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Expert Shopper Kitchen

New technology can make hosting Thanksgiving dinner easier

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Make hosting Thanksgiving dinner stress-free with the right kitchen appliance

Thanksgiving can be one of the toughest holidays to host. Besides having more people at your home at one time, which probably means you'll need to round up some folding chairs, you also have to cook a larger meal with a greater variety of dishes than on other occasions.

Besides the cost of hosting the dinner, there's also the stress of preparing the meal. The good news is, hosts are turning to tech to reduce that anxiety.

Shop this article: Anova Culinary Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, Ninja AF101 Air Fryer and Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker.

More gadgets make less work

One of the toughest parts of putting together a Thanksgiving meal is making sure every dish is done at the same time. The best way to make that happen is to have more cooking gadgets on hand. While this sounds a little counterintuitive, it actually simplifies the process greatly.

We have found using sous vide for the turkey along with a toaster oven and an air fryer for the sides and desserts can really help increase the success factor when cooking such a challenging meal.

Simplify your prep work

One way to reduce the workload at Thanksgiving is to only prepare half the meal yourself. You can order the other half from your favorite restaurant and use a microwave or toaster oven to heat up the dishes you outsource.

For the items you prepare at home, take advantage of convenient kitchen gadgets, such as a mandoline or food chopper. These items are affordable kitchen tools that are easy to use and cut prep time down considerably.

Tips to keep your turkey juicy

There are two ways you can get a perfect turkey that do not involve a conventional cooking method. If you really want to impress your guests this holiday, consider using a Traeger pellet grill or a sous vide. For grilling, we highly recommend using a Meater wireless meat thermometer to make sure you reach the ideal cooking temperature, which you can check just by glancing at your phone. The sous vide ensures you can't dry out the turkey. We've tested the Anova in our lab and had impressive results for a product that costs less than $100.

Do air fryers really hold up to the hype?

When air fryers first launched, we started testing them to find out if it was all hype or if this new appliance really could crisp up your food while keeping it juicy inside. In short, we determined they are actually a game-changing cooking gadget that is surprisingly affordable. An air fryer is a convection oven with an additional heating element. This gives you full control over high temperatures in a small space, which means quick, thorough cooking that seals in the juices. Consider using an air fryer for Brussels sprouts or green beans.

Don't forget the after-meal treats

While the pressure of making sure everything is done at the same time doesn't apply as rigidly to the after-meal, you still want to have gadgets on hand that simplify your hosting tasks. Key appliances could be as simple as an electric kettle or an AeroPress to a high-capacity coffee maker and a milk frother for both coffee and making homemade whipped cream for pie.

Leftovers need a little love, too

After the big day, you'll want to store your leftovers in air-locking containers so they stay fresh. When it's time to heat them up, an air fryer/toaster is a great option. You could also consider firing up a Blackstone griddle to make the perfect turkey panini.

Products to help make Thanksgiving hosting easier

Anova Culinary Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker

A sous vide cooker circulates water at a precise temperature to make sure your Thanksgiving turkey will be perfect. This Anova sous vide easily attaches to any stock pot or container for your cooking convenience.

Hamilton Beach Easy Reach 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven

This is a large, easy-access Hamilton Beach toaster oven with a roll-top door. You can use it to cook or warm up dishes while preparing the turkey.

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

An air fryer provides quick, thorough heating that leaves your food crisp and juicy. This 4-quart Ninja air fryer is large enough to fit 2 pounds of french fries. 

Black + Decker Extra-Wide Crisp 'N Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven

If you prefer having the convenience of both an oven and an air fryer in one countertop appliance, this versatile cooking gadget can fit up to eight slices of bread.

Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

A wood pellet grill gives you the best of both grilling worlds: precision temperature control and flavor. You can use this Traeger grill to cook a turkey that will be so tasty, it will be the topic of next year's holiday conversation.

Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer

To make sure your meat is cooked to a safe temperature, you need a meat thermometer. This smart model has a guided cooking process that helps you achieve consistent results. 

Toshiba 3-in-1 Countertop Microwave Oven

Even with all of these other gadgets, a microwave is still a kitchen necessity. This advanced Toshiba microwave combines microwave and convection cooking so you can auto bake, defrost, auto roast and more.

OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer

Preparing fruits and vegetables can be time-consuming and dangerous. This slicer has a variety of blades and a thickness setting that allows you to quickly customize it to your exact needs. The food holder protects your fingers while operating. 

KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper

An alternative to a slicer is a chopper. This KitchenAid food chopper has two speeds, a stainless steel blade and a 3.5-ounce cup.

Hamilton Beach Glass Electric Tea Kettle

This Hamilton Beach kettle heats up water faster than a microwave and is safer than bringing it to a boil on a stovetop. The automatic shut-off turns the kettle off when it is hot enough for serving.

AeroPress Original Coffee and Espresso Maker

If you've never tried an AeroPress, you'll be shocked at the convenience. This model makes up to three servings of smooth, full-flavored coffee in about a minute. If you prefer cold brew, you can have that in about two minutes.

Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

When the meal is done, your guests are going to want coffee. If you have a full house, this 12-cup Cuisinart coffee maker means no one will have to wait very long to get a fresh hot cup of America's favorite beverage.


Blackstone 36-Inch Cooking Station

This sleek and stylish grill lets you perform restaurant-style cooking on 720 square inches of cooking space. You can grill up some exquisite turkey paninis and have a second Thanksgiving with leftovers.

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money

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