Six Essential Tools For Your Holiday Dinners


No matter how well equipped you think your kitchen is, if this is your first time cooking a big holiday dinner, you’re probably missing some essential tools. And the better the tools, the easier your meal preparation.

Roasting Pan

Although you can buy a large foil roasting pan to cook a turkey, there can be problems with these flimsy pans. The weight of the turkey makes it difficult to lift the foil pan from the oven without it folding and spilling its contents.

If you will be cooking a turkey every year or so, it makes sense to buy a roaster for this task. In the long run, you’ll actually save money not having to buy the foil pans. With a wide range of prices available, you’ll easily find a roaster within your budget, and you’ll soon find other cooking uses for this essential cookware.

Poultry or Roaster Rack

These are racks that sit in the bottom of the roaster, designed to raise and keep the bird about 1 inch or so from the bottom of the roaster during cooking. The idea is to keep the bird and stuffing from sitting in liquid. Although they are not expensive, poultry racks are often sold with roasters so there’s a cost saving if you need a roaster. A model with a non-stick finish would be much easier to clean. These racks come in a range of sizes so you may want to note how large your roaster is before buying a rack.

Meat Baster

You may not use a baster that often, but for large poultry it’s an essential cooking tool. It’s very difficult to get a ladle or large spoon down into the pan in order to baste the turkey, a baster will easily accomplish the task. Look for one with a bulb that screws on and off.

Instant Meat Thermometer

First, if your turkey comes with a one of those little plastic pop-up food thermometers, yank it out before you cook your turkey and toss it out. They’re useless. Instant meat thermometers take the guesswork out of cooking and quickly allow you to monitor the interior temperature of the turkey to ensure that it’s completely and safely cooked.

Kitchen Timer

A single oven timer won’t cut it when you’re juggling the many components of a big holiday dinner. Consider the OXO Triple Timer that features an intuitive interface and easy-to-read LCD display. Angled face adds visibility on countertops, and a non-slip bottom provides stability and surface protection. Rest easy, your pies, turkey and dressing will come out perfectly cooked with this handy timer.

Fat Separator

Cuts the fat out for perfectly lean gravy without the mess. Simply pour the drippings into the heat-resistant OXO separator and watch the fat rise to the top. The strainer catches unwanted bits, and the stopper keeps fat out of the spout. A shield prevents the gravy from spilling over the top of the Separator when you pour. Features convenient measurement markings and a non-slip handle. Comes in 2 and 4-cup sizes.