8 Smart Time-Saving Kitchen Gadgets for a Stress-Free Christmas

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Swapping presents, catching up with friends and family and having time off work all make Christmas a magical time of year – but relaxing it ain't! Among the last-minute gift buying and frantic decorating, the importance placed on Christmas dinner can make it a particularly stressful meal to pull together.

Luckily, we've found eight time-saving kitchen devices to make the cooking and serving process easier, giving you more time to spend on having fun.  

1. Rocking Garlic Crushers



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Garlic adds flavour to stuffing, but chopping it into tiny pieces is a fine art. It also leaves a potent pong on your hands that can linger through Boxing Day and beyond. A garlic rocker solves both of these problems.

Place your cloves on a non-porous surface then rock the crusher over them with downward pressure. This crushes the garlic and pushes the pieces through to the other side, from where you scoop them out with ease using a spoon. Want even less hassle? Get a dishwasher-safe version!

2. Electric Knives



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There's no point slaving away roasting a turkey if you can't carve it into appetising slices for Christmas dinner. Save yourself time and effort and improve the look of your meal by using a Bosch electric food slicer to cut through the meat with ease.

Most electric knives are compact, making them easy to store, and come with multiple blades for different uses. If you want to be able to use it for lots of things, get an electric knife that comes with a freezer blade to cut frozen food and a serrated blade for bread, as well as a meat knife.

3. Electric Vegetable Peelers



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Finally, say a welcome goodbye to cold, achey and sodden hands resulting from peeling vegetables. Electric vegetable peelers make short work of de-skinning your veggies, from swede, carrots and potatoes to apples, lemons and even avocados. Simply pop your item onto the stand and watch as the blade rotates around it, taking off the outer layer in seconds. Imagine how much extra sherry drinking time you'll gain after peeling a family-sized portion of spuds!

4. Cooking Thermometers



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The last Christmas present anyone wants to receive this festive season is food poisoning, so use a cooking thermometer to ensure your turkey is fully cooked.

Cooking thermometers have a probe that stays in the oven and a temperature gauge which remains outside the oven. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the turkey (usually between the breast and thigh) and leave it in while the meat cooks. When the thermometer has reached a constant temperature of 70°C for more than two minutes, thy bird is done. Some thermometers even have an alarm which alerts you to perfectly cooked meat.

5. Multi-Tiered Steamers

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Juggling lots of saucepans on an average-sized hob can be a real headache, especially when the items have different cooking times. A multi-tiered steamer will free up your hob and ease the pressure of watching multiple saucepans. Steaming retains the structure and the health benefits of food too, so you'll be left with perfectly cooked sprouts, fluffy potatoes – and no mush.

6. Gravy Separators



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Using a spoon to skim the fat off a boat of lovingly slaved over gravy is a faff. For starters, you never seem to have enough hands for the job! Make life easier by pouring the juices and fat from the roasting tray into a gravy fat separator. Watch as the fancy jug causes fat to rise to a top compartment, leaving the gravy goodness in the bottom, ready to be poured. Healthier, simpler and much quicker.

7. Flexible Chopping Boards



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Despite their thin construction and plastic feel, flexible chopping mats can be as strong as their wooden and glass counterparts. They protect the surface below and the lightweight structure makes them portable and bendable.

Use the flexibility to quickly funnel chopped food into pans – every second counts after all – while the colour-coding helps avoid cross-contamination, with different colours for fresh fruit and veg, raw meat, cooked meat and fish.

8. Food Warmers



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Food warmers aren't just for buffets. A couple of these will keep side veggies and sharing plates warm for the whole of your Christmas dinner, saving you from dashing to the microwave every five minutes. Opt for lids with cool touch handles too, so people can serve themselves when they want. Also, for easier clean-up, go for a dishwasher safe one. 

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