Use It or Lose It: Thanksgiving Kitchen Tools
Even the heaviest-duty disposable aluminum foil pan is just a little too flimsy for a big bird, potentially bending or folding just when you need it to hold up. Plus, without handles, removal from the oven can get rather dodgy. Instead, use a heavy-gauge stainless steel roasting pan with a fitted rack to elevate the bird from its drippings and allow vegetables on the bottom to cook evenly.
Try All-Clad's Petite Roti pan ($160), which can fit up to a 12-pound turkey and includes an easy-to-clean nonstick rack.
Manual Rotary Beaters
This apparatus stands the test of time for batters, egg whites, or whipped cream. OXO's Good Grips Egg Beater has rustproof gears and detachable, dishwasher-safe beaters. ($20)
Nonmetal Pie Plates
For a beautifully browned piecrust, stick with tempered glass or ceramic pie plates. Old or new, they conduct heat slowly and evenly (no hot spots), are often dishwasher safe, and won't rust like metal pie plates can. Bonus: Most ceramic pie dishes are pretty enough to go straight to the dessert buffet. If you need a new one, look for a dish that's freezer safe for make-ahead convenience, such as the Emile Henry Pie Dish. It can also be heated up to 500° and is chip and shock resistant. ($45)
The physics behind these hasn't changed much over time, so if you inherited Grandma's, it will still do a great job of sending the drippings that fall to the bottom of the vessel through the siphoning spout, while the fat floats on top.
Remove fat layer from stock as it cooks with this Fat Skimming Ladle from Williams Sonoma. ($40)
Try OXO's Good Grips Fat Separator with a removable strainer and stoppers that prevent fat from entering the spout. ($10)
Old-school versions do what modern ones do. Avoid overfilling so nonseparated liquid won't spill over the pour spout.
Not only does basting not change the meat's flavor, but it also prevents crispy skin from forming. Instead, use a brush lightly coated with oil at the end of roasting to help crisp the skin (perfect for our Brown Sugar–Cured Turkey).
That electric carving knife your dad's had forever can do a pretty awesome job of quickly breaking down the turkey and cutting precise, even slices of meat, so let him have his fun. But you can always go manual. Use a long, thin, well-sharpened knife like the Zwilling Pro S Carving Knife. ($110)