6 kitchen tools to make mealtime a breeze, according to a chef

These picks can make holiday meals so much easier.

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As the holiday season draws closer, many of us are looking forward to spending time with family, whether it be in our own homes or virtually over video calls. Regardless of whether you'll be celebrating this year, one thing is for sure: you'll be cooking up meals to celebrate the occasion.

While cooking can sometimes be a tedious task, chef and star of "Breakfast with Besser" Elena Besser joined the 3rd Hour of TODAY to share some kitchen tools and gadgets that can make meal prep easier, no matter if you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner or brunch for the family on the weekend.

From serving stands to kitchen thermometers, read on for Besser's list of hot kitchen items every home chef should have on their counters right now.

1. Two Tumbleweeds Magnetic Meal Planning Pad

Whether you'll be meal-planning for the holidays or like to plan out the week's worth of meals ahead of time with the family on Sundays, this meal planning pad makes it easy to put all of the essentials in one place. Even if you decide to have leftovers one day but want to make a meal from scratch the next, Besser says the pad makes it easy to see what ingredients you already have, or what is ready to be prepped.

2. GIR Mini Spatula

Mini kitchen utensils aren't just supposed to be "cute" — they're functional! Besser says this mini spatula is perfect for scraping the last bits of peanut butter from a jar, whipping up scrambled eggs and more. Since it's made out of silicone, it's kid-friendly and heat-resistant too.

3. OXO Good Grips Scraper and Chopper

This multi-purpose tool was once primarily used for baking, but Besser says it's now used to chop vegetables, clean up the kitchen space and more. If you don't own one already, you'll likely want to get one in your cart now.

4. Instant Read Thermometers

Nothing is worse than dry turkey on Thanksgiving, and a meat thermometer can make all the difference in the outcome of the main course. Even if you're not cooking up turkey for the holiday, you can still use a meat thermometer to cook other proteins to perfection.

ThermoPop by ThermoWorks

This thermometer from ThermoPop uses a rotating display and simply buttons to make readings easy to maneuver. It can read temperatures of up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit with a battery life of up to 5,000 hours.

OXO Digital Instant Read Thermometer

OXO's digital thermometers uses an easy-to-read digital display and can display temperatures up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit.

Taylor Digital Pocket Thermometer

This affordable thermometer from Taylor is perfect for grilling, baking and cooking. The simple display can show temperatures up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit and can clip onto aprons or side pockets with a breeze.

5. Yamazaki Home Tosca 3-Tier Food Serving Stand

Serving pieces don't have to be a once-a-year ordeal! This three-tier server is dainty enough to bust out on holidays but simple enough to use during weekend brunches at home, Besser says. It can easily be collapsed and stored in a small box once for kitchens that are tight on space.

6. Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bags

Kiss plastic sandwich bags goodbye with these reusable silicone storage bags. They're microwave-safe and kid-friendly, so they're easy to throw in a lunchbox or use at home. Whether you need to store sauces, leftovers or snacks, these bags will keep them sealed and can also be thrown in the dishwasher when you're done.

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