Nothing is worse than remembering halfway through your Thanksgiving dinner meal prep that you broke the thermometer last year and you forgot to replace it. It’s not just me, right?
So in an effort to save myself a ton of extra stress on the big day, I have compiled a list of kitchen essentials that I need to buy right now so that I have them handy when I need them. Not only will it reduce Thanksgiving dinner stress, but these are also all things every well-stocked kitchen should have anyway.
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1. These Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peelers are my favorite. Not just for me, but also for little hands that like to help in my kitchen as they are easy to hold onto. The best thing is they come in a set of three, so there are no excuses why the kids can’t help peel potatoes.
2. Last year, I found my kitchen shears in the yard next to a pile of branches used to make a “craft”. So this year, I am picking up a couple of pairs of these Henckels Kitchen Shears and hiding one pair where no one will find them.
3. Every kitchen needs a good, sharp carving knife. If you don’t own one yet, this set of Wüsthof Classic Straight Carving Knives is hands down one of the best out there to carve a turkey or other large meat dishes. If you do already own a great carving knife, make sure it is sharp! This Wüsthof 4-Stage Handheld Knife Sharpener is a great handheld model that fits nicely in the back of a drawer.
5. Oven gloves. That’s all. Just get a new pair.
6. A good carving board is essential if you are planning to carve a turkey. This heavy-duty bamboo carving board is fantastic because it has spikes to help hold the bird in place while you carve and grooves to keep the juices off of your counter.
7. These Henckels Kitchen Shears for Herbs are honestly my most favorite, most used tool in my kitchen. They make it so easy to add fresh herbs to dishes without having to take up space on a cutting board.
8. This Oval Platter with Handles from Crate & Barrel is hands down the best purchase I have ever made. It’s like having a dress with pockets.
9. There are never enough baking dishes available on Thanksgiving day, no matter how many you think you have. This STAUB Ceramics Rectangular Baking Dish Set works great to go straight from the oven to the table because it not only do they retain heat incredibly well, they look gorgeous as well.
10. Cotton tea towels are essential when it comes to any busy kitchen, and are so much better for the environment than single-use paper towels. The nice thing is that they are super absorbent and don’t leave any lint behind. I use them for everything from wiping up messes to drying veggies to covering food on the counter. I suggest buying the 24-pack so you can just toss the dirty ones in a basket and grab a clean one as needed.
11. Pie plates are constantly walking out of my kitchen. I’m picking up a couple of new ones this year so I don’t have to limit the pies I’m making (because pie > turkey). And for just under $6 each, these Pyrex easy-grab pie pans at Target are a great buy.
12. An apron with pockets is essential so that you can keep your cell phone close by so you can call the turkey hotline when needed. Also, the pockets in this Pinafore Cross Back Apron are large enough to hold not just your phone, but a little bottle of wine if needed. Speaking of those little bottles of wine, check out these hilarious bottle-label stickers I found at Target to add a little humor to the party.
13. Rather than trying to send home leftovers in plastic containers you may never see again, consider these take-out containers from Green Wave. They are eco-friendly and compostable, so you feel good about sending them with your guests, and no need to hunt people down to return them.
14. Last year, I used these Bambu biodegradable plates rather than pulling out my fine china. It was the best decision I have ever made and am ordering them again this year. They do tend to sell out fast, so order early!