Eat, drink and be merry…
As Turkey Day fast approaches, it’s time to start plotting your Christmas menu. Yum! Whether it will be traditional turkey with all the trimmings or your own much-loved family traditions, the cooking set-up in your kitchen can make the difference between a fun, festive experience and a seasonal slog. While we’re not suggesting any kitchen design is planned around this one (magical) day of the year, Christmas is a great time to consider what your dream cooking scenario would look like, especially if a fabulous new bespoke kitchen is on the cards for 2024. Let our expert designers explain how to equip your cooking area for a future of stress-free festive entertaining, leaving you more time to taste-test the eggnog!
The secret to relaxed hosting, with no panicked pan-slamming in sight, can be as simple as selecting a well-appointed cooktop. ‘For stress-free entertaining, you need a hob that delivers speed and space,’ says Roundhouse designer, Sam Hart. ‘Induction is fast, energy efficient and offers precision control, as well as convenient functions like timers, power boost and pause.’ A modular cooktop, like those by Bora and Gaggenau, allows you to configure your experience according to the type of cooking and catering you do. Adding teppanyaki, griddle plates and BBQ grills alongside induction and gas burners can bring new levels of creativity to your festive entertaining.
Not so long ago, many people genuinely chose their cooker based on the size of turkey they wanted to cook at Christmas (or Thanksgiving). Fortunately, modern improvements in insulation and construction means that a high-quality single oven can easily accommodate a 10kg bird, which should be sufficient to feed 18-20 guests. Both Miele and Gagganau’s single ovens have a generous 76 litre oven capacity – the standard is around 60 litres – yet still fit within a 60cm-wide oven housing. For hosting larger Christmas parties, a range cooker could be the answer. Wolf’s range cookers can easily roast a 12kg turkey in the main oven, with ample space for potatoes and trimmings in the second.
Roast turkey can be notoriously dry, but the latest cooking tech can help you serve up wonderfully succulent meat with golden crispy skin. A combi-steam oven, set to deliver around 30% steam while roasting, is perfect for smaller turkeys and crowns. Some full-size ovens also feature steam injection, for example Miele’s Moisture Plus, which adds smaller bursts of steam during cooking. ‘Choose an oven with an integral meat probe to take the guesswork out of timings and easily identify that 65°c sweet spot for a perfectly cooked turkey, every time,’ adds Roundhouse designer, Oli Moss.
Best served hot
One of the toughest challenges when cooking for crowds is ensuring that everything is hot and ready to serve at the same time, including toasty warm plates. A warming oven is your hero piece here; opt for two to eliminate the risk of serving up cold turkey. Go for deep drawers if possible – 29cm high warming drawers, rather than the standard 14cm will fit a lot more inside. ‘Look for warming drawers with a good temperature range and automatic timers. They can be used for low temperature cooking, like dough proofing, slow cooking and melting chocolate, as well as keeping everything deliciously warm while your guests get settled in,’ recommends Sam Hart.
How do I prepare my kitchen for Christmas?
Cooking, eating and sharing good food with friends and family is what makes Christmas truly special, and an inviting, luxury kitchen is the natural hub of festive activities. Preparing your kitchen for the holidays will ensure things run smoothly on the Big Day and make it easier to clear up when the final guests leave. Start with a good de-clutter of kitchen cupboards, work surfaces and kitchen display shelves, and empty the fridge and freezer of any foods past their best. Get your kitchen pantry cupboard stocked up for Christmas well in advance, and don’t forget the home bar, which should be loaded with plenty of options to keep guests refreshed. Once everything is clean and organised, get decorating! Scented candles, festive foliage and twinkling lights can all set the mood for celebrating, creating a warm and welcoming space to spend time in this Christmas.
Our expert kitchen designers can help you make the best choices for your Roundhouse bespoke kitchen, furniture or wardrobes. Visit any of our seven Roundhouse showrooms; Wigmore St, Clapham, Fulham, Richmond, Cambridge, Guildford & Cheltenham and get planning!