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How to: Get your kitchen ready in time for Christmas

December is just a few days away, and you’ve only got three more weekends to fight through the crowds to finish your Christmas shopping. Surely, preparing your kitchen for Christmas day is a little precocious when there’s still so much else to do? Think again.

Now is the perfect time to get your kitchen ready for the holidays. If you realise there’s a vital appliance on the blink or you need to purchase a few more things to entertain guests, getting it sorted now will avoid undue stress closer to the big day. With this in mind here’s Opun’s quick tips to getting your kitchen ready for Christmas.

1. Check your oven

When it comes to Christmas lunch prep the oven is the real work horse, and the very last thing you want with all of the in-laws over is for it fail due to overuse on the big day. Check your oven today to see if it’s working fully to scratch. And give it a decent clean, some experts recommend avoiding using the self-clean function, as it puts a lot of strain on the machine and could actually increase the chances of it failing.

Now could also be the perfect time to upgrade to a swish new model. Consider a stove that features multiple oven compartments if you don’t have one already. Being able to cook different things simultaneously at different temperatures makes cooking large meals much easier, particularly if you’re catering for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. Some models also feature warming drawers to keep food and plates hot which can be an absolute life saver if you get your timings off.

2. Make sure your kettle is up to scratch

This may sound odd, but think about it. Christmas is a time of hospitality, and you may get well-wishers at anytime popping around to say hi. While mulled wine or a small sherry may be the traditional offering to wash down a mince pie with, if your visitor’s have driven to see you they’ll be eschewing the booze for a cuppa. Having a kettle that’s quick to boil will also help you prep the veg for your lunch as well.

3. Clean out the cupboards and the fridge

Let’s face it at this time of year you’re likely to end up purchasing a colossal amount of unnecessary condiments and other items that will sit at the back of your cupboard for the foreseeable future. Relatives and friends may also be gifting you jams, chutneys and other homemade goodies so, cleaning out all of those out of date jars and boxes at the back of the cupboards will free up much needed space. The other advantage is you’ll know what items you’ll need to repurchase, that bottle of brandy you first opened seven years ago will by now most likely had all of its alcohol evaporate away leaving a limp liquid that you’ll never be able to light the Christmas pud with.

4. Look at your heating and ventilation

Although we are now getting extremely close to Christmas, it might be the case that there’s still time to repair or replace a few vital elements of the kitchen. Remember it’s a social hub where many are likely to congregate while you cook. Making sure that your extractor and other ventilation is working properly is a good idea to prevent your kitchen filling with smoke and steam. Also, have a little look at your radiators to ensure they’re all working properly.

5. Finally, make sure you’ve got all the cookware, crockery and other utensils you’ll need

When it comes to things like chopping boards you can never have too many. If you know how many people you’re going to be entertaining then making sure that you have enough matching cutlery, glasses and plates is a good idea. No one wants to be the odd one out having to eat from a plastic camping plate while everyone else gets the fine china. Check that you have enough pans and baking trays, and lastly give all of your kitchen knives a good sharpen, if you don’t have a knife steel or if you’re a bit unsure of it’s use check if a local butcher or garden centre offers a knife sharpening service.

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