We want you to have the most stress-free Christmas possible. And part of that is being organised and prepared for all the cooking you might be doing.
There truly is something wonderful about having loved ones over for delicious food and fun. We love to spend time making delicious meals all over the festive break.
To work through the cooking and baking with relative ease, we do a little audit of the kitchen and make sure we have all the kitchen equipment we need. This means we are always prepared and ready to concentrate on cooking and no digging around the back of the cupboards for misplaced pots, pans, and basters!
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash
Quick links to information in this post
27 Kitchen Equipment Essentials For a Stress-Free Christmas
THE BIG BITS
1. ROASTING TRAYS
Plan how many roasting trays you’ll need for the Christmas meal. It’s important to check that you’ve got a tray big enough for your turkey (and that both your tray and the turkey will fit in your oven). Some people like to get those large disposable foil trays specifically for the turkey but make sure it’s secure enough to move in and out of the oven.
Ideally, you want a roasting tray for:
the meat / fish / nut roast
pigs in blankets
any dessert or pudding to be baked after dinner.
That is at least 6 oven trays needed. Depending on the type of food you have the option of metal oven dishes such as hard-wearing carbon steel, glass such as pyrex, enamelware baking trays or enamel stoneware.
2. CHOPPING BOARD
A must-have to avoid ruining your work surfaces and safely chopping and preparing your food. Use different coloured boards for meat, fish and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination. Nobody wants food poisoning over the holidays!
A useful tip is to secure your chopping board by placing a damp cloth or tea towel underneath, this will keep it in place for safe chopping.
We like the Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Boards for space-saving storage and colour coded boards. These plastic Flexible Chopping Boards are also colour coded and can be curled or bent to pour food into pans or bowls with minimal spillage.
Bamboo is naturally non-porous and resistant to bacteria making this large Bamboo Chopping Board a great choice for all-round chopping and carving. For a sturdier option this Bamboo Chopping Board with a lip sits comfortably on the worktop.
And for more of a wow factor choose a chunky wooden board like this Acacia End Grain Chopping Board.
Probably more important for baking than anything else, a good set of scales is a must-have in the kitchen. You need reliability when it comes to scales so pick the best you can afford. And enjoy trying out lots of new recipes.
The affordable and accurate option is this set of digital scales or try these scales with a bowl included. Or try this compact option with foldaway scales.
4. MIXING BOWLS
You are likely to need a few different mixing bowl options this season. From preparing baked recipes such as cakes to preparing marinades for meat.
Keep it simple with a set of 5 stainless steel bowls. Or go for non-slip silicone bottom mixing bowls with lids. Or choose the classic earthenware mixing bowl.
A blender is a super useful tool to have in the kitchen. Use it to whizz up some sauces to smooth, blitz the leftovers into a soup, make smoothies for breakfast, or make some yummy new desserts.
A great budget option is this standard jug blender. For multi-use options try the Magic Blender. For more options try the 10-speed tabletop blender. And for total ease get a stick blender.
6. FOOD PROCESSOR
A decent food processor will chop, shred, dice, slice, blend, emulsify, and purée. Some might also do kneading and whisking. Food processors come with an assortment of attachments and blades.
For the top-end option try the large Magimix food processor. With a jug blender and mini chopper combined with food processor try the Kenwood version. And for a budget option try the Ninja food processor.
7. SELECTION OF KNIVES
Good quality knives are a kitchen essential. At Christmas time you will find that you need a range of knives for preparing different dishes for all that entertaining.
Types of knives you will need:
Fish boning knife
And of course, you will need a knife sharpener such as this one.
Each knife can be bought individually if you have any gaps in your kitchen equipment repertoire or you can buy as a knife set, such as this wooden-handled set or this colourful 16-piece set or this affordable 7-piece knife set.
8. MEAT THERMOMETER
To make sure your meat is cooked to the right temperature you want to use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the joint. With a turkey you insert the meat thermometer in the thick thigh and look for an internal temperature of 70C.
9. SPEED PEELER
Christmas dinner tends to be the one big meal when we doing LOTS of peeling of potatoes and vegetables. To help with making peeling vegetables easier opt for a couple of speed peelers and get a volunteer to join you!
