How to cook a cheaper Christmas dinner: Using an air fryer instead of oven to cook turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing and Yorkshire pudding will save £1.57 (and lots of time)
- READ MORE — The cheat’s guide to the perfect Christmas dinner
Households are turning to air fryers and slow cookers to cook Christmas dinner this year in a bid to reduce energy bills amid the cost-of-living crisis, a study found today.
Some 19 per cent of Britons will use an air fryer for their festive cooking this year, almost double the proportion in 2020, while usage of slow cookers is up 41 per cent.
Research by comparison service Uswitch.com also discovered the use of ovens, hobs and microwaves has fallen – and fewer households are using grills and toasters.
They found that cooking parsnips in the air fryer would cost 9p and take 15 minutes, compared to 27p in an oven for 30 minutes. And putting pigs in blankets in an air fryer would cost 5p for eight minutes, compared to 27p in the oven for half an hour.
Stuffing takes 30 minutes in an oven for 27p or ten minutes in an air fryer for 6p. Yorkshire puddings are 18p in an oven for 20 minutes or 6p in an air fryer for ten.
Some 36 per cent of households will reduce spending on Christmas this year due to high energy bills – while 9 per cent will invite themselves to stay with friends or relatives over the holiday period to save money on heating, the study found.
Air fryers have surged in popularity in recent years as gas and electricity bills soared, given that they use a similar amount of power as ovens but can cook in half the time.
Experts added that 4 per cent fewer households will use an oven for their festive meal, although they do remain the most popular method of cooking a roast, with 83 per cent planning to use one on Christmas Day.
Meanwhile the number of Britons planning to use the microwave has slipped by 6 per cent, despite them being an energy efficient cooking appliance in comparison.
An average household of four people would expect spend about £2.82 on energy to cook Christmas dinner this year.
The majority of that would be made up from £1.89 cooking a 5kg turkey at 160C in a fan oven for three and a half hours.
Last Christmas, cooking the same meal would have cost £3.60 when energy costs were significantly higher following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Air fryers normally offer big energy savings compared to a traditional oven when cooking simple meals.
But because Christmas dinner involves so many different items to cook along with the turkey, it makes the oven more energy efficient as everything can go in there.
READ MORE Cost of Christmas has TRIPLED in the past 30 years to £1,800 with Brits now spending an average 290 PER CENT more on parties, food, decorations and gifts
Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: ‘Households have spent the past two years cutting down their energy use, and this Christmas will be no different.
‘Nearly a fifth of households plan to use air fryers to reduce their energy consumption on Christmas Day — double the number from last year.
‘Appliances like air fryers, slow cookers and microwaves are usually the most energy-efficient kitchen devices to cook with, especially if you’re not making enough food to fill the whole of the oven.
‘Christmas is one of the few times of year when households use the whole oven, meaning it can work out to be more cost-effective on the big day.’
A separate study by MoneySuperMarket earlier this month found that Christmas will cost the average British household more than £1,800 this year – triple what was spent 30 years ago even when adjusted for inflation.
Households spending extra on food, going out and bigger presents for family or friends are behind the 290 per cent rise on 1993 which accounts for higher prices.
Experts carried out ‘the most comprehensive ever analysis of how much Christmas costs’, analysing 24 data points including some less obvious ones such as travel to see relatives, joining a work party and insuring new gadgets.
People in Britain spent only £229 on Christmas in 1993 – the equivalent of £464 in today’s money – compared with £1,811.70 this year, according to the research.
Air fryers have surged in popularity in recent years as gas and electricity bills soared (file)
Another report earlier this month by consumer group Which? found cheaper Brussels sprouts mean the average price of Christmas dinner for four is up by a modest 1.3 per cent to £31.71.
READ MORE The price of your Christmas dinner revealed: How cheaper Brussels sprouts, puddings and sparkling wines are curbing the cost of the festive feast
Small falls in the cost of Christmas puddings and sparkling wines, such as prosecco and cava, are also curbing the cost of a festive feast.
Supermarkets use the prices of ingredients of popular festive foods in an annual battle to attract people through the door.
And this year, the total cost has been helped by the fact sprouts are some 4.3 per cent cheaper than a year ago. Christmas puddings are down by 2.4 per cent and sparkling wine by 5.9 per cent.
The 1.3 per cent rise in the cost of a dinner with turkey and all the trimmings is well below the 9.1 per cent average increase in food prices across supermarket aisles.
But an analysis of supermarket prices revealed in trade journal The Grocer at the start of this month found the cost of vegetables for Christmas dinner had soared by up to 60 per cent in one year with carrots, potatoes, parsnips and brussels sprouts all hit by soaring inflation.
Prices have risen by an average of 7 per cent over the past year across 208 lines of parsnips, carrots, potatoes and brussels sprouts at Aldi , Lidl , Co-op and Waitrose.
Data from retail research firm Assosia revealed annual price rises of at least 10 per cent on more than a third of products, while 24 increased by more than 20 per cent.
It also found the cost of some vegetables had risen by more than a tenth in just the past month.
Source: Read Full Article