Divine Dinner Party

Got Your Turkey Cooking Supplies Ready?

Gettin' ready to cook your first big holiday dinner and don't know what turkey cooking supplies you need?

When you're taking on a meal as big as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you may feel a little overwhelmed by some of the things you have to buy and do. Try not to be. Cooking a perfect Thanksgiving dinner or holiday meal doesn't require a hundred special (and expensive!) items or a lot of specialized knowledge. There are a few basic turkey cooking supplies you need, but other than that... it's all optional. Just do what you're comfortable with.

Necessary Turkey Cooking Supplies

If you're going to simply roast a turkey without using any special methods or recipes, I've got a great turkey cooking tip for you: keep it simple. Below, you'll find a list of the supplies you'll need, and what you should look for.

Roasting Pan for Roasting a TurkeyRoasting pan. Yep, pretty simple... and you probably already have one. Look for a quality roasting pan, and if you're planning to make gravy from the drippings, think about getting one with a non-stick surface. They're a little more expensive, but they make for super easy clean-up. Don't want to splurge on a nice set? Use a disposable aluminum roaster. They don't distribute heat as well or evenly, but clean-up sure is a breeze and they're some of the easiest turkey cooking supplies to find.

Some of the nicer roasters come with a wire rack. This is a great way to keep your turkey up and out of the drippings, allowing it to brown nicely on all sides. A good thing to keep an eye out for.

Turkey Baster for Basting the TurkeyTurkey baster. A meat baster is a pretty simple tool. Try not to get the cheapest one in the store as they tend to suck more air than juice, but... if that's all you have or all you can afford, don’t sweat it. After all, basters are pretty, well, basic.


Needle-Gauge Meat Thermometor for Thanksgiving TurkeyMeat thermometer. There are too many types of meat thermometers to count, ranging from top-of-the-line to total cheap-o. What kind you get all depends on how convenient you want it to be. Some meat thermometers can be placed in the meat before cooking and left there, with a digital readout constantly displaying current meat temperature. Nice, eh? Others can only be used when the turkey is out of the oven, and use a manual temperature gauge. There's no need to splurge on a fancy meat thermometer, but they sure are nice.

Carving knife. Make sure to have a sharp, good knife to carve the turkey. These range from simple chef's knives to motorized carvers. I generally use a large kitchen knife with a well-sharpened edge. A valuable turkey cooking tip: never carve with a dull knife, especially if you have a large turkey. Hacking away at the bird gets tedious fast.

Meat forks. A meat fork simply helps you to move the turkey (such as flipping it in the pan) or hold it still while carving. Often, you can find these in a set with a carving knife.

Ingredients. Last but certainly not least... all your recipe ingredients, of course. Oh, I almost forgot: you'll need a turkey, too! :)

Optional Turkey Cooking Supplies

Five-Gallon bucket. If you're planning on brining the bird, you'll need a five-gallon bucket for the brine. Make sure it's very clean and that it fits in the fridge.

A Flavor Injector for Meat Injects Moistness into Your TurkeyTurkey Injector. To inject broth, butter, seasonings, or anything else into the bird. A good extra item to have on-hand, as it's an easy way to get ultra-moist and tasty meat.

Looking for a recipe for a great turkey flavor injection? We have some great turkey injection recipes here.

Aluminum foil. One of the hardest to find turkey cooking supplies, right? Okay, maybe not. Covering the bird part-time while roasting helps it to stay moist.

Roasting bags. These will help to keep the turkey moist while roasting.

Large turkey fryer. For deep-frying a turkey. Find more info on deep-frying a turkey here.

Smoker, wood, propane torch. Only if you plan on smoking your turkey.

Grill and coals. For grilling the bird.

Want to learn more about the cooking methods that go along with these turkey cooking supplies?



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If this is your first turkey (or even if you're an experienced turkey chef) you may want some help deciding on a turkey cooking method or knowing how long to cook the bird.

Visit Turkey Cooking Methods and Turkey Cooking Times for lots of help with turkey preparation.

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Cooking a Whole Turkey
or Some Drumsticks?

Free Holiday Turkey Recipe Guide to How to Cook a Turkey

If it's a fat bird with a beard (no, I don't mean your Aunt Marjorie), we can help you cook it. Click on the icon above or click here to get started with recipes and tips on how to cook a turkey for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any time of year.

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