Editor’s Note: The kitchen is one of the last bastions of respect and order in a society that mostly eschews hierarchy. Snapchat may be run by kids, but grandma’s red sauce is no flash in the pan. Though we’ve proved our chops in the kitchen, for Thanksgiving we decided to bring in one of the big guns of culinary wisdom: Jim Oseland, former Editor-in-Chief of Saveur, one of our favorite food magazines. He provided this Kit.
I love all the flavors of Thanksgiving, from the earthy richness of a serving of creamed spinach to a sweet-savory, utterly autumnal baked sweet potato —- and of course, there are the glorious, glorious pies. But what ties it all together is a golden, crisp-skinned, tender turkey at the center of the table, a centerpiece both literal and metaphorical for one of the great celebratory meals of the year. Everyone’s got their own recipe for the ideal turkey, but I swear by the version Molly Stevens shared with us in Saveur a few years ago — it’s never once failed me. But whatever recipe you choose, you’ll need good gear. Here’s my essential turkey-roasting kit. – Jim Oseland
West Elm Greenpan Ceramic and Aluminum Roaster
The key to a good roasting pan is even heat distribution. There are lots of great models out there, but this Thanksgiving I’ll be using Greenpan’s nonstick roaster with the rack insert. The ceramic coating over an anodized aluminum core heats beautifully, and once the turkey’s been cooked, you can put the pan directly on the stovetop to make your gravy.
Editor’s Note: This product is no longer available. At the same price range, we recommend Cuisinart’s 16″ stainless steel roasting pan.
Thermapen Splash-Proof Meat Thermometer
Forget pound-to-minute calculus or one of those bizarre belly-button poppers — you’ll know your turkey is done when your digital thermometer tells you it’s done. The lightning-fast precision of this Thermapen model ensures you won’t leave the bird in the oven a minute too little or too long.
Boos Butcher Block (24-inch)
There isn’t a single dish on my Thanksgiving table that doesn’t at some point come into contact with this heavy, durable, absolutely beautiful prep and cutting board. John Boos has been making these gorgeous slabs for well over a century, and there’s no more dignified surface on which to carve your beautifully roasted turkey.
Wüsthof Classic 8-inch Carving Knife
Your carving technique may be magnificent, but without the right tools in your hands, you may as well be hacking away at that breast with a butter knife. Nothing beats the maneuverability of a knife forged from a single piece of steel, and this über-sharp, whisper-thin blade hugs the curves of the bird exactly the way you want it to.
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 5-Speed Cordless Immersion Blender
Sleek and powerful, this is the Cadillac of immersion blenders; it makes the smoothest, richest gravy known to man.
A parting tip: For the silkiest gravy imaginable, you don’t just need that immersion blender. You need Wondra Flour, a miracle product that is an essential in my pantry. The science behind it is pretty interesting — it’s pregelatinized, which basically means that it’s been cooked with liquid, dried out, and re-powdered into flour — but all you really need to know is that it works like nothing else out there. This is the ultimate Thanksgiving secret weapon.
Jim Oseland is the Editor-in-Chief of Saveur. Their Thanksgiving issue is on stands now.