The Surprisingly Useful Gadget That’s a Must on My Mom’s Thanksgiving Table

published Nov 1, 2021
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Credit: Brittany Conerly

My mom always made the holidays feel like magic. As a kid, it seemed as though the holiday feasts were effortlessly prepared because all I had to do was sit and eat. After talking to her on the phone recently about past Thanksgivings, she told me about the behind-the-scenes reality of it all, which was: cooking dinner for 25 people with just two working burners, all while juggling school and work. The real kicker was realizing she did this at the same age I am now. Whew.

Amidst the chaos, there’s one under-the-radar item my mom said was an absolute lifesaver and would have on the table every year: an electric gravy boat. Specifically, it was a Crock-Pot Electric Gravy Warmer that had a base of hot water to keep the gravy on top at the perfect temperature. While that exact model is tricky to find now, this Electric Gravy Boat from Salton is a close fit, featuring a retro ceramic design and a warming base you can keep plugged in or remove the cord for serving at the table.

This handy gadget quickly became a Thanksgiving staple for several reasons. For starters, my mom couldn’t figure out how to keep the gravy warm on the stove without burning it — there were a lot of other dishes to tend to! And while you may be thinking that you could use a mini slow cooker to keep it warm, you’d still be missing the spout on a gravy boat that ensures a perfect pour without any mess. Serving it with a ladle would easily result in drops of gravy on the table.

But possibly the most important reason for this practical tool is that keeping your gravy warm throughout the entire meal is essential. Think about it: You go for a second helping of mashed potatoes and turkey, which are now at room temperature. But simply pour a hefty serving of warm gravy on top and voilà! Instantly more delicious.

“It’s just as important as the roasting pan,” my mom told me about her beloved gadget. “What’s Thanksgiving without gravy?”

While it’s been over a decade since we’ve had Thanksgiving in a small dining room stuffed with two dozen people and a makeshift plywood table extension, I’ll always remember those dinners fondly. And thanks to this $20 find, I’ll make sure to observe the one cardinal rule of Thanksgiving when I host my own dinner in the future: Never serve cold gravy!

This post originally appeared on Kitchn. See it here: The Surprisingly Useful Tool That’s a Must on My Mom’s Thanksgiving Table