Stock Up Now: These Are the 9 Kitchen Essentials You Need to Get Thanksgiving Dinner on the Table

Make sure you have these tools and cookware on hand before you begin preparing the big feast.

Thanksgiving day spread with dishes and food
Photo: Martyn Thompson

Thanksgiving marks one of the busiest times of the year for hosts—and it's often when you realize exactly what your kitchen is lacking. Many of us put the most miles on our kitchen tools, cookware, and bakeware on this holiday, so, ironically, you might realize something is cracked or broken when you need it the most. Let 2022 be the year you're prepared. Take stock (pun intended!) of your pots, pans, and other essentials now, before the big day arrives, so you can replace anything rusty, crusty, or missing.

Frequently used items, like your trusty pots and pans, wear out more often than pieces you use once in a blue moon. Roasting pans and casseroles get loaned out—and who can ever find the meat thermometer when they need it? These cookware and bakeware essentials are our Thanksgiving standbys—and below, discover the ideal picks if you need to replace a piece, stat.

The Best Thanksgiving Cooking and Baking Essentials

01 of 09

Best Roasting Pan: All-Clad Stainless Steel 13-by-16-inch Roaster With Nonstick Rack

Roasting Pan
Courtesy of Amazon

If you're serving a 25-pound turkey, this sturdy stainless steel pan can handle it. So can you, thanks to its inverted handles that provide a secure grip when you take the bird out of the oven sizzling hot and golden brown.

The nonstick V-shape rack inside is just as easy to pick up and clean. Remove your turkey to a board to rest and slide the pan onto the burners to make your gravy; this roasting pan is also stovetop safe.

02 of 09

Best Mixing Bowls: Martha By Martha Stewart Broadbrook 3-Piece Bowl Set, in Gray

Martha By Martha Stewart Broadbrook 3-Piece Bowl Set, in Gray
Courtesy of

Like Martha's gleaming copper pots and pans, stacked scalloped mixing bowls like these are practically synonymous with our founder's kitchen—and you know she wouldn't have anything sitting out that's not supremely useful.

Mixing bowls are particularly essential on Thanksgiving. This set is sized just right for mashing potatoes and tossing beans with vinaigrette. Consider these pieces your new trusty sidekicks. Hint: They're also an excellent hostess gift.

03 of 09

Best Saucepan: Tramontina 2-Ply Stainless Steel Covered 2 Quart Saucepan

Tramontina 2-Ply Stainless Steel Covered 2 Quart Saucepan
Courtesy of Amazon

A medium-sized saucepan might be the hardest working pan you own. It gets hauled out for a huge variety of tasks, from heating soups and pasta sauces to making hot chocolate. Unfortunately, a lot of those tasks require scorching the bottom, which can leave your pan looking worse for wear. If it's time to replace yours, opt for this inexpensive, but solid option. It doesn't necessarily have to be one of your forever pans—but it just might earn its spot among them.

04 of 09

Best Fat Separator For Gravy: OXO Good Grips Good Gravy Fat Separator, 4 Cup

Oxo Fat Separator
Courtesy of OXO

Set yourself up for gravy success with this trustworthy tool from OXO. As its name suggests, it removes the fat from pan drippings so you get a fat-free start for your gravy—a.k.a the best part of Thanksgiving dinner—in minutes. And thanks to the rubber-covered handle, you're less likely to spill a single drop.

05 of 09

Best Set of Casserole Dishes: Williams Sonoma Stoneware Rectangular Bakers, Set of 3

Best Set of Casserole Dishes: Williams Sonoma Stoneware Rectangular Bakers, Set of 3
Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

We love bakeware with a slightly vintage look and an embellished edge. Fluting, ruffles, beading—they might not make your scalloped potatoes or wild rice pilaf taste any different, but they do make for a pretty presentation. This classic white stoneware set has baking dishes in three useful sizes. There's one for your sweet potato casserole, one for dressing, and one for crunchy green beans. Not only do they look good, they're also hardworking—they're dishwasher safe and scratch resistant.

06 of 09

Best Meat Thermometer: Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo Digital Instant-Read Meat

Meat Thermometer
Courtesy of Amazon

Don't get stuck picking up an analog meat thermometer at the grocery store. Those seem to guess at the temperature—you'd be better off waiting for the turkey button to pop out of your Butterball.

Shop ahead and get a digital instant-read thermometer; that way, you don't have to wait for the arm to move past beef into poultry territory. It tells you right away if your turkey is done. (That's 180°F in the thigh and 165°F for the stuffing, by the way.)

07 of 09

Best Braiser: Martha By Martha Stewart Enameled Cast Iron Collection Enameled Cast Iron 3.5 Quart Braiser With Lid

Martha By Martha Stewart Enameled Cast Iron Collection Enameled Cast Iron 3.5 Quart Braiser with Lid
Courtesy of

Depending on your viewpoint, a braiser is basically a shorter Dutch oven or a taller enameled cast-iron skillet with a lid. Either way, this one is ultra-useful for Thanksgiving cooking and for serving, since it's so pretty. We chose the Cobblestone color for the braiser because it's quintessential Martha—and an instant collectible.

Use it for vegetable sides you make on the stovetop, like Brown-Sugar-and-Bacon-Glazed Brussels Sprouts, which braise in chicken stock. Cook the bacon for this side in the braiser first, rather than using another pan.

08 of 09

Best Baking Sheet: Baker's Secret Commercial Grade Pure Aluminum 17-Inch Sheet

Baker's Secret Commercial Grade Pure Aluminum 17-Inch Sheet
Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

Like saucepans, baking sheets take a beating, especially if you make as many roasted vegetables and sheet-pan dinners as we do. No matter how carefully you line them with foil or parchment paper, a little oil is bound to seep through and bake on. You soak and scrub them, but eventually, they need to be replaced. Or if this is your first time hosting and you only have one baking sheet, you know you'll need more for prepping Thanksgiving dinner. Enter this baking sheet from Baker's Secret: It makes it affordable to be prepared.

09 of 09

Best Pie Dish: Emile Henry Modern Classics Pie Plate

Emile Henry Pie Plate
Courtesy of Sur La Table

When the dish is this pretty, it makes your pie perfection. There are many reasons why professional and expert home bakers alike love Emile Henry's pie plates. They're made of Burgundian clay that cooks evenly, resist chips and scratches, and are easy to clean. This design is their most classic—but the cheerful yellow glaze gives it a modern feel. We also love that the pie plate can go from the freezer to the oven without defrosting (yet another reason to get organized and prep your pies well in advance).

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