So your kitchen is not the best stocked culinary center in the world. Maybe you just moved in, maybe you rely on takeout, maybe you live alone and your cooking repertoire requires little more than a non-stick skillet and a trusty spatula. But this year you’re hosting Thanksgiving, and you’re realizing just how unprepared you are to execute such an elaborate meal. To help you avoid running to a big box store or relying on overpriced utensils at an oh-so-crowded supermarket, we’ve collected some absolute Turkey Day essentials that you can get by Wednesday if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber. If you’re not, well—get thee to the store post haste.
Chef Remi Amazon
A good pair of cooking shears can save your life in any number of situations, and this pair has saved me many a time. Spatchcocking a turkey? Done. Quickly trimming the less-edible bits of produce? You got it (just wash them in between, and don’t forget to save those veggie chunks for making gravy). $11.
That little stack of plastic measuring cups in your cabinet simply will not do: you need a liquid measuring cup, too. OXO’s is cheap, easy to use, and looks super sleek. Oh, and in case you don’t even have a stack of crummy dry measuring cups to rely on, here’s a good set.
Instant Pot Amazon
It’s time to believe the hype: Instant Pots are the best multi-use cooking tool on the market. There are a whole range of models to pick from, but whichever price level you’re comfortable with, this thing is definitely going to make your Thanksgiving easier. You can make a stock for your gravy in minutes, boil potatoes without taking up precious stovetop space, mimic supple slow cooker recipes at the last minute, and so much more.
A baking sheet/rack combo
USA Pan Amazon
You’re not an idiot, so you’re obviously spatchcocking your turkey. What do you think those kitchen shears are for? They’re for removing spinal columns! But you have to make sure you’ve got a pan worthy of the butterflied bird: a lipped baking sheet with a wire rack over it. Just go ahead and buy the biggest size your oven can hold to avoid overhang, which can lead to lots of fat drippage and many smoke alarm blares.
A fat separator
You can probably do without a baster, but a separator will make your life a whole lot easier. Just pour in those delicious drippings and pour out the rich, meaty stock without excess fat. This highly-rated option comes with a vegetable peeler, which will probably come in handy at some point during the holiday.
A great carving knife
Victorinox Swiss Army Amazon
Please do not throw away all of your Thanksgiving efforts by hacking away at the turkey with a crappy knife. Give that bird the attention it deserves. If you want to really go wild, pair it with the matching fork.
A carving board
Greener Chef Amazon
If your cutting board is grooveless (or just doesn’t exist at all) you’re going to want a decent carving board. The grooves give turkey juice a place to go that isn’t “everywhere.” This one is made out of sustainable bamboo!
Baking dishes that can handle your nonsense
Corningware is classic for a reason, and this set of assorted sizes is ideal for holiday prep: they’ll serve as vessels for baking all manner of sides in the oven, stay warm thanks to their snug covers, and pop safely into the microwave when you inevitably let them sit too long before serving them.
The best spatula ever
GIR: Get It Right Amazon
I cook a lot, and I’m always bummed when this spatula is in the dishwasher. It’s just a great little object, and it’s great at all the sorts of stirring and scraping and gently smoothing you want a silicone spatula to be good at. Honestly? Buy two. Or three.
If you save your pie making for peak holiday season, it might seem wasteful to buy a pie plate. But unless you’re buying pre-made crusts, buying disposable tins is the real waste. The secret is to get a reliable brand—Pyrex, for instance—that can hold up to all kinds of cooking tasks. They’ll make picture-perfect pie vessels the two or three times a year you make pie, and serve as perfect cooking and serving containers for all your brownies, nachos, and casseroles in every season.
A meat thermometer
Do you want to give your guests food poisoning? Hopefully not. This will help!
Arm yourself with a barrage of glass storage containers to deal with the inevitable leftovers. You can even send them home with guests to spread the stuffing around.
A gravy boat
Le Creuset Amazon
It’s not a navy boat, it’s a gravy boat. This is absolutely essential for a high-class Thanksgiving soiree. We recommend going with a snazzy Le Creuset boat because it might fool guests into thinking you’ve got a pantry just stock full of super expensive enamel cookware.
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