Though our parents made it look effortless, the thought of hosting Thanksgiving dinner gives us a nervy b. But there is hope. No matter how many friends and family you’re cramming into your abode this November, there are ways to lighten your load. Namely, technology. Stocking your kitchen with the right gadgets can help ensure the day goes off without a hitch.
Have you ever tried to transfer piping-hot soup in need of puréeing from a pot to a blender? Messy and potentially dangerous. Not only can Cuisinart’s immersion blender handle the task in the pot, it doubles as a chopper and whisker. That sets it above and beyond standard immersion blenders.
Drop kitchen scale ($100)
It’s been said that cooking is an art, while baking is a science. Using a kitchen scale and iPod app, Drop’s device makes measuring ingredients extremely accurate. Recipes become interactive, with tips and an easy way to automatically scale recipes for a hungry hoard without doing a bunch of calculations.
Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife ($48.46)
Maybe you want to do away with the traditional carving knives and go with an electric carver. Even your old-school uncle will be impressed with Cuisinart’s offering, which not only works quickly, it makes clean, beautiful cuts. It works great for turduckens, too.
GladWare family size containers and lids, set of 3 ($16.39)
You made delicious candied yams, and everyone wants to take home leftovers. No problem. That’s why you quadrupled the recipe. However, the last thing you need are relatives popping in to return your best Tupperware a week later when you’re in the middle of moist-maker turkey sandwich. Get some containers you don’t care about, and urge your relatives to keep them.
There’s a reason this thing is the gold-standard amongst standing mixers. Powerful and produced in a variety of colors to fit most any decor, this mixer can whip up a mean batch of mashed potatoes in no time. The optional dough-hook attachment can even help the over-achievers who want to make their own bread.
The last thing you want is for the designated turkey carver to send you murderous glances because your knife is too dull to get the job done. This cutting board’s handle also sharpens knives, ensuring your cutlery will be up to the turkey-carving task.
This is no time for your single-cup maker. Your wine-laden guests need to leave soon, and that means coffee. Prep the grounds ahead of time, and you use your smartphone to brew the delicious elixir from the couch as you digest, thanks to the WeMo app.
Lately, deep-fried turkey has become a Thanksgiving craze. It’s understandable. Done right, it’s a crispy, juicy delight. Done wrong, it’s more fireball than Butterball. Luckily, Char-Broil has come to the rescue with an oil-less turkey fryer. Powered by propane and using infrared to cook the turkey, it’s safer than gallons of extremely hot oil.
Thanksgiving means wine. Lots of wine. Sure, a traditional corkscrew will get the job done, but do you really want to waste precious seconds when Cousin Buster launches into his politically themed show tune parodies? Oh, does that just happen at our Thanksgiving?
OXO Salad Spinner ($30)
Even greasing a cookie sheet doesn’t keep the finished product from sticking to the surface, creating a crumbling mess to clean. Silpat baking liners are far more non-stick, without the grease. An easy clean-up is definitely something to be thankful for.
The iDevices kitchen thermometer monitors the temperature of what you’re cooking and sends alerts to your phone when it’s done. Chances are, you’ll be tethered to your kitchen for much of the Thanksgiving prep, but if you’ve wandered into the living room to check the football score, the iDevices app can still tell you when the turkey’s reached its optimal temperature.
Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven ($249.94)
Once again, space is at a premium here, so check out Breville’s countertop oven, which is perfect for cookies, croutons, or cornbread — or toasting bagels the morning of. Its nine menu functions will guide you through finding the perfect time and temperature for whatever you’re making.
CharityPlace chalkboard prep bowls, set of 3 ($12) and Pier1 imports Chalk Note glassware ($4 to $11)
It’s always a mad dash when you do things buffet-style for a holiday dinner, and sometimes questions like, “Is this vegetarian?” can get lost in the shuffle. Writing messages like “Spicy!” and “Full of meat!” will help guests with dietary restrictions choose what to eat. And if everyone writes their name on their glass, they won’t have to go hunting for a clean one every time they set theirs down. Less dishes to do at the end of the night is always our goal.
Thanksgiving is one of those times when everything in your kitchen needs to be firing on all cylinders. The oven and stove are prime real estate, but don’t forget your slow cooker is perfect for a number of side dishes, from dressing to green-bean casserole.