Gadgets to make Thanksgiving easier this year

Kerry Keith The Friday Flyer Columnist

Kerry Keith
The Friday Flyer Columnist

It’s reported that American’s spend $2.9 billion on food for Thanksgiving with over 51 million turkeys consumed. Many get up before the sun to get the feast started. Here are a few gadgets to make the cooking go a little smoother and a lot easier so there’s more time to visit with friends and family.

A digital food thermometer is the key when cooking a turkey. Cooking turkey’s causes the most concern to make sure the turkey is cooked all the way through or not over cooked. Many turkeys come with a pop-up thermometer already in the turkey, but using a digital thermometer gives you a precise reading. There are many choices for digital thermometers including OXO’s Digital Instant Read Thermometer priced at $20 or Taylor’s Compact Waterproof Digital Thermometer that retails for $15, but found at for $12.25 plus tax. If you want something a little more advanced then try Super-Fast Thermapen Mk4 that comes with a backlight, has a sleep-mode to save the battery, longer battery life, and reads the temperature in two to three second, and comes in 10 different colors. Retails for $79. All of these thermometers are not to be left in the meat while cooking since they are an instant read. For an accurate reading, insert the thermometer at least 1 in. into the meat away from the bone. Recommended internal temperatures for a well-cooked turkey should be 180°F for meat in the thigh or 170°F for the breast. Make sure not to cook the turkey in an oven lower than 325°F to avoid potential food safety. Please check your packaging for correct cooking times and temperatures.

If you want to try something different than cooking your turkey in the oven, try a deep fryer. With the Warning Pro Digital Rotisserie Turkey Fryer you can cook a turkey indoors and retails for $199. The Masterbuilt Butterball Professional Indoor Electric Flyer has a stainless-steel and porcelain coated inner pit that keeps oil safely contained, but it also uses 33% less oil than conventional fryers and can cook turkeys as large as 14 pounds safely and efficiently. Retails for $120. Remember temperatures of the oil in a deep fryer range between 280°F and 400°F so take these precautions when deep-frying a turkey inside to keep everyone safe.

Follow all manufactures guidelines. Only use fryers indoors that are specified they can be used indoors. Make sure the turkey is thawed and completely dry before cooking. Place the fryer on a level surface and avoid moving it once it’s in use. Never leave fryers unattended. Skip the stuffing or adding anything else to the fryer when frying a turkey. Keep children and animals away from the deep fryer.

If you are the master of carving and are looking for something new this year to make your job easier, try an electric carving knife. The Cusinart Electric Knife comes with two stainless steel blades to tackle any task and retails for $50. For a high-end choice try the Rapala Rechargeable cordless Electric Fillet Knife that features a quiet long-lasting motor and advanced air flow handle to reduce heat build-up. Comes with a 6 inch and a 7 ½ inch reciprocating style blades and a carrying case. Retails for $120.

If your refrigerator is full of food and there’s no room for the wine to chill for the big dinner, try a wine cooler. The Kalorik Dual-Zone Wine Cooler fits two bottles and has wireless wine-temperature sensors that keeps your wine chilled. Press the button that matches the wine type and lets the cooler pick the perfect temperature for your white, red, and bubbly. Retails for $127.99. If you have the space, try the Insignia 16-bottle wine cooler that includes an adjustable analog thermostat and a tote bag so you can take it on the go. Retails for $109.99 at Best Buy.

Once your wine is cooled try an electric corkscrew to uncork your wine for the feast. The Electric Rabbit Corkscrew by Rabbit Wine has an LCD screen that displays the number of cork pulls left in the charger, a recessed spiral that lets you lock it on the bottle for easier operation and pulls the cork straight out, and comes in three different colors. Retails for $50. Honey-Can-Do makes a version that is also battery operated and with just a push of a button, it pulls and releases the cork. Retails for $17.

The turkey might be the star but everyone leaves just enough room for desert. For something new, try the Personal Pie Maker from Breville, it’s similar to a waffle iron. It can make four 4 inch individual-sized pies at the same time and even has a crimper seal that ensures pie edges are completely sealed.  Most pies take just eight minutes to cook. Be the talk of the day with these incredible pies. Found on eBay for $30. Happy Thanksgiving Canyon Lake.