench Scraper
Nopro Grip-EZ Scraper/Chopper
Whether you’re working with pie dough or cutting out biscuits, a bench scraper helps keep your baking work surface clean and tidy. Nopro’s version has a soft grip handle and a versatile rectangle blade that does so much more than scrape up bits from the counter. It divides cookie and pastry doughs, cuts cinnamon rolls with ease, and handily scrapes up chopped pecans or other ingredients for easy transfer from cutting board to mixing bowl.
Hedley & Bennett The All Day Crossback Apron
This canvas apron may be stylish, but it is also a serious workhorse. The slip on, crossback design is sturdy and keeps coverage in place while you’re stirring a sputtering pan of gravy. It is machine washable and comes complete with multiple pockets for your phone, thermometer, pens, spoons, or whatever else you throw in them.