Today we are going beyond the recipes to the kitchen cookware you need to get it done right for Thanksgiving. With the holidays on their way, now is a great time to stock your kitchen, especially if you have the honor of being the host.
Last year, James and I moved into our new home, doubling our space. We decided that instead of traveling to our families for the holidays that we should invite my parents for Thanksgiving and his parents for Christmas. Playing the hostess for the two biggest, food centric, holidays of the year was a feat I had not previously done. My first worry was how do I cook and serve all of the food?! Confession: I hadn’t previously invested in quality cookware. I have things like cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls and such, but not proper cookware. My mom’s witty suggestion: just get married and register for it. While she was right, many people do register for cookware, I was looking for a quicker fix than planning a wedding. So I did what any self-reliant, 30-something woman would do. I went shopping.
Being the planner that I am, I couldn’t just walk into Bed, Bath and Beyond and fill up a cart. Even with a larger kitchen I knew I would still be limited on space, and with the holidays coming I didn’t want to spend money on unnecessary things. I sought to find quality items that I could view as an investment, knowing that sometimes it’s better to spend a bit more and have it forever instead of save money on it now to replace it in a year’s time. Here is the shortlist of cookware essentials that I bought and the one cookware item I already had that got me through Thanksgiving dinner.
**Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. The few cents I earn from your purchase doesn’t change the price you pay, but it does go to support the efforts here at Renee Nicole’s Kitchen and buy me the occasional new kitchen gadget.**
First thing on the list: a turkey roaster. I searched high and low, investigated multiple reviews, and contemplated spending $200 on a roaster. Then I came across this one on Amazon. There is a reason that both my mother and grandmother have this exact roaster and refuse to upgrade. The company, Granite Ware, has been around since 1871, so there are a lot of knock offs on the market – make sure you buy the name brand. The design on the lid of the roasting pan allows for automatic basting, while the bottom allows you to opt not to use a rack. I cooked my bird on a bed of onions, celery and carrots, which created a perfectly moist and delicious turkey. They are available in multiple styles to fit the turkey you need for your party. The best part is that at this price, you can buy multiple roasters in different sizes. The lid fits inside the pan and they stack together for storage.
Next on the list are the pots and pans. Being an avid cook, I listed off the types of pans that I need and quickly realized that buying a set would save me a lot of money compared to buying each piece that I wanted individually. Some important pieces for me included the pasta pot, a steamer basket that functions with multiple pans, lids that fit my frying pans, and at least three smaller pots for everyday use.
The very first pan I bought for myself was a Cuisinart 5 quart stainless steel saute pan with lid. I still have it and love that it can go from stove top to oven. However, it can be a pain to clean. Knowing how often I need a pan to go from stove top to oven (hint: not very often) and knowing that no pan – stainless steel or not – should go in the dishwasher, I wanted something that would be easy to clean. I decided to stick with the Cuisinart brand, as they have served me well over the years, and chose their nonstick, hard anodized line. Their packages range from a 7-piece set for more basic needs, all the way up to a 17-piece set, which is what I chose for my kitchen. With my set, there is a lid that fits every pot or pan. The steamer basket is designed to fit on top of any of the smaller three pots, which means I can easily steam up some veggies no matter what else may be already on the stove. Someday I’ll upgrade to All-Clad, but for now these are working great!
Next up: cooking utensils. No, utensils aren’t exactly cookware, but if you are investing in nonstick cookware, you need to invest in proper utensils to extend the life of your cookware. Previous options were limited to plastic or wood, but today you can get silicone pieces that will withstand the heat while not scratching your pans. There are many brands on the market, but as soon as I saw this green, I fell in love and had to have them. They are made by Tovolo, and are heat resistant up to 600 degrees! If you don’t like green, don’t worry, they come in a variety of festive colors.
I couldn’t find what I wanted in a set, but I was able to pick and choose to create a combination that worked for me. The items I chose that I would buy again include: one mixing spoon, one slotted spoon, one ladle, one pasta rake (which can double as a potato masher), one spatula, and two sets of tongs. My favorite pieces are by far the spatula and the tongs. I also bought the batter tool, but find that it is not as effective as a spoon or whisk and probably wouldn’t buy it again. I am still in search of silicone coated whisks that don’t fall apart in 6 months. If you know of one, please tell me about it in the comments below!
For the love of all veggies roasted, having a rimmed roasting pan is necessary. While a rimmed cookie sheet does a good job and is necessary for holiday cookies, my mom had gifted me a set of Pyrex baking dishes while I was in college. These pans are work horses in my kitchen! They are great for cakes, casseroles, lasagna, baked chicken, the list can go on and on. For Thanksgiving alone, I used the small one to roast sweet potatoes and the large one to cook up the perfect stuffing. If I didn’t already own these pans, they would have scored a spot on my “cookware to buy” list for the holidays.
There you have it: the shortlist of cookware for preparing a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. There are plenty of other things you should have on hand to make your meal prep easier, but without proper cookware it will never turn out just right. So, if you are investing for the first time, or just looking for something new, I hope this list helps you find it.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to pin this post for future reference. Next week, I’ll be back with a couple of delicious recipes to share.
**Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. The few cents I earn from your purchase doesn’t change the price you pay, but it does go to support the efforts here at Renee Nicole’s Kitchen and buy me the occasional new kitchen gadget.**