Our Favorite Cooking Tools (and Recipes!) for Your Thanksgiving Feast

Ace every dish with helpful tools, sturdy cookware, and functional servingware.

Hosting Thanksgiving is no small undertaking. Coordinating ingredients and cook times, adapting to dietary restrictions, and navigating family dynamics can be tricky to balance. While we can’t control everything about the day, we can prepare you with the right tools.

If you’ve ever cooked a complicated dish or hosted a large group, you probably already know that the right tools can make a huge difference. But when it comes to Thanksgiving, you may think that the tools aren’t worth a single meal. And I’d tell you that you’re wrong.

Beyond their massive helpfulness in the prep and cook phases, most of the kitchen items that make hosting Thanksgiving easy can be used throughout the year. In fact, there’s not a single product on this list of must-haves that can’t be used over and over again. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

For the bird

Roasting Pan
Roasting Pan available at Crate and Barrel
Do not — I repeat, do not — skimp on turkey tools when you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner.

Roasting pan with rack

Want a guaranteed great turkey? Get a roasting pan with a rack. Elevating your bird over the large pan allows air to circulate and helps create an even heat distribution. Remember to baste your turkey every 40 minutes or so to make sure it’s super juicy and tender when it’s time to eat.

yummly smart thermometer
Yummly Smart Thermometer available at Food52
A smart meat thermometer is a must-have for any home cook, especially on Thanksgiving.

Yummly Smart Thermometer

Anyone who enjoys eating meat should have a meat thermometer. Whether you’re checking your Thanksgiving turkey for doneness or making sure your steaks are cooked to your exact preference, the Yummly Smart Thermometer takes all the guesswork out. The Bluetooth-enabled digital thermometer links to your phone so you’re always in control.

cutting board
Heavy-duty carving board available at Amazon
The beauty of a carving board is its ability to preserve all the delicious flavor as you carve your turkey.

Heavy-duty carving board

A carving board is different from a cutting board because of one key feature: it has a groove around its border specifically for catching any drippings that can be used in gravies and other sauces. This cutting board has grooves and carved spikes to help secure large poultry, roasts, and larger vegetables. Seems ideal for Thanksgiving turkey if you ask me.

For the sides

food processor
14 cup food processor available at Bloomindale’s
There’s really no downside to a large food processor, and it really comes in handy whenever you’re hosting.

14 cup food processor

When I got married, I registered for a 3.5 cup food processor thinking it would be enough. It’s probably my biggest registry regret. I never use it because it’s way too small for anything I need it for. When you’re making crust for 4 different pies or dicing up veggies for roasting, bigger is always better. Trust me when I say you will never regret buying a 14 cup food processor.

ninja blender
Ninja blender available at Macy’s
Save yourself time on Thanksgiving and let your Ninja blender do all the heavy mixing for you.

Ninja blender

The first time I saw a Ninja blender in action, it was being used to make soup. It literally created warm butternut squash soup out of whole squash in a matter of minutes. Since then, I’ve been forever changed. Whether you need to whip up a dip, make a soup, or even whipped cream, a Ninja professional-grade blender can do it all — Thanksgiving and any other day of the year.

Stoneware baking set from Crate and Barrel
Stoneware baking dishes take your Thanksgiving sides from oven to table with ease.

Stoneware baking dishes

Oven-safe bakeware that also doubles as servingware is always great to have on hand, and it’s even better when it looks nice on the table too. This 5-piece set from Staub isn’t just functional, it offers a timeless appearance you’ll be proud to serve. From Thanksgiving sides to full-blown casseroles, stoneware baking dishes will always come in handy.

kitchen aid stand mixer
KitchenAid Stand Mixer available at Crate and Barrel KitchenAid stand mixers have been iconic kitchen appliances for over 100 years.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

If you’re wondering why you see a KitchenAid stand mixer in just about every registry- and cooking-related RegistryFinder.com blog, it’s because they are freaking amazing. Everyone in the world needs to have one of these. It’s a game-changer for mixing dough, making pie fillings, and shredding poultry. With over 80 attachments to accessorize with, there’s not much you can’t make with this classic kitchen appliance.

For serving

buffet warmer
Warming buffet server available at Amazon
A buffet warmer can keep your Thanksgiving sides at the right temperatures with the touch of a button.

Warming buffet server

When you’re feeding a large group, the last thing you want is for the food to be cold by the time everyone sits down to eat, let alone when they get up for seconds! A warming buffet server ensures that every bite is the perfect temperature. This unit features three 1.5-quart trays with lids, stay-cool handles, and full heat control.

crock pot
Crock Pot slow cooker available at Target
Set it and forget it, then bring it wherever your Thanksgiving dinner is served with a cook and carry Crock Pot slow cooker.

Crock Pot slow cooker

I love a slow cooker for so many reasons. The “set it and forget it” directive is beyond accurate, it’s super easy to clean, and with this 6-quart cook and carry Crock Pot, it’s never been easier to transport a delicious, hot dish. The locking lid secures all the goods, whether you’re taking them from the kitchen to the table or all the way across town.

serving plates
Large serving platters and bowls available at Crate and Barrel
When you’re setting the Thanksgiving table, presentation is everything. Set the scene with bountiful serving platters and bowls.

Large serving platters and bowls

I’m a big fan of family-style hosting, whether it’s Thanksgiving or a gathering of friends or family. Large serving platters and big bowls don’t just make it easy for everyone to grab what they want, they also look nice. It really is that simple. And don’t forget your serving utensils, like salad servers, tongs, and pie slicers.

Thanksgiving should be as stress-free as possible. While having the right tools can’t solve every challenge (believe me, I wish they could), they can make your prep, cooking, and serving so much simpler. They can even help you take some of your most famous dishes to a new level by giving you more time to experiment with new ingredients or techniques. Believe me, you’ll be thankful you leveled up your kitchen tools this holiday season and for years to come.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The ideas are ours, but we may be compensated if you make a purchase by clicking on one of the links. Thanks for your support!

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