Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also potentially the most stressful! One of the biggest causes of festive stress has to be the Christmas dinner. So, we would love to share with you our favourite handy hacks to help you cook your best Christmas dinner yet.
10 Hacks to Make this Christmas Dinner Your Best Ever
Get ready to save time, cook smart and glide through the most important meal of the year!
Here are 10 handy hacks to help you reach Christmas dinner perfection.
Organise the Table
You don’t want to be the Christmas equivalent of a Bridezilla but you will really thank yourself for being super organised.
One of the best ways you can do just that is to set your table with name tags, with a note or symbol for any dietary preferences.
That will stop you from making any crucial mistakes when serving up, like covering the veggie nut loaf in turkey gravy!
Take Your Cheese Out of the Fridge
Cheese is best served at room temperature. As cheese and charcuterie boards are arguably as enjoyable as the Christmas dinner itself, make sure you take your cheese out the fridge at least an hour before serving.
This will allow it to come up to room temperature for the very best flavour and texture.
Cook Everything at One Temperature
The main element of any Christmas dinner is the meat, so take the temperature you will be cooking your meat at and make your veg and potatoes work around it.
You will be able to cook all your oven ingredients at the same temperature, but just might have to adjust the timings to make this possible.
Use a Timer
Once you have your oven temperature set and a plan of action for your veggies, be sure to set a timer for every element of your dinner.
There are plenty of great apps which you can use to add separate timers all at once, so that you can avoid that dreaded moment you open the oven to smoke and disappointment!
No matter how organised you are, you’ll thank yourself for using a timer to ensure all your hard work pays off and that everything is perfectly cooked.
Cover Your Turkey in Butter Muslin
You heard me - butter muslin! Soak a muslin cloth in melted butter and drape over your turkey before putting it into the oven.
This will keep it nice and moist whilst cooking. It also means that you don’t have to keep opening the oven door to baste your turkey, which drops the oven temperature and can affect cooking times.
This hack is one of our favourites, which you're sure to use for years to come.
Fill the Sink with Hot Soapy Water
Simple, but effective. Having a sink full of hot, soapy water means that you can toss in any dirty pots and pans that you’re finished with - getting them out of the way and kick-starting your kitchen clean-up.
Then you can either load them straight into a dishwasher or give them a quick clean to be used again when needed.
Get Creative with Your Appliances
Get creative with which appliances you use to cook your, dinner so that you can free up your precious hob and oven space.
Some good ideas include cooking a batch of mulled wine in your slow cooker, warming through your gravy in the microwave and serving soup straight from the soup maker - if you have one.
Foil, foil, foil!
Foil is your best friend at Christmas time. Preheat serving dishes and fill with cooked veggies, potatoes and chipolatas before covering in foil to keep them warm until ready to serve.
You can also use foil to stop your turkey from burning – tearing off sections of foil and covering just the legs if they’re cooking quicker than the breast.
Let your Turkey Rest
Giving your turkey enough time to rest is your secret weapon for juicy, succulent meat every time.
It allows the bird to soak up all the juices from roasting for the very best flavour and texture.
Once cooked, grab your trusty foil and cover your turkey tightly to keep it warm. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for around 1 hour 30 minutes for a 4-6kg bird.
Then in uncover and carve your turkey just before serving – we promise it will still be hot!
Heat Your Brandy Before Setting Alight
It can be underwhelming to say the least when you make a show of lighting your Christmas pud only to have it snuffed out!
The key to making sure your showpiece is as impressive as possible is to heat up your booze just before lighting, then fill a ladle and light it in the ladle – before pouring over your pud for a fantastic flame. Works every time!
Once you’ve mastered these handy hacks you’ll be able to give yourself a pat on the back for your best Christmas Dinner yet. With a perfect Christmas dinner and satisfied guests, the only trouble is knowing who’ll be cooking again next year – you!