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Contributing to a big Thanksgiving dinner? Here's how to transport your food safely

Round plastic containers with pie and cupcakes; a thermal insulated bag with a baking dish inside
Don't let potholes ruin your potluck — be sure your delectable contributions look every bit as fresh and put-together as you will. (Photos: Amazon)

I love hosting parties and large gatherings, especially during the holidays. But I also enjoy letting someone else play host or hostess, especially if I don't have to be responsible for the roast turkey! Still, I usually like to bring at least a side or two, to ease the burden of friends and family. Plus, more food on the dinner table is always welcome! But transporting the goods can be precarious. Aluminum foil and plastic wrap are pretty flimsy, and most casseroles are quite fragile — they definitely won't survive the usual bumps and curves of the road! Thankfully, there are a number of solutions out there that will make sure they do.

This baking dish has a lid, which prevents spills and allows stacking!
$23 at Amazon

A baking dish with a secure airtight lid is invaluable when you need to carry your baked (or about to be baked) goods from one place to another. I really like this Oxo option, as it has an easy-to-grip handle, a real plus when transferring your grub from fridge to car to oven to table.

One shopper said it helped save her dessert cake: "I have always used an earthenware bake pan and would have continued doing so forever if I had not made plans to bring a complicated dessert cake to my mother's house for dinner. The drawback of my current dish is that there's no lid and I wanted the luxury of being able to stack some items to carry them.... I love this and, honestly, now I find myself exclusively reaching for this pan. It's much lighter for me to handle, which means it's easier for me to wash, and I don't have to ask for help to get things in and out of the oven or to wash it in the sink."

That's right — it's a carrier for you carrier(s)! The smart way to preserve deliciousness on the way to Grandma's and prevent breaking during the trip back home.
$39 at Amazon

I'm in love with this genius bakeware carrier from Oxo! It's lined with foam insulation and aluminum fabric lining so it can keep dishes hot or cold for hours. The lining is also super easy to clean, just in case there are any spills or drips. My favorite feature is that there are zippered pockets on the exterior that will hold utensils, napkins and more. Say goodbye to transport accidents with this clever carrier!

"I love this brand, Oxo is guarantee of high quality products, and this carry Insulated food Carrier is not the exception. It's amazing!" said a five-star review. "Well made, very sturdy, high-quality materials, keeps the food hot around of 2.5 or 3 hours. Perfect for...lasagna, enchiladas, etcetera. Very happy with this product, I love it!"

Who needs a cupcake catastrophe or a pie-asco on Turkey Day? Not you, that's for sure!
$30 at Amazon

Anyone who's ever had to transport baked goods will tell you how dangerous it is — one slip-up can cause that carefully crafted concoction to be splattered or smashed. That's why I like round food storage containers like these ones from Zilpoo, as they're designed to fit (and secure) pie pans and a slew of cupcakes!

One shopper said these are perfect for 9-inch pies, plus they stack! "I bought these for storing 9-inch pies. After years of searching, I found these containers. I like the simple design — not too bulky, stackable, lightweight, clear , airtight. The perfect protection for my pies from all hazards and foreign objects. Defense from smeared filling , broken crusts and picking fingers. I thought they were a little pricey, but they are worth it."

Have a Beach party any time of year. This slow cooker is portable and has a locking lid! That makes it perfect for holiday dos and tailgate parties.
$70 at Amazon

Slow cookers are great not just for soups and stews; you can use them to make stuffing, gravy and sauces too! And if you often bring your slow-cooked culinary creation to a potluck, you should consider investing in this Hamilton Beach number. Not only does it have a temperature probe to ensure perfectly cooked meals, it has a locking lid! That makes it highly portable and transportable.

Plus, it's super easy to use. "I hate electronics (ask my husband), but I can operate this...with ease," said a shopper. "You just press the on button (the red circle on the left) then select the time by pushing the up/down arrows on the right, press enter, select the heat setting, press enter, and you’re done.... Now I can be one of “those” people who takes up the office kitchen because we are having a potluck."

Keep that slow cooker nice and toasty with this insulated bag, which adds sturdy handles to make it even more portable
$20 at Amazon

How 'bout a nice comfy travel case to go along with that slow cooker? It's insulated to keep your food warm, plus there are longer handles so it's super easy to carry. It fits most 4-8 quart slow cookers, and the front opens for loading convenience.

One shopper raved about this cover: "I needed a cover to help insulate and protect when transporting my crock pots to covered dish functions.... I saw this carrier and the dimensions seemed to fit my largest crock pot, plus it has an interior mesh with Velcro strap to hold the lid in place....perfect! The price was right so I gave it a try. Quality is very nice and it does work well with my six-quart with a little room to spare.... The holding strap wraps completely around the case so that is added security in toting a heavy dish. Highly recommend."

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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