Christmas Tips and Tricks for Cooking This Holiday

Words: Jess Spiro

Cooking the grand festive meal can be stressful, and with family, everyone has their two cents worth on how you should be cooking things. Don’t listen to them, listen to us, your trusted friends in food. We run through 5 simple Christmas tips and tricks for to ensure that every dish turns out perfectly.

5 Easy Christmas Tips and Tricks From the Experts

Juicy Turkey

Avoid a dried out turkey by shoving a lot of butter (and we mean a lot – nearly 250 g) under the skin of the bird. Also bard it, by placing strips of fatty bacon over the crown to ensure extra juiciness. Christmas Tips and Tricks

Crunchy Crackling

Make sure that your pork crackling is glasslike and really crispy by scoring the fat (but don’t cut all the way through to the meat!), then rub the fat all over with salt and leave to air dry for a couple of hours in the fridge. Protect the meat by wrapping it (not the fat) in foil or cling film while it’s in the fridge.

Christmas Tips and Tricks
Christmas Tips and Tricks

Great Gravy

Making gravy is much easier if you use a roasting pan that is stove-proof. Roughly slice some onions and place in the roasting tray below the turkey. Once your bird is done, you’ll be left with soft onions and loads of pan juices. Simply pop the roasting tray onto the stove and make your gravy right in there, then strain out the onions and bits.


Use your oven wisely, put dishes together in the oven that can cook at the same temperature. For example, your turkey can roast on one rack and your potatoes or other roots can cook below it. Plan your menu according the amount of oven, stove and fridge space that you have. Don’t just think in terms of a full-on roast that only uses your oven. Get your braai, steamer and fridges involved in preparing the meal.

Roast that Roast Right

If you’re serious about crafting the juiciest roast, these two tricks are for you. First thing, don’t use a roasting pan, treat your oven as a braai and place your meat right onto one of your oven’s grill racks. If this sounds weird, bear with us, roasting meat without the interference of a pan allows for the heat to be distributed evenly. Simply place a sheet of tin foil on the oven rack underneath the rack on which you’ve placed your meat, place a roasting tray over that – this will catch all your drippings and make for an excellent gravy base – oil up your meat and place it straight on the rack. If you’re worried about cleaning the rack afterwards, just use an onion, it’ll wipe everything away in no time. Secondly, once your meat is done and it’s resting, flip it upside down. This will allow all the juices to flow back into the meat.

Need an amazing turkey recipe? Try this one, filled with bacon and apple stuffing!

Christmas Tips and Tricks

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