A heavy-duty roasting pan tops our list of Thanksgiving essentials, but here are the other tools we can’t live without. And they’re not just for Turkey Day—many of these versatile tools will come in handy anytime a roast is on the menu.
A special-occasion roast deserves a roomy, heavy-duty carving board with a groove to catch the flavorful juices. At 24×18 inches, this reversible hard maple board (model AUJUS) from John Boos is big enough for the largest of turkeys; it sells for about $100 at ChefDepot.com. Boos also offers a smaller 18×12-inch grooved board (model BBQBD) for $55.95 at SurLaTable.com.
Carving knife and fork
There’s nothing wrong with heirloom-worthy carving sets for special occasions. But we’d rather invest in a sharp, versatile slicing knife that can go from carving holiday roasts to slicing tomatoes, steaks, melons, and more on a daily basis. MAC’s Superior Slicing Knife (model SF-85) is as handsome as it is practical, and the responsive blade delivers a clean, precise cut. At 8-1/4 inches, it’s a tad shorter than the average carving knife, but we feel the shorter length gives better control. Although a carving fork is optional, your guests will probably be grateful if you use one (instead of your hand) to steady your roast as you carve.
The knife sells for $54.95 and the fork for $22.95 at CutleryAndMore.com.
A rack elevates the bird, allowing the oven’s heat to envelop it and brown it nicely. We like this nonstick roasting rack by Calphalon because its handles are on the sides, which makes it easier to lift out of a roasting pan than a rack with handles on the ends.
The large rack (15×10-1/2 inches) is $12.59 at Amazon.com.
The main trouble with brining turkey is finding a container large enough to hold the bird. This brining bag from Grill Friends solves that problem. The single-use bag can hold up to a 20-pound turkey and sells for $7.95 at FamousFoods.com.
Baster Cuisipro’s new dual baster comes with two interchangeable heads: One injects juices directly into the meat, and the other showers your turkey with juices. The baster sells for $9.99 at Cooking.com.
CDN’s new ProAccurate Quick Tip digital pocket thermometer gives a quick, precise temperature reading. And you can trust its accuracy because this thermometer, unlike most digital thermometers, can be recalibrated. The thermometer (model Q2- 450) sells for $19.95 at KitchenKaboodle.com.