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Everything You Need for a Flawless Thanksgiving Turkey

What’s the secret to a Thanksgiving turkey with perfectly crispy skin and moist meat? Reliable recipes and the right equipment.

Our favorite roasting pan heats evenly and has big, comfy handles that make it easy to carry. With our top-rated digital thermometer, you can be confident the turkey is cooked to the proper temperature. For more tips and tricks—including step-by-step instructions on how to carve that beautiful turkey—check out the Holiday Roasts course in our online cooking school. Our instructors will guide you through every step of our Easier Roast Turkey and Gravy. This clever cooking method is fast and ensures that the breasts and thighs are done at the same time. Watch out, side dishes. This year the turkey is going to steal the show.

This broad rack had very little wiggle room between it and the roasting pan, so it always felt supremely secure, even when holding a 22-pound turkey. It handled everything we set inside it and had nice pronounced handles that were easy and secure to grab. It allowed for proper 360-degree air circulation, so its food was always perfectly browned and evenly rendered.   More on this test

Our top performer carved meat with ease and sliced crusty bread better than most of the other knives, but what really set it apart were its noise level and its comfortable handle. This model was the quietest in the lineup, making it far more pleasant to use, and it was the only product that had a rounded handle with the start button located underneath. It occasionally gave us slightly ragged slices when we cut delicate breads, and we would have liked to have a case for blade storage—it was the only product that didn’t come with a storage option—but those were minor drawbacks for this otherwise high-performing model.  More on this test

With a large, tall-sided, highly perforated strainer and a well-controlled release valve, this bottom-draining model defatted the most stock in every test. And its detachable canister made it the easiest separator to clean by hand. It did have hard-to-read measurement lines, and superficial cracks developed around the drainage hole after 10 washes and 150 times opening and closing it, though it remained leakproof.   More on this test

This ball of 100 percent cotton twine tied and held foods without burning, fraying, splitting, or breaking. It made neat, even ties around braciole and whole chicken and stayed in place without slipping. Although any cotton twine might perform as well, this brand releases string from the center of the ball, letting us pay it out with no danger of it rolling off the counter.  More on this test

Our longtime winner excelled, with uniform, steady heating and good visibility inside the saucepan to monitor browning. Its cup-shaped stay-cool handle was easy to grip, and a helper handle provided another grabbing point when the pan was full. Even after brutal whacking on concrete, this model emerged with only tiny dents inside and one slight dent on the bottom, and it still sat flat on the counter.  More on this test

With gently sloping sides and a generous opening, this pan made whisking and stirring a pleasure. It was also the most efficient at the evaporation test. Its lightweight frame and straight-angled handle make it very easy to lift. One criticism: The handle became hot over time, forcing us to use a potholder.  More on this test

With a roomy, medium-depth basket of very fine, tight, stiff mesh, this strainer removed lots of bran from whole-wheat flour and produced silky purees. A long, wide hook allowed it to sit securely on a variety of cookware, and while its rounded steel handle was a bit less comfortable than some, it was still easy to hold. This strainer’s sturdy construction makes it worth its high price: It looked as good as new even after serious abuse.  More on this test

Our old winner is still the best instant-read thermometer on the market. It's dead accurate, fast, and so streamlined and simple that it's a breeze to use. It does just what we want: “Tell me the temp; get out of my way,” as one tester put it. Its long handle gave us plenty of room to maneuver, allowing for multiple grips, and a ring of slightly tacky silicone kept our hands confidently secured. The automatic backlight meant we never had to stop and adjust in low light, and the rotating screen is handy for lefties and righties needing different angles. The auto wake-up function is extremely useful; you don't have to stop and turn the thermometer on again midtask. The digits were large and legible, and it's waterproof in up to 39 inches of water for up to 30 minutes. It's also calibratable, promising years of accuracy.  More on this test