Most home chefs are so pooped by the time they get to the dinner table, that it's hard for them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Whether you're cooking turkey or a ham or roast for holiday meals, there are some new gadgets that should make your work easier and your dinner more yummy.
These super-sized forks sure beat anything I've used to try to lift a turkey from its perch. These are the All-Clad T137 Poultry Lifters, all stainless steel with a nice solid handle for lifting -- you can't use a flimsy handled utensil with a heavy roast or bird, as the handle will break. Great gadgets for those who cook their turkeys or hams on a grill!
Better than the lifters if you don't have a roasting pan, the Calphalon is known for quality and a non-stick roasting rack is heaven when it comes to cleaning up. The 16 inch size will hold a good size ham or beef roast and possible a 12 to 14 pound turkey. Cooking on a rack instead of a flat pan ensures a dry and even crust around your roast. The Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Special-Value 16-Inch Roaster with Nonstick Roasting Rack is a long-winded name but an excellent product with rave reviews.
The Roast Cutting Tongs are guaranteed to please. You can use them for lifting browned meat from the pan to the roaster, then from roaster to cutting board, and then to slice your roasts into nice even pieces. From Chefs Catalogue for less than $30.
Another 'make it easy' gadget, this is the perfect size container and separator in which to pour your turkey or roast drippings. Otherwise, you stand around holding a large pan over a narrow strainer waiting and waiting and waiting for the juice to separate from the fat. The Trudeau Gravy/Fat Separator withstands 400° heat, is microwave and dishwasher safe, and is well-priced.
If you deep fry your turkeys, you need to protect your own safety against grease spatter, especially if the turkey drops suddenly into the hot oil. The Litwin Turkey Frying Safety System insures against just that kind of accident happening. It securely locks the turkey in place and holds it, letting it drain off the oil until you are ready to serve it. The system fits most 30 to 40 quart frying pots. (Update: This item no longer seems available. This oil-less turkey fryer seems like a good alternative and gets great reviews.)
No more cold gravy! The Thermal Sauce Warmer is double-walled stainless steel so it keeps your gravy and sauces warm... and, of course, it's ready right on the table when you want to pour. (Update: This item is no longer available. This electric sauce warmer may be a good alternative.)
What a hot idea! The 3-Tier Oven Companion is just what every cook needs whether cooking, warming, or re-heating a multi-course dinner. This 11" L x 14" W x 10.5" H shelf oven rack comes apart and slides right into your dishwasher... and you don't need instructions to put it back together. Priced at $19.99 at Chefs Catalog and $15 on Amazon
If your family loves mashed potatoes, but you already have carpel tunnel, the Potato Ricer is for you. The ricer will mash and smash any cooked veggies you have... so, go ahead, make your own baby food, or soups, with a nice evenly constituted mash. Stainless steel, this Potato Ricer is a professional model. At Chefs Catalog for $39.99. Oxo also has an excellent potato ricer for $25..
9. Pie Gate I thought I'd sneak a neat dessert gadget in here. Pies taste great, but they sure are messy and runny. The Pie Gate keeps your pie from falling into a sea of mush with its flexible silicon edges. Use it for cakes, tarts, casseroles, or runny cheese! Pie Gate is hinged in the middle, so it's flexible $6.99.
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