— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Thanksgiving this year is going to look a bit different because of the coronavirus pandemic. Not only is unnecessary travel still ill-advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the organization also recommends having a small Thanksgiving celebration with only your immediate household, hosting virtual gatherings, and delivering food to loved ones you can’t see in person.
Plus, if you do plan on hosting a small gathering, shipping delays and certain food shortages could make it harder to get everything you need to prepare for the meal. Though Thanksgiving is more than a month away, there are certain items we recommend grabbing now in case they’re harder to find as we get closer to the holiday. From turkey to kitchen tools, these are the 10 things to buy for Thanksgiving before they sell out.
Need help finding products? Sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Because Thanksgiving gatherings will be smaller this year, there will be a greater demand for small turkeys, which experts believe might result in a shortage of tinier birds. If you’re worried about securing your bird and not buying it weeks in advance and having to freeze it, we recommend using a meat delivery service like Crowd Cow, which we’ve tried and loved. Right now, you can pre-order a highly-rated, juicy bird in medium to extra-large sizes and have it arrive at your doorstep right before you need to start cooking.
2. Streaming devices
Aside from the actual meal, some of the best parts of Thanksgiving are watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which can be streamed on the NBC app) and getting a head start on watching Christmas movies (most of which can be found on various streaming services). Basically, to watch these things with the whole fam, you’re going to want a streaming device, which we’ve already seen are hot sellers this year. After testing streaming devices, we found that the Roku Ultra was the best of the best for its 4k content and easy setup, but the Roku Streaming Stick+ is another great budget option.
3. Loaf pans
Baking bread was one of the hottest hobbies to do at the start of the pandemic. As the weather cools down and people spending more time inside, we’re predicting it will pick back up again. To beat the crowds so you can make pumpkin loafs and banana bread for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s best to get a loaf pan now. This one from Rachael Ray is the best loaf pan we’ve ever tested because it’s nonstick and has silicone inserts that are easy to grip, which is just what you need as you’re manning ten foods at once while cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
4. Electric wine openers
Between preparing dinner and dealing with relatives, some of us need a glass of wine to get us through the holiday. To keep the vino flowing for you and your guests, it’s essential to have an easy-to-use electric wine opener. If we learned anything from this year’s Prime Day, it’s that electric wine openers are a hot product as this one from Oster was a top seller. It comes with a charging base and foil cutter and claims to open a bottle in less than 30 seconds.
5. Digital meat thermometers
Once you’ve got your turkey secure, the next step is making sure you can prepare it properly—because no one wants to eat a dry bird on Thanksgiving. That requires a good digital meat thermometer, and if you don’t already have one, you should get one ASAP in case of shipping delays. The ThermoWorks ThermoPop is the best digital meat thermometer we’ve ever tested for its speedy and accurate reads and 360 degree rotation, so you can check the temperature at every angle without burning yourself.
6. Roasting pans
Another essential item to cook the Thanksgiving bird? A roasting pan. This piece of cookware doesn’t get too much usage throughout the year, but if you want some succulent turkey, it’s more than necessary. So if you don’t already own one (like, say, you’re hosting for the first time), we recommend getting ahead of the game. The Circulon Roaster is a great affordable option and one of our favorites because it’s light, nonstick, and easy to clean.
7. Food storage containers
Is it really Thanksgiving if there aren’t any leftovers? Since most people will be feeding a smaller crowd this year it means the likelihood of leftovers increases exponentially. To ensure you have a place to store all the stuffing, cranberry jelly, and turkey, you’re going to want a ton of food storage containers. This 10-piece set from Pyrex has our favorite food storage containers because they’re glass, microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and have a vent for reheating, so you won’t grab a too hot container with mysteriously cold food out of the microwave ever again.
8. Fat separators
The key to good gravy? Using a fat separator. That way you can get all the good juices and none of the fatty stuff to make killer gravy. This one from OXO is the best fat separator we’ve ever tested because its bottom-draining design makes it nearly impossible for fatty liquids to slip through and it was easy to clean. It’s one of those “you don’t get it until you need it” gadgets, so we recommend picking one up before you realize you need one.
9. Baking sheets
From roasting vegetables to baking cookies, baking sheets are essential for a Thanksgiving meal. Just like bread making, there will be an uptick in baking cookies and other baked goods this winter because of quarantine, so this cookware will be another hot seller. We love these baking sheets from Nordic Ware for being durable and even heating, so you should pick some up now if you need new sheets or want an upgrade, as they’re already low in stock.
10. Electric knives
Cooking a turkey is challenging enough, but cutting it takes some serious elbow grease. Save yourself the effort with an electric knife that will do most of the work for you. This one from Black & Decker is our experts’ top-tested electric knife, and will save you a ton of time slicing your turkey this year. Since there will be more smaller Thanksgiving gatherings this year, we expect these to be a big seller as well.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.