Glasgow hospitality expert shares how to keep the cost of your Christmas dinner down

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A Scots hospitality expert has offered top tips on how to make your festive feast more cost effective – by cooking your turkey in an air fryer.

The kitchen gadget continues to soar in popularity – annual sales figures published by Lakleland showed sales were up 1,1,75% in the last year –– as households continue to look for ways to save energy, while eating a little more healthily. 

Now, Andrea Macaulay, who heads up the hospitality curriculum at Glasgow Kelvin College, says there are huge benefits to cooking your Christmas dinner in an air fryer, and she’s given her top tips for how to do so. 

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She said: “It’s been a tough year and many families are looking to save money and limit stress this Christmas

“Introducing an air fryer to your preparations for Christmas dinner – which is often the most expensive and stressful meal of the year – can be transformational. It reduces so much of the pressure, it’s much quicker and it will save you money. What’s more, the food you prepare is also healthier, using less oil in the process. 

“I’d recommend ditching the oven, even if it’s just for a small part of the dinner. The air-fryer is often overlooked as people question its capability. But they’re powerful machines and could lend a much-needed helping hand this Christmas. 

“It’s a safer way of cooking that has health benefits as it uses less fat and reduces acrylamide; harmful chemicals often created with frying and cooking with oils.” 

Andrea’s top tips: 

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  1. Be sure to check that your air fryer will fit the Turkey  beforehand .

  2. Always thaw correctly if frozen – make sure to check FSA advice. 

  3. Always preheat your air-fryer and then cook. And remember turkey normally takes 10 mins per pound to cook in an air fryer. 

  4. Make sure turkey juices run clear, and the  meat is free of pink or blood. Where possible, use a temperature probe to establish sufficient core temperature. The ideal temp is  75 °C

  5. Remember faster cooking items, like crispy roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, brussel sprouts, pigs in blankets can all be prepared in the air fryer, taking a fraction of the time and saving energy in the process. 

On boxing day leftovers, Andrea commented: “A festive highlight is often the mountain of leftovers to consume the following day, but it can be a struggle to decide what to do with them. 

“Pull together your turkey and sides like pigs and blankets, roast potatoes and honey-glazed parsnips together between bread. Add your favourite condiment, whether it’s gravy, bread sauce, mayo or cranberry sauce and heat up for five to ten minutes on a low heat in your air fryer to create a delicious festive toastie. “ 

Research from Tesco shows the average UK household wastes approximately £800 worth of edible food each year, causing almost 270,000 tonnes of food waste.

Andrea commented: “Waste is at an all time high during the festive season. From plastic packaging, to unwanted gifts and uneaten food. Your Christmas dinner is safe to eat for a number of days after the event, so the key is finding delicious recipes to make the most of it. Why not keep the festivities going?”

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