Cooking Christmas dinner is no mean feat. The frenzy of activity that starts with the chopping and doesn’t end until the carving requires culinary prowess of superhuman proportions.
But you can do it. We believe in you. And just in case you’re worried we’ve got some top appliance tips here to save you time and stress.
1. Got Enough Shelves In Your Oven?
Don’t underestimate the amount of food you’ve got to fit in your oven. As well as your turkey centrepiece there’ll be stuffing, roast potatoes, veggies and the all-important pigs in blankets.
It’s well worth checking in advance that you: A. Have enough roasting trays and B. Have enough shelves to fit everything in. If not, there’s still time to get both trays and additional oven shelves in time for Christmas.
2. Don’t Forget About Your Microwave
If you’re having a Christmas disaster and you’ve messed up timings by forgetting to cook something, your microwave can save you!
Quick fixes are the microwave’s specialty. It can soften your potatoes and vegetables so they boil more quickly, defrost a dish you forgot to take out of the freezer and even melt butter or chocolate. (Seriously, melting chocolate in the microwave is so much easier than using a bain marie.)
3. Invest in Handy Wine and Champagne Storage
Christmas is a boozy affair for many! If you’re planning on getting bubbly or Pinot Grigio for the Christmas meal, fridge storage can be tricky. You don’t want the bottles rolling over and crushing your Christmas pavlova!
Easy solution – get a fridge bottle rack! Then you can keep your bottles secure and maximise fridge space in the bargain. (Fridge space at Christmas = very important.)
4. Use Your Slow Cooker
Christmas Eve is a flurry of preparations. With all the Christmas fare being prepped it’s hard to find time to cook a hot meal in the evening. Your slow cooker to the rescue!
We’re not suggesting slow cooking your turkey, but if you prepare dinner at breakfast time on Christmas Eve you can have a nice home-cooked meal in the evening and get the washing up done in advance, leaving lovely clear work surfaces.
5. Easy Homemade Christmas Pudding
The easiest way to enjoy Christmas pudding? Buy one! There is an abundance of them in the shops. But if you’re old school and prefer a homemade pud we love this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Nan for its simplicity.
You just pop all the ingredients together in one bowl and mix them up. You can even use an electric mixer if you want to save your arms from aching!
6. Make Ahead and Freeze
For the organised amongst you, quite a few elements of your Christmas dinner can be made in advance and frozen. Your family won’t be able to taste the difference!
Gravy freezes well and you can add fresh meat juices to it from your bird before serving. Stuffing and Yorkshire puds can also be prepared in advance; they’ll just need defrosting and heating. Fewer jobs on Christmas Day? Sounds like a plan to us!
7. Impress Guests with a Coffee Maker
There’s no better time than Christmas to push the boat out! Trade your usual instant coffee for a latte or a cappuccino.
How? You can either get yourself a coffee machine or if you want to keep things economical, a milk frother. Both are ideal for impressing your guests when the time comes for after-dinner coffee. Even better, you can enjoy the benefits yourself all year round. Don’t forget the after-dinner mints!
8. Cook Dinner Using Filtered Water
Speaking of after-dinner coffee, we recommend using filtered water for the best tasting cup. Filtered water has far fewer impurities, so the food and drinks you make with it taste better.
If you don’t have one of those fancy fridges with a built-in water filter, try using a filter jug instead. Boiled veg is improved with filtered water too – anything to make the dreaded sprouts taste better, right?
Cooking Christmas dinner doesn’t have to cause quarrels or chaos. Get prepared and let your appliances help take the hard work off your hands!