Every year, without fail, my aunt stands over the stove making gravy and extols the virtues of flat whisks. They cover more surface area of the pan, she says, making a smoother, lump-free gravy, and there’s something comforting and old-school about watching her whisk it from a roux into a burnished, brown sauce on the stove, rather than pulse it in a loud food processor or blender. Not to mention, a whisk takes up far less space (and is more economical) than a clunky appliance. It’s an approach to the holidays we can get behind.
We’ve posted before on our 13 Essential Kitchen Gadgets, Holiday Edition, with one-task favorites such as apple peelers and fat separators. But this year we wanted to compile a pared-down list: what you really need (and what you don’t), holiday multitaskers that can be used for almost anything (like all-purpose baking pans), and bowls that go from the kitchen to the table. You might notice a lack of Thanksgiving-specific tools on this list. While we appreciate a well-functioning baster, for example, we believe a good metal spoon works just as well, without having to store extra tools all year long. And, in the spirit of my aunt’s prized whisk, you won’t find any high-tech, expensive appliances, just economical and trusty tools that will serve you well throughout Thanksgiving prep (and on the other 364 days of the year). For the one-time host, the apartment dweller, or the can’t-stand-having-too-much-cookware minimalist, here are our essentials.
1. Economical Roasting Pan
2. Stove-to-Oven Pot
3. Saucepan with a Spout
4. All-Purpose Baking Dishes
5. Kitchen-to-Table-to-Fridge Mixing Bowls
6. Freezer-Safe Pie Dish
7. Dependable Chef’s Knife
8. Compact Hand Mixer
9. Easily-Washable Potato Masher
10. Easy-to-Read Thermometer
11. Trusty Flat Whisk
12. Prep-to-Dinner Wooden Spoons
We have a soft spot for wonderfully specific kitchen tools, too. For the gadgets that do one task and do it well, see: