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Tips to get your Christmas cooking off to a cracking start

Illustration of turkey escaping from the dinner table

Christmas Day is supposed to be fun and full of laughs. But when you have an overwhelming selection of food to cook, all at different times, it can turn into a headache. But the right gadgets can be a great help…

It might seem obvious to some, but before I arrived at Which? I didn’t realise you could cook a whole roast dinner in a combination microwave, and in 60 minutes – we even have a video to show you how!

I’m not suggesting we should all cook our entire Christmas dinners in a microwave. But it just goes to show that cooking can be made a lot simpler and quicker with some handy gadgets. So we’ve been asking you guys on Twitter and Facebook for some of your top cooking tips.

First and foremost, I would follow @42monty42’s advice:

That way you’ll know before the day what needs to go where and when, and before Christmas Day, what prep can be done and got out of the way.

Food gadgets for Christmas

Speaking of prep work and the mountains of veg, a food processor, mini chopper or hand blender could really cut your preparation time in half. From slicing red cabbage and dicing carrots to blending your lumpy gravy and whipping your brandy cream, a good food processor can tackle dozens of tasks.

Jane Stubbings told us on Facebook that she uses her food processor ‘for making chicken liver pate – it makes it nice and smooth.’

When it comes to cooking the vegetables, a steamer is useful for cooking lots of different vegetables at once – you can get ones with three tiers – saving space on the hob.

Going the extra mile

It’s not just the gadgets for the big day, but those that will help make Christmas a memorable time for guest staying too. Terry Farrell says he uses his milk frother for cappuccinos, and blender for soups – that certainly sounds warm and inviting.

A breadmaker can be a great way to cook fresh homemade bread for your guests, especially if you make a loaf with leftover Christmas foods, like cranberries. Talking of leftovers, a slow cooker is ideal for not letting the less tender scraps of meat or spare veg you didn’t use go to waste – mmm, tasty Boxing Day casserole.

And there are also the smaller things, like muffin tins. @kpcuk told us on Twitter:

Let’s not forget handy foil – @stuart_hands uses Phil Vickery’s method of ‘sealing a Turkey in foil and cooking it in 2 hours – fab succulent result’ and @jgff24 says: ‘buy foil trays, that way it saves on the washing up…’

So those are just some of the tips you’ve shared us – but we want to hear more! What Christmas cooking tips do you want to share? Are there any gadgets you take advantage off to take the heat off Christmas cooking?

Comments
Member

The best gadget I have is Mrs R – I write a timeline for her for all the different foods to be put on to cook for the Christmas Dinner and lo! It all comes together. Doesn’t always match the time the guests are ready though, but that’s Christmas.
The next best gadget is the dishwasher. Of the rest, I suppose it is the food processor/blender for making breadcrumbs (bread sauce is a favourite) and batter for boxing day Yorkshire Puddings.
I don’t mean to be too frivolous, but most of the other gadgets get very little use (unless you regard the microwave as a gadget).