Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are You Ready For Thanksgiving Dinner?

Whether you're planning on cooking for a pack of hungry relatives or just a few close friends, preparing Thanksgiving dinner is not the time to get caught with your pans down. Chef Tools is here to help and has put together a list of helpful tools and gadgets we think will help make the biggest meal of the year more of a pleasure and less of a hassle. It's also a chance to show off a bunch of cool new kitchen stuff to your guests. Check out our helpful and Essential Thanksgiving Tools.

a roasting pan

Are you still using one of those flimsy aluminum roasting pans you bought last-minute at the supermarket? Did turkey juice and mess spill all over the inside of your oven, or onto the kitchen floor? You know it did. It's time to invest in a real roasting pan. The nonstick Emerilware hard-anodized roaster features ergonomic handles for balance, control and comfort when lifting your bird in and out of the oven. A versatile option from Camerons offers high-quality 18/10 stainless steel construction for excellent heat conduction.

and a roasting dish

Dress up your sweet potato surprise and green bean casserole by serving them in a beautiful roasting dish. Colorful stoneware from Le Creuset or elegant French porcelain from Revol just might convince those less-than-adventurous diners to dive right into the roasted Brussels sprouts. If you're looking for a less expensive option, choose from a large selection of HIC Porcelain high-quality culinary porcelain.

with mashed potatoes

There are two schools of thought when it comes to mashed potatoes. Some people like them silky smooth, while others prefer them with plenty of lumpy chunks. Using a potato ricer will result in smooth mashed potatoes. Using a hand potato masher, like this not-so-traditional one from Chef's Planet will give your mashed potatoes a home-style texture.

and gravy

You can’t eat your mashed potatoes and turkey without gravy, but you’re concerned about increasing the size of your waist and decreasing the gauge of your arteries. Don’t be afraid of the gravy when you use a fat separator, like this one from OXO.

The foundation of gravy that everyone will want the recipe for is roux. The Best Roux Whisk is designed to quickly blend flour into melted butter or fat when making your roux. It's also shaped for efficiently working the bottom and corners of your pan.

is the turkey done yet?

If you roast your turkey at too high an oven temperature (350 to 400 F), the meat closer to the surface will be over-cooked and dried out before the internal temperature reaches the proper 160 F. It takes more time, and patience, but roasting turkey at a lower oven temperature (275 to 300 F) will result in a moist bird with an even temperature throughout. An oven thermometer will let you know if you’re maintaining an accurate and consistent oven temperature. The CDN Digital Probe Thermometer, Timer & Clock will track roasting time and temperature from your countertop.

who’s doing the carving?

Carving the Thanksgiving turkey is an honorary duty. Whether you prefer using a round-tipped slicing knife or a pointed-tip slicing knife, like the Shun Classic Carving Knife. Don’t forget to let your bird rest for at least 20 minutes prior to carving in order to let the juice settle in and keep the meat moist. Using a cutting board with a juice groove will help prevent messy spill-over onto your countertop. Both John Boos and Epicurean Cutting Boards offer several options.

don’t forget pie

Saving room for the pumpkin, apple, pecan, or even mincemeat pie, is always a challenge on Thanksgiving. Baking your pie in a solid and dependable pie dish will give your pie more of a home-style-made-in-grandmas-kitchen appeal than if you bake in one of those flimsy aluminum foil pans. Using a French pin to roll out your dough will give you the most control and dexterity for rolling the prefered round shape. Whether you're planning on baking a juicy apple pie or a moist pumpkin pie, pie chain, a pie bird, and a pie crust shield will help you on your way to baking your best crust.
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