Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? The fall weather, football on TV, the often-dysfunctional family dynamics (we’re lookin’ at you, Uncle Mike)…there’s a lot to be thankful for every year. If we’re being real, though, the food is always our favorite part—and we’re willing to bet you feel the same way. But whether you’re cooking up and hosting a turkey day feast at home, just helping out in the kitchen, or making your signature dish and bringing it over for a potluck, there’s a lot of prep work that goes along with it. That’s why we put together this list of versatile essentials you need to prepare for a delicious holiday meal. With these, you’ll be on your way to a successful, stress-free dinner and a full belly. Just be sure to leave room for dessert.
Our Fave Versatile Kitchen Products That’ll Help You Prep for Thanksgiving
Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bags
Thanksgiving dinner is like Sunday meal prep times a hundred, which is why our number one must-have is our favorite Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bags. They feature Grip n' Seal technology—an extended tab and textured, easy grip seal that makes it easier to open and close the bag (great for messy hands and kids helping out in the kitchen!). Use them to store crudités for apps, crush up graham crackers for pie crust, to help transport meal components for potlucks, or for leftovers. The airtight zipper seal locks in freshness and provides unbeatable protection from freezer burn. That means you can either store food in the fridge or save those leftovers for an even longer time in the freezer with no worries about them going bad or being wasted.
Reversible Cutting Board
Upgrade your old plastic cutting board with this innovative version made of eco-friendly wood fiber. It has a handy tray that hangs right over the counter’s edge to catch food scraps and juices (ideal for cutting meat). One side is grooved while the other is flat for all that chopping, slicing and mincing you’ll be doing. And bonus: It’s dishwasher safe.
When the turkey, pumpkin pie and green bean casserole are all in the oven at the same time, you’ll need this kitchen timer that keeps track of three different things at once. It’s easy to read and has three unique beeping patterns so you’ll know which timer is going off without having to check. You’ll stay cool, calm, collected—and totally on time.
Three-tier Oven Rack
Now that you have a way to keep track of all your dishes, you’ll actually have to find space in your oven to fit everything. That’s where this three-tiered oven rack comes in. You can cook up to three levels of large casserole dishes and a sizable roaster dish all at the same time…perfect for your multicourse Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, the chrome-plated steel is dishwasher safe and collapses for easy kitchen storage.
Pro Pastry Mat
Sure, turkey is the classic Thanksgiving dish, but we’re really here for the pie. This silicone baking mat makes prepping your pumpkin, apple, pecan and other flaky desserts a breeze. It’s nonslip, nonstick and features dough diameter outlines, unit conversions and a ruler at the border—everything you need to roll the perfect pie crust all in one place.
A good mandolin is a must for slicing fruits and vegetables for desserts, salads and side dishes. This one has four blades and a height adjuster to make straight slices, crinkle cuts or julienne strips in a variety of thicknesses. Its textured surface keeps bits from sticking and the food holder protects your fingers from any accidental cuts. Because our knife skills are just not up to par with Ina’s (yet).
Durable Mixing Bowls
These stainless-steel mixing bowls come in three sizes and are ideal for mixing, storing and serving all your family recipes. We especially love how deep they are, which helps cut down on spillage, plus the fact that they have lids and are nestable—aka they won’t take up all your valuable cabinet space.
Efficient Scraper Tools
Tons of our favorite onscreen chefs use these nifty scraper tools for help scooping messy ingredients from their cutting boards into mixing bowls and vice versa. This cool set comes with three tools: a stainless-steel scraper that helps cleanly cut pastry dough, a plastic scraper for more sensitive surfaces and a curved plastic bowl scraper for collecting ingredients. They’ll also work perfectly with the aforementioned pastry mat. You’ll be feeling like a contestant on The Great British Baking Show in no time.
Digital Kitchen Scale
A sleek kitchen scale is so much better than messy measuring cups. This one is slim, lightweight and has a super-easy-to-clean glass surface. Not to mention it’s high-tech, but still simple enough to figure out thanks to an accompanying app, built-in rechargeable battery and USB cord.
Trust us: You need a thermometer for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. This two-in-one version measures both internal and surface temperatures and tells you when your food is at the proper cold or hot holding temp, or when it’s at a temp that’s unsafe to eat. And once turkey day is over, this model can be used for everything from a Sunday roast to making caramel or checking your frying oil.