Lots of food, a lot of drinks, and being with friends and family. The holidays really are the best time of the year.
Many people find it scary to think about having to cook Christmas dinner, especially if it’s their first time. We’ve put together these tips to help:
This is the first and most important tip on our list. Make sure you have everything you need in the days leading up to Christmas. This includes the obvious things like a turkey, potatoes, and pigs in blankets, as well as making sure you have enough oil to cook with and sufficient salt and pepper to season with. We suggest getting all of your food and drink shopping done by December 22. That way, you won’t have to run around your local grocery store with a cart full of stuff at the last minute. You can even start ordering things like your Citizen Spritz now and storing them in a Christmas cupboard.
On Christmas Eve, Brine Your Turkey
Since turkey is lean meat, it can dry out quickly. Ian suggests brining your turkey for about 12 hours before cooking it in the oven. During this process, the meat will soak up more water, which helps it stay juicy and moist. The brining liquor will also help to season the meat. To do this, you’ll need a big pot or bucket, 10% salt water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a lot of spices.
Make Sure You Have the Right Tools
Make sure you have a lot of baking sheets, pots and pans, and dishes to serve food on. Oh, and don’t forget a new roll of extra-long tin foil, which is very useful for keeping things warm before dinner is served. Also, make sure your knives are nice and sharp. This will make cooking faster and easier.
Prepare Your Veg the Night Before
Peel the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and any other vegetables you’ll be eating and put them in pans of cold water overnight. This will keep you from having to do a lot of extra work and clean up on Christmas morning. If you have a lot of room in your fridge, which is unlikely, you could even cook your potatoes and parsnips ahead of time on Christmas Eve to save even more time.
Plan the Timings For the Big Day
Plan how long everything will take to cook and make a list of things to do, eg: The turkey goes in the oven at 7:30 a.m., I check on it at 8:30 a.m. and turn down the heat, etc.
Get Everyone Involved
Christmas is all about getting together with family and friends and having a good time. So, why not have everyone help make Christmas dinner? Just remember the old saying, “Too many cooks…”
Buy a Premade Christmas Pudding
By doing this, you’ll save more than an hour because it should only take 5–10 minutes to cook your pudding this way. Giving you some much-needed time to host or focus on the other five things you’ll probably be cooking.
Wash Up As You Go
If you cook a roast dinner like we do, using every pot, pan, and tool you can find, clean as you go (where possible). Even if this just means loading the dishwasher before you cut up the turkey, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the after-dinner fun with your family instead of being tied to the sink for an hour.