Every year, there are a few occasions to celebrate that involve big gatherings of family and friends (and equally large amounts of delicious food to feast on). There’s Thanksgiving, of course: that time of year when we dedicate an entire day to eating as much food as possible in the name of America — and, of course, give thanks for our family and friends. And there are holidays like the fourth of July, occasions like family reunions, and dinner parties galore.
Whatever the occasion, chances are good that you could use some help the next time you’re cooking a feast. But the smart kitchen gadgets you use on a regular basis to cook more modest amounts of food may not be up to the task of cooking for a crowd. Still, all that food isn’t going to cook itself. So to help lighten the kitchen load, we’ve gathered some gadgets designed with Thanksgiving, reunions, and other days when you’re cooking for a crowd in mind. Check out our list to make this your best feast yet.
1. Masterbuilt Butterball Electric Turkey Fryer
Baked turkey tastes delicious, but if you really want to wow your guests, a fried turkey can be a fun way to go. Most turkey fryers are meant to be used outdoors, but if you’re preparing for Thanksgiving in a cold climate, you may not want to cook your turkey outside. So an indoor-friendly electric fryer can be a good choice. In fact, it’s so easy to use that you may want to start cooking turkey more than once a year.
Masterbuilt has teamed up with Butterball to bring the best electric indoor turkey fryer that we’ve seen yet. This gadget can deep fry a turkey in one hour. Not only does it keep the oil contained, it uses 33% less oil than the standard fryer. With three different sizes to choose from — for cooking 14, 20, and 22 pound turkeys — you can make the best tasting turkey for any party crowd without having to step outside.
2. Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker With WeMo
Slow cookers are the perfect sidekick when trying to coordinate a multi-dish meal. They’re especially useful for holiday dinner parties, when dishes like mashed potatoes, green bean casseroles, and other hot sides are de rigueur. (And a crockpot isn’t an item you need to take out at for one holiday and put away the next day. Once your guest have all gone home you can even cook yourself an entire meal in a crockpot.)
But this isn’t your mother’s crockpot. You can control the temperature of your food from across the room with the Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo. With a companion app for iOS, Android, and Amazon devices, this slow cooker helps you monitor your dish from afar. You can even shut it on or off from your phone, or get a notification when the cooking is complete. Whatever feast you have planned, this gadget will be indispensable.
3. Cooking Chef KM080AT
One of the worst things about cooking a feast or preparing a meal for any large gathering is the mess and chaos of needing to use all of the tools and all of the prep dishes you have in your kitchen. Cooking a big meal would be so much easier (and less messy) if you could use one machine to mix, blend, process, and cook at the same time.
It turns out that you can with the Cooking Chef, which stirs and cooks at the perfect temperature. Complete with eight mixing speeds, three stirring speeds, pulse and fold functions, a three-hour timer, and temperature controls between 70 and 285 degrees Fahrenheit, the Cooking Chef is the answer to a wide variety of food prep needs. In addition to the four attachment hubs and five stainless-steel bowl tools, it comes with a steamer basket. It’s one of the most versatile kitchen gadgets we can imagine.
4. LEM Jerky Cannon
Thanksgiving may not be the only time of the year that you’re preparing a giant meal for your family and friends, but it’s probably the only time that you’re trying to figure out what to do with pounds and pounds of leftover turkey. You can turn it into turkey jerky with the LEM Jerky Cannon.
This tool can hold up to 1½ pounds of meat for some serious jerky making. The anodized aluminum barrel allows meat to move easily to the end of the barrel once inserted. Each side of the barrel is specially flared to allow for easy loading. It comes complete with two stainless steel nozzles: a 3/16-inch flat jerky nozzle and a ½-inch round snack stick nozzle. It also comes with a nylon barrel brush and assorted seasonings. And if you want turkey jerky all year, don’t let anyone stop you.
5. Joule sous vide tool
Whether you’re cooking up a storm at Thanksgiving or preparing a modest dinner for you and your partner, sous vide is a cooking technique you need to know. Sous vide involves cooking food that has been vacuum-sealed in bags in precisely controlled, low-temperature water. The Joule sous vide tool makes the process easier and more precise than ever before — its companion app can coach you step-by-step, too. That makes it easy to keep an eye on whatever’s cooking and make sure it’s absolutely perfect, no matter how many other dishes you’re working on.
Joule is an immersion circulator that ensures even cooking during the sous vide process. You just put Joule in a pot with some water and use the app to preheat Joule to the right temperature. Then, you’ll put your food (along with some seasoning) in a plastic bag, and cook it in the water. Right before you’re ready to serve your meal, you can finish the food with a quick sear. The tool automatically detects the temperature of the water, and the app enables you to choose exactly how well-done you want your meat. It will also send you notifications so that you know when the water is hot and when your food is done.
6. Fizzics beer system
Beer is an important fixture at just about every holiday that involves a big meal. So why would you neglect to make sure that the beer, just like the food, is going to taste as good as possible? The Fizzics beer system uses patent-pending fluid and sound technology to enhance the flavor and taste of your beer, with the goal of giving you (and your guests) a fresh-from-the-tap taste from your canned or bottled beers.
The system enhances the flavor and aroma of all beer types (so you’re in luck whether you favor IPAs, pilsners, stouts, porters, or lagers). The system is compatible with all sizes of cans and bottles, even up to a 64-ounce growler. Even better? It doesn’t require CO2 or Nitro cartridges, proprietary replacement parts, or ongoing refills of any kind to operate. That means better-tasting beer at all of your events.
7. PicoBrew Pico
If you’d prefer to brew your own beer instead of serving someone else’s to your guests, there’s no easier way to do that than with the PicoBrew Pico. This automated beer-brewing appliance can brew 5 liters of craft beer in just 2 hours, and it offers you grain-to-glass serving time of less than a week. (Which means that you can serve your own craft beer at special occasions with minimal planning!)
The system uses ready-to-brew PicoPak ingredient kits from the worldwide BrewMarketplace. There’s a practically endless selection of PicoPaks from breweries around the world, and you can easily try a brewery from across the country or from a different continent. The system also enables you to customize any PicoPak by fine-tuning each beer’s alcohol percentage or bitterness. The FreeStyle PicoPak also enables you to create a unique and custom beer, and you can modify the grains, hops, and yeast in a recipe to your liking.
8. June Intelligent Oven
Baking, roasting, broiling, toasting, and slow cooking — there are so many options when it comes to cooking food in your oven. But that array of options can seem pretty overwhelming at times, whether you’re a novice cook or simply juggling all of the pieces of a big meal. The June Intelligent Oven is a high-precision device that enables you to tackle complicated recipes or get more dishes done at one time, all while getting restaurant-quality results.
This oven is large enough to cook a whole chicken and vegetables, for instance, in dishes up to 11×16 inches. It features carbon fiber elements that can reach full power in seconds. You can control your oven via your iPhone or iPad, and monitor what’s cooking either through the edge-to-edge glass door or via a live video stream. You just start by placing your food in the oven. Then, you watch June identify your food with a camera, weigh it, and recommend a cooking program. The oven will constantly monitor your food’s weight and temperature in order to give you the perfect results.