Christmas is getting closer, and that can only mean two things: plenty of food, and plenty of fun.
And if you fancy yourself as a bit of a Nigella in the kitchen, the idea of being able to try out lots of new recipes during the festive season is an enticing one, especially if you’ve got guests coming round to act as guinea pigs.
But every chef needs the right tools, so before you start flambéing, sautéing and generally cooking up a storm, have a look at our top five kitchen gadgets to help your Christmas menu go with a bang…
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Easy vegetable dicer
We all know we should get our five fruit and veg a day, especially with all the seasonal treats floating around at Christmas, but the prep that goes with eating vegetables can be frustrating at the end of a long day.
By using a vegetable dicer, perfectly formed veg is easy to achieve, and you can even use it to slice potatoes into chips, or cut fruit into manageable chunks for young children. As a special bonus, your fingers will forever be spared from a mistimed knife chop!
Microwave egg boiler
Although one of the simplest kitchen tasks, something simple like boiling an egg can feel like a mammoth undertaking on hectic mornings. Heating the water, getting the egg exactly to your liking, and of course the extra washing up can all seem just too much like hard work.
A microwave egg boiler, however, does all the work for you. Pour water from the kettle into the base, add the required number of eggs, and pop in the microwave.
You can even pick how you’d like your eggs cooked.
Looking after your tools is an imperative part of being a good cook, so a ceramic knife sharpener is a necessity for keeping all your knives sharp and ready for action.
Ceramic tends to be harder than steel and longer-lasting, saving you money as you won’t have to replace it as often. Look out for one that is suitable for both straight and serrated knives, to cut down on the gadgets you need.
When you’re rushing around the kitchen preparing lots of dishes, it can be easy to get flustered and grab the nearest pan handle, only to recoil sharply as you realise how hot it is. Burns and blisters are no fun if you’ve got a lot to do, especially if you’re a regular cook and this is a recurring problem.
A pan grabber allows you to quickly and securely pick up hot kitchen items, including pan handles, metal containers and casserole dishes without the need for slippery and cumbersome oven gloves.
If you are throwing a party this Christmas, don’t be afraid to serve hot food along with the usual nibbles. A buffet warmer allows you to keep all your food nice and toasty, meaning you can really get creative in the kitchen without worrying about cold, soggy food. It can also be used in more low-key situations, meaning that if you fancy a cosy DVD night with your other half, you can use the buffet warmer to keep your popcorn fresh whilst you relax. The perfect warm-food accessory.
Christmas parties at home always require the host spend many hours in the kitchen, cooking for their guests. To make the task easier, try some of the time-saving kitchen gadgets available through online catalogues such as Scotts of Stow, who for example, provide everything you could desire for any room in the house.