10. FINE GRATER
A fine grater (also known as a microplane) is a precision blade that creates a superfine grate. With hard ingredients, it creates a more power-like result, with softer ingredients it produces almost a puree. Use the fine grater for spices, citrus zest, ginger, garlic, cloves, chocolate, cheese, or nuts.
11. GARLIC PRESS
Crushed garlic features in so many delicious dishes over the Christmas break, so a garlic press is ideal for quickly crushing garlic.
Kitchen scissors are surprisingly versatile and useful in the kitchen. Scissors have all sorts of uses from cutting food packaging to quickly chopping ingredients to size.
You will need a colander for draining vegetables for the Christmas dinner. Or rinsing vegetables before preparing. If you have space have a couple of colanders to hand.
Sieves are useful for straining such as making a smooth gravy. They are good for draining rice. And sieves are useful making sure your flour is light and airy when baking. Or lightly dusting icing sugar over finished baked goods.
15. MEASURING JUG
A good quality measuring jug is useful for measuring liquids such as stock and gravy over the festive season. Measuring jugs are also useful for wet ingredients in baking such as milk, cream, or oil.
A good set of tongs could be the most handy utensil of them all – great for lifting the bird out of the roasting tin and transferring to a platter to rest, allowing all the juices to run out of the cavity into the veg trivet. They’ll also come in useful for turning roasties during cooking and serving carved turkey.
17. PASTRY BRUSH
A pastry brush is useful for doing an egg wash over pastry dishes or sugar glaze over baked recipes. You can use a pastry brush to add a glaze to meat or vegetables. Or even use a pastry brush to grease a pan.
18. WOODEN SPOON
The wooden spoon is a classic kitchen essential. They don’t heat too quickly, they don’t scratch pots, and they don’t react with acidic food. Use a wooden spoon for stirring gravy and sauces as well as soups, batters, stir-fries, and more.
A ladle is ideal for scooping up gravy, soup, stews, curry, porridge and more. Reduce potential kitchen mess with a ladle or two in the kitchen.
20. SERVING SPOON
You will need a few serving spoons to help dish up the Christmas dinner. If you are having a buffet-style meal or any kind of help-yourself offering you want a serving spoon for each dish. Serving spoons tend to be bigger than a standard spoon and allows guests to dish out a full portion.
21. TEA TOWELS
You will use more tea towels than you imagine at Christmas time. So now is a good time to get enough tea towels for uses such as drying up dishes, handling hot dishes, and covering the turkey to keep warm.
22. KITCHEN STRING
Kitchen string (also known as baker’s twine) is food-safe cotton string designed for use in trussing or tying meat joints. Kitchen string is also used for making sausages, bundling herbs, and wrapping around cheesecloth bundles of mulled wine spices.
Remember, synthetic twine is not oven-safe. Make sure you buy food-grade cotton string.
23. KITCHEN PAPER
Another kitchen essential often overlooked or even forgotten about on the big Christmas shop, is kitchen paper (also known as kitchen paper towels). Kitchen paper is useful for mopping up any spillages or draining any fatter meats like fried bacon, or even just a quick clean around the kitchen.
24. CLING FILM
Cling film is super useful for quickly cover over food such as leftovers to keep in the fridge. Or use to chill food prepped the night before. Cling film is useful for all kinds of recipe preparations.
25. STRONG TIN FOIL
You will want to use a strong foil for covering your meat or turkey to keep warm and juicy. Tin foil is also useful for lining baking trays, for protecting pie crust.
26. BAKING PAPER
Use baking paper to line tins and trays to stop food sticking such as cakes and granolas.
27. GREASEPROOF PAPER
Greaseproof paper is a heat resistant non-stick paper to bake on. Line pastry cases or baking tins with greaseproof paper. Or use it to separate food such as sandwiches, meats, or cheeses.
Kitchen Equipment Essentials Checklist
FREE DOWNLOAD: Kitchen Equipment Checklist
If you would like your own Christmas essential kitchen equipment checklist you can download and print this version at home. We have made an easy to print PDF version of this checklist free for you to use. To make it accessible we have created it in both an A4 and US Letter size to suit most printers around the world.
HOW TO DOWNLOAD
To get your copy of the checklist simply fill in the form below and you’ll get access to the free resource library where you will also be able to view and download any of the other free resources we have created just for our readers.