Previously published in 2020. Republished with updated content 2022.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Table of contents
- Essential Christmas Kitchen Tools
- Is your oven Big Enough?
- Other Christmas Kitchen Tools
- All my Christmas Secrets
Essential Christmas Kitchen Tools
Today, we shall be looking at what’s in our kitchen, what we need and how to ensure everything’s at hand, for a stress free Christmas.
Now I’m not asking you to go out and buy anything. You’ve probably got everything you need, unless you are feeding a crowd for the first time. Of have just moved in together.
Secret #2 for a stress free Christmas is all about staying on top of your kitchen tools. We’re going to go through all the things you need or may need and make sure they are all ready for the big day.
Is your oven Big Enough?
Many newbie cooks don’t even think about this one, understandably. I mean, an oven is an oven, you would think, right?
Is your oven big enough for your roast?
One of the most important things to think about is the size of your turkey to your oven. Or, veggie roast or fish roast as above.
It’s all well and good getting a large turkey (or salmon) to feed 16 people. But if your oven isn’t big enough … 😱.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, cut off the turkey legs and wings, and hopefully, that would solve the problem.
Will your big roasting tins fit your Oven?
Let’s face it, cooking on a grand scale is not something many of us do regularly. Sunday roasts are on a smaller scale and you don’t really need big tins for those.
So we don’t bring out the big guns until it’s actually necessary.
Big bird = big tray = big foil = big serving dish.
At our last place, we had an old, small, geriatric oven. Having moved into the house in early December, I’d had no occasion to do any huge meals in the oven.
Two weeks before Christmas, I realised that none of my roasting pans would fit. I ended up buying a whole new set. Then I replaced the stove with a bigger one before Easter, which left me with a spare set of small tins!🤦♀️
What else needs to go in your oven?
Think shelf space, that’s one of the essential Christmas kitchen tools too, so to speak.
Think of what you’re cooking (roast, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, etc). Besides the roast of whatever persuasion, what else needs to go in the oven?
Do you have enough shelf space? If not, those carrots can go on the hob, can’t they? But better to know this and change the recipe before the big day.
Other Christmas Kitchen Tools
Roasting Pans, Baking Trays
So besides the roast, you’re going to need roasting tins or oven proof dishes for whatever sides you are planning to make. As mentioned above, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, etc.
You just have to ensure that you have enough of them for everything you’re going to cook.
If you can, cook in oven-to-table dishes. You save on time and washing up. We’ll address this later.
One of my favourite Christmas kitchen tools is those ceramic and glass roasting dishes that don’t cost much at all. Like this pyrex dish over at Amazon. I have so many of these in different sizes, just so I can cook, and take straight to the table.
Saucepans, Frying Pans and Griddles
Now I assume that not everything is going in the oven. You may be cooking your carrots and sprouts on the stove. So you’ll need enough pots and pans to cover all these things.
Par boiling your potatoes, right? That’s another saucepan, but, let’s do that the day before – Secret #3.
We’ll need a saucepan to finish off the gravy too, which we’ll be making the day before (or even earlier!).
Serving Dishes, Cutlery and Glasses
Besides dinner plates, you will need:
- Serving plates for your roast, stuffing and sides (this will kind of depend on whether you are using oven-to-table dishes).
- gravy boat or just a regular jug for it, preferably microwaveable, because you know that gravy will need heating up, and while it may not be chef standard, the microwave oven is the easiest!
That is unless you have one of those electric warmer stands for gravy boats. I bought one ages ago, and love it. But when you have 12 at the table, it needs topping up. Or a tea pot warmer like this one.
- And of course, make sure that you have enough cutlery, if having a crowd.
- What’s everyone drinking? Got the right glasses, mugs or cups ready? One of the things I’ve always done is to set out a tray with all that I need for coffee after. So, at the end of the meal, when I’m tired, I just need to make the coffee, no hunting and counting cups required.
Carving knife and fork – you really, really need this, because it makes the job so much easier. Invest in a pricey set if you like, or if that’s not viable, you should be able to get a fairly good one like this Taylors’ from Amazon, or a local store.
Don’t forget the Turkey Foil
I’ve done this a couple of times over the years. It’s not quite the end of the world, as you can use 2 pieces of regular-sized foil.
But having the right size makes the job slightly easier. It also means you should have enough for any other roasting jobs, as well as covering jobs.
Don’t forget clingfilm and baking paper – these are must-have kitchen tools all year round.
Scissors and Kitchen String (Butcher’s String)
Depending on what you are roasting, and how prepared it comes, you may need string and scissors. These are not items a kitchen should be without anyway, I think, no?
Since the start of 2019, we’ve all been cooking and baking more. So in the spirit of these times, fancy trying your hand at recipes that are a little more adventurous?
Besides the Three-Fish Roast above, here are 2 more fun and delicious recipes that require assembling and a little dexterity. And kitchen string!
Kitchen Paper, Tea Towels and Wipes
This is whatever you use to wipe down your counters, wipe up spills and so on. Get extra and get it way before the big day.
Start shopping for essentials 2-3 weeks before hand. First week December is a great time to get essentials like these.
Make a list of what you need, tick the items off as you get them, and add to it as you think of more. Because you will.
Miscellaneous Christmas Kitchen Tools
So there are other bits and pieces that you will need or may find handy for making the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Or any big entertaining.
- Chopper and Blender
- Pestle and Mortar
- Tabletop Mixer or Handheld Beaters and Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Spoons
- Weighing Scales
- Various Knives
- Meat Thermometer
- Nut Cracker
In recent years, when you order a turkey from a specialist supplier here in the UK, you get a free meat thermometer with it. I’ve got a dozen now. Only problem is, I don’t use them!
Whatever tools, dishes, etc you will need on the day, these are the 2 basic rules:
- Make a list of what you need and get your hands on them (rummage through the cupboards and drawers, borrow or buy).
- Have them ready the day before. Place them all somewhere in one corner where they won’t be in the way of your cooking.
There you have it, Secret #2 – Essential Christmas Tools. I hope you find all these tips useful, and if there’s something you do that I haven’t mentioned, let me know with a comment below.
Or got a question? Ask away.
Look out for #3!
Click here to get my Christmas Schedule and print it, so you can check it off as you go.
All my Christmas Secrets
- Stress Free Christmas Secret #1
- Stress Free Christmas Secret #3
- Stress Free Christmas Secret #4
- Stress Free Christmas Secret #5
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