16 Must-Have Turkey Tools You’ll Want This Thanksgiving
The perfect bird deserves top-notch turkey tools. Read on to find our best picks for roasting pans, meat thermometers, turkey basters and more.
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Every bird requires some prep before it goes in the oven, and these kitchen shears make the job a breeze. They’re nice and sturdy—which helps if you’re spatchcocking the turkey—and tiny serrations on each blade prevent the scissors from slipping.
Why it made our list: These shears open nice and wide—giving you a good grip on even the biggest bird.
Sharp knives are a kitchen must-have on any day of the year. But on Thanksgiving, you’ll use them non-stop. We like this large chef’s knife for it’s high-quality stainless steel blade and not-too-short-but-not-too-long length. For smaller cuts, this paring knife makes it easy to slice into all of your turkey’s nooks and crannies.
Why it made our list: If cared for properly, these knives will last a lifetime.
When trussing—or tying up your turkey’s legs with string—a food-safe twine is essential. This step can help your bird keep its shape in the oven (especially if it’s stuffed with aromatics). Plus, it’s easy to remove with scissors before serving. Learn more about butcher’s twine here.
Why it made our list: This roll is small and affordable.
Brining your turkey is a great way to infuse it with flavor, but the process can be pretty messy. That’s why we recommend a big ol’ bucket to catch every last drop of liquid. Its large capacity can hold even a 25-pound turkey!
Why it made our list: A lock-in-place lid helps keep your turkey submerged in the flavor bath.
If you don’t have fridge space for a bucket, try this clever brining kit. It includes (almost) everything you need—brine mix, brining bag, instructions and even recipes. Plus, your bird will rest comfortably inside a roasting pan, taking up far less space than other brining vessels. Check out our top turkey brine recipes.
Why it made our list: The ingredients are natural and easy to pronounce.
Cooking a turkey for the first time? We know that it can be intimidating. Instead of panicking, turn to these reliable oven-safe bags. They yield a moist, juicy bird with gorgeous golden-brown skin. Still nervous? Get our complete guide on how to cook a turkey.
Why it made our list: Our Test Kitchen has been using Reynolds products for years because they’re cheap, reliable and easy to find at the grocery store.
Your turkey will only be as good as the vessel you cook it in. We love this no-frills roasting pan with a nice, shallow base. (If your roasting pan is too deep, the thighs and wings of the bird will steam rather than achieve that crisp, golden brown texture). Oh, and if you’re short on oven space? Turn to grandma’s go-to, the Nesco roaster. This handy appliance is great for cooking a moist, juicy bird and keeping it warm until company arrives. Here’s how to choose the right roasting pan size.
Why it made our list: It’s dishwasher safe!
It’s tempting to trust your turkey’s pop-up timer, but all too often they pop too late—if they pop at all—leading to a dry, overcooked main dish. Instead, insert a probe oven thermometer into your bird so you can keep an eye on its temperature without having to open the oven door. You’ll have a good idea on when to check the thermometer if you know how long to cook a turkey.
Why it made our list: No one does thermometers better than ThermoWorks! Plus, it comes in tons of fun colors.
If you love to baste your turkey, you can’t go wrong with this simple, affordable and easy-to-use option. It does a great job of redistributing juices without getting too hot. We also love this basting brush. Multi-layered bristles capture the basting liquid’s flavor and apply it directly to the bird.
Why it made our list: Both products help your turkey get that picture-perfect golden brown skin.
Why it made our list: This injector will last for years, thanks to its heavy-duty construction.
Your turkey has been prepped, baked, rested and is now finally ready to carve—but how the heck do you get it out of the pan? We love these roast lifters for transporting even the heaviest bird from pan to platter. The sturdy tines prevent slipping, while soft, comfortable handles absorb pressure.
Why it made our list: OXO is one of the most trusted names in kitchen gadgets.
If you’ve always dreamed of a deep-fried turkey, turn to this turkey fryer package. It contains everything you need to deep-fry safely and with confidence. We love that it’s easy to light and the timer is user-friendly. Plus, it includes built-in safety rails to keep the pot in place.
Why it made our list: Drag this bad boy out in the summer, too! It’s perfect for a seafood boil.
Even if your relatives are still arguing over the ending of Game of Thrones, you’ll still be able to hear this timer go off. I mean, it’s not called the “Extra Big and Loud” for nothing!
Why it made our list: Extra-strong magnets help this timer stick conveniently to your fridge.
Here it is! The moment we’ve been waiting for. It’s turkey carving time! Don’t leave anything to chance—instead opt for this trusted electric carving knife. It creates clean, even slices, plus the blade is dishwasher-safe! If it’s your first time, learn how to carve a turkey.
Why it made our list: The ergonomic handle works well for both right- and left-handed people.
We recommend this John Boos block all the time because, well, it’s the best. In addition to everyday meal prep, we love to use our board for carving turkey, too. It’s nice and heavy so it won’t slide around on the counter.
Why it made our list: The board’s built-in juice moat makes it easy to corral any drippings for gravy.
The perfect platter should be three things: simple, striking and large enough to hold even the biggest of birds. This beauty fits the bill. Plus, cutout handles make it easy to carry from kitchen to table.
Why it made our list: This platter is perfect for celebrations all year long.
The Taste of Home Test Kitchen staff contributed to this article.