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Basic Kitchen Essentials for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

Don’t be alarmed if you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time (or the first time in a long time).

You don’t need to buy a new kitchen or spend a fortune on table settings you’ll only use once in a while mostly for Thanksgiving.

This list of basic, useful tools will make it easy for you to make Holiday classics, and they’ll last you all year.

Must have essentials for Thanksgiving dinner:

Knife for the chef

To tackle the majority of slicing and dicing tasks, all you need is a super-sharp chef’s knife.

A good one will assist you in completing Thanksgiving preparations as well as many other meals in the future. You can even carve the turkey with it.

Thermometer with instant read

PSA: The plastic pop-up timers that come in turkeys aren’t always accurate.

Instead, invest in an instant-read thermometer, which eliminates the guesswork from all types of meat cooking. Just make sure you check your bird several times for doneness. Reliable and simple to understand.

Sheet pan for baking

Rimmed baking sheets are some of the most cost-effective and versatile cookware options available.

They’re great for roasting vegetables, baking cookies, and toasting bread for stuffing. If your turkey is under 15 pounds, you can even cook it on one.

Cooling racks, like baking sheets, have a lot of uses. You can use one on a baking sheet to serve as a roasting rack for your (smallish) turkey in addition to cooling cookies on it.

Use one as a large trivet on the table or counter for hot dishes. They’re both durable and adaptable.

13-inch-by-9-inch casserole dish

Many of the best Thanksgiving sides are baked in a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish, so make sure you have one on hand.

A glass dish will suffice, but a ceramic dish can also be use as a serving piece.

Bowls for mixing

A large number of mixing bowls in various sizes will enable you to juggle a multicourse meal without having to stop to wash dishes.

Metal bowls are more durable and lighter, but glass bowls are more attractive for serving at the table.

Using a good masher instead of, say, a fork will result in fluffier mashed potatoes.

It’s also easier to use and clean than a potato ricer, and it can be use to make everything from guacamole to applesauce all year long.

Board for cutting

Invest in a larger cutting board if you only have a small one. It will give you plenty of room to efficiently chop ingredients or carve the turkey when the time comes.

A nice wood board can also be use for hors d’oeuvres as a cheese board.

Although buying a premade pie is perfectly acceptable, if you enjoy baking, it can be fun to make your own. Bake a beautiful dessert with a crisp, golden crust with the help of a nice pie plate.

In a pinch, a wine bottle can be use to roll out pie dough, but a rolling pin will make the job easier.

A versatile baking tool

Rather than spending money on ornate serving pieces that will sit for the rest of the year, invest in a few well-made, easy-to-clean platters that can be used at any meal.

In a variety of settings, neutral colors and simple shapes work best.

Napkins made of cloth

Cloth napkins are a step up from paper towels or even paper napkins in terms of cost. They’re a simple way to make the meal feel more special, and they’ll last you many dinners.

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Plates that are simple and inexpensive

You might want to pick up an inexpensive set of extra plates if you don’t want to use disposable plates or wash dishes between courses.

Wine glasses at a reasonable price

You can serve inexpensive wine in small juice glasses, but if you enjoy drinking wine and have the cabinet space, upgrading to better glasses is worthwhile.

Serve all types of wine in a set of simple all-purpose glasses.

A pan for roasting

If you only make a bird once a year and don’t have extra storage space, a foil roasting pan from the grocery store will suffice.

Alternatively, you can roast a small turkey (15 pounds or less) on a baking sheet using a cooling rack as a roasting rack.

Fat Separator

There’s no need for a fat separator if you only make gravy once a year for Thanksgiving.

You can simply skim fat from your pan drippings with a spoon or ladle before using them for gravy.

Baster for turkeys

While basters may seem like a Thanksgiving must-have, there are plenty of other ways to cook a juicy turkey without them.

If you do need to baste, you probably already have something that can do the job, such as a large shallow spoon.

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