7 kitchen gadgets to streamline your Christmas dinner
may arguably be is definitely the best meal of the year. It’s not exactly a relaxing one to cook, though. There’s a million and one things to roast, bake, boil, flambé, blend and baste. And after all that work the veggies are usually soggy, the turkey is blackened and cooking times previously written in stone are thrown out under the crippling weight of pressure.
But Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be the ultimate test of the human endurance. There is a better way with our pick of the must have gadgets to streamline your Christmas dinner. Trust us, you deserve better.
Instant Pot Pro Plus at Amazon
Lenovo Smart Clock 2 at Currys
Thermapen Classic at Amazon
Stirr at Amazon
Japanese Mandoline at Sous Chef
Kenwood Autograph collection
Coolskin 375 GTX at Amazon
Best for multitasking: Instant Pot Pro Plus: £170
The Instant Pot Pro Plus is a 10-in-one jack of all trades, master of most of them. It’s a pressure cooker, steamer, rice maker, yogurt maker, warmer, sauté-er and probably a few more things we’re yet to discover. The Instant Pot Pro Plus is wirelessly controlled through the Instant Brands Connect app. Open the app, select from one of over 800 recipes and the app will program the pot to cook whatever you want to perfection – all hands free. Yes, that includes crispy roast potatoes and slow cooked meats, ideal for out of sight out of mind cooking.
Best for timings: Lenovo Smart Clock 2: £26
For the Christmas day chef who simply can’t get their timings right, the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 with Google Assistant is the gadget for you. Multiple reminders and alarms can be set using your voice, a 4in LED display is easy to read, and it also doubles as a nightlight and charging unit. As a bonus, three front-firing 3W speakers lets you listen to music while you cook and blissfully ignore the family members arguing in the living room.
Best for temperatures: Thermapen Classic: £48
There are a number of smart thermometers out there that’ll give you a perfectly cooked Christmas roast (or BBQ in the summer). The MEATER is a wireless smart meat thermometer that tells you when your food is cooked to perfection via an app. But, at £99, the MEATER is far too pricey for what is a relatively simple task. Not all things need to be ‘smart’, either. For something a little more humble, the Thermapen Classic does everything a thermometer needs to do – that is, to accurately take the temperature – for a much more reasonable £48. The Thermapen Classic is hard wearing, takes the temperature within three seconds to an accuracy of ±0.4 degrees and is water resistant for easy cleaning. What more do you want?
Best for gravy: Stirr: £25
üutensil may sound like it’s a piece of Swedish furniture, but üutensil is a British company who create a whole host of smart and reasonably priced kitchen gadgets. Take the Spudnik for example, a rotating potato masher that should be in the kitchens of everyone who knows that mashed potato IS traditional at a Christmas dinner table. The Stirr is our personal favourite though, a battery powered device that rotates and stirs your sauces and gravies that’s heat resistant up to 120 degrees.
Best for chopping: Japanese Mandoline: £40
Japanese metal doesn’t have to break the bank. This Japanese Mandoline from Sous Chef will slice your veggies and make perfectly thin potatoes for dauphinois for £40. The mandoline from Sous Chef comes with three blade types for all manner of veggie slicing. A fine tooth blade is meant for fruits and salad chopping. The medium tooth is great for shredding carrots and cabbage (and is great for homemade kimchi). A larger blade works well with tougher vegetables, too. Be sure to use a cut resistant glove to safeguard your digits, though.
Best for baking: Kenwood Autograph collection: From £45
If you’re really pushing the boat out this Christmas by making your own dessert, as opposed to panic buying a soggy cheesecake on Christmas Eve, then the Kenwood Autograph collection will be your best friend this holiday season.
The three piece range includes a stand mixer, multi-purpose food processor and electric hand whisk, and lands in moody matte black and stainless steel. The £45 Autograph Collection QuickMix+ promises 650w of egg-beating power, while the MultiPro XL Weigh+ food processor (£200) combines in-bowl weighing and food blitzing. The Titanium Chef Baker mixer (£600) has 3.5-litre and 5-litre nesting bowls and four stainless steel baking tools. Everything is dishwasher safe, too, making for headache free post-dinner cleaning.
Best for avoiding burns: Coolskin 375 GTX: £27
Everyone has at least one war story from Christmas dinner, with the literal scars to prove it. When there’s pandemonium in the kitchen it’s easy to burn yourself on a discarded baking tray or hot pan, so we suggest investing in a pair of industrial grade Coolskin 375 GTX oven gloves. The Coolskin 375 GTX gloves are made from flame-resistant aramid fibres that can withstand temperatures up to 250 degrees. Added wrist protection provides some extra safety, although the gloves aren’t resistant against steam or hot liquid spillage. They’re not exactly aesthetically pleasing either, looking more suited to a building site than a kitchen, but the Coolskin 375 GTX offers high-grade roast dinner protection at a reasonable price.