Smoked Herbed Brined Turkey
Image by: Angus Fergusson
No matter what the experts say, cooking a Thanksgiving feast is a culinary juggling act. These clever tools will help you streamline and de-stress kitchen prep.
1. Oven Gloves: Be hot handed, not hot headed in the kitchen. Pick up anything straight from the oven, including the turkey itself! Why We Love Them: Made of cotton with aramid, an insulator used by firefighters, these withstand molten temps and are heat-resistant up to 250C. Long elasticized cuffs protect wrists, so you can reach deep into the oven. Reinforced silicone finger and palm grips make for non-slip handling.
Oven gloves, $44.50, leevalley.ca
2. Silicone Pastry Brush: Put that turkey baster away. This is much better for basting the big bird. And because it’s silicone, it won’t retain odours. It's also perfect for your baking needs. Why We Love It: The long handle makes for easy reaching into deep roasting pans for basting food. Multiple thick bristles evenly distribute pan juices better than a baster (in our humble opinion!). The stainless steel handle and silicone bristles are dishwasher-friendly and rust-free.
10 “WMF Silicone Pastry Brush, $22.00, thebay.com
3. Multipurpose Steamer: The oven is packed with a giant turkey. All the saucepans are all spoken for. And you still need to cook the side dishes. This is your microwavable go-to for fast, easy holiday favourites from stuffing to soup, veggies and the fluffiest mashed potatoes ever. Why We Love It: Works in both oven and microwave and is heat resistant up to 425F. It's non-stick and flexible, which makes it great for small space storage (think kitchen condo!). Cook stuffing and mashed potatoes in under 10 minutes and then pop the steamer in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. It's also great for microwaving one-pot dinners, rice, grains, lasagna and even popcorn.
Multipurpose Steamer, $50.00, epicure.com (online only)
4. Offset Icing Spatulas: These are must-haves for every pastry chef and home baker because they’re so versatile. That’s why you need three! Why We Love Them: Flexible angled blades help with precision tasks from spreading batter to icing cakes and finalizing that last perfect swirl. All without getting your fingers and hands mucky. The small spatula is essential for spreading batter into edges of pans. It makes for easy lifting: never break another cake layer when icing multi-layered desserts. Easily move cookies (and also chicken breasts or fish fillets) from hot baking tray to cooling rack or plates.
Offset Icing Spatulas, $12.95-13.95 each, williams-sonoma.com
5. Dried Black Beans: The secret to great pumpkin pie? The crust, of course. Showcase that unctuous filling in a perfectly pre-baked crust. Why We Love Them: Use these to line pastry shells for tarts and pies before baking. They keep the pastry from bubbling up, blistering and shrinking. First, line pastry with foil or parchment, then spread beans on top so that it's easier to lift the beans out at the end. More affordable than ceramic or metal beads. They’re cheap, reusable (let them cool, then store in baggies in the freezer) and they work!
For more Thanksgiving tips and recipes, check out our Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Guide.