So you volunteered to host the next holiday dinner. Except you failed to remember that you’ve never once cooked a turkey (nor do you have any of the necessary equipment for it). Oops. To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up six must-have kitchen gadgets that will (fingers crossed) make holiday hosting a breeze.
A Mandoline Slicer
Bottom line: If you don’t have the knife skills to properly slice vegetables, then simply don’t do it. Invest in a mandoline slicer to do the work for you. Most mandolines come with different blade attachments (like a julienne slicer and cheese grater) so you can really use it for all types of dishes. Slice up zucchini chips for the perfect appetizer or whip up a classic French ratatouille. You’ll have cut veggies in mere minutes and no scary knife mishaps.
An Herb Stripper
Herbs are an essential part of cooking, especially when they’re fresh. But, man, are they a real pain to chop. Instead of wasting time separating the stems, use an herb stripper to speed up the process. Just insert the stem into the hole and pull through to remove the leaves. Easy enough, right?
A Slow Cooker
Hosting a party doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be stuck in the kitchen all day. Au contraire, friends. Instead, do some research to see what you can reassign to your Crock-Pot. Prepare dishes like cranberry-apple stuffing, mashed potatoes and even pecan pie all in this low-and-slow device. Slow Cooker will save you precious oven space, and it can even double as a serving bowl.
OK, so these roast-cutting tongs are not a must-have per se, but they’re pretty darn convenient. This nifty tool allows you to cut the holiday ham or roast with a steady hand and portion out even slices so no one gets shortchanged.
A Vegetable Spiralizer
There’s no denying it: Holiday meals are diet busters. However, you can cut some calories without sacrificing any flavor. All you need is a vegetable spiralizer. Zoodles, anyone? A spiralizer can turn a variety of veggies into noodle-like perfection. Bonus: You won’t have to waste time waiting on water to boil.
A Vacuum Sealer
When buying food for a party, it’s only natural to overestimate how much your guests will eat. (It’s better to have an abundance, right?) Don’t let perfectly good food go to waste, especially meat and other perishables. Use a vacuum sealer to preserve leftovers (even fruits and veggies) longer and without the risk of freezer burn. Trust us, this will save you money in the long run.