More than half of adults have ruined Christmas dinner, survey claims

Emma Elsworthy

Serving up lumpy gravy, dropping food on the floor and burning hands on hot pans are among the most common Christmas dinner mistakes, a study has found

Researchers who polled 2,000 adults found six in 10 have at some point messed up the main Christmas meal.

Over-cooking the carrots, burning the treasured pigs in blankets and ending up with soggy roast potatoes also featured in the top 20 list.

But, despite accidentally cremating or forgetting to defrost the turkey, more than a fifth of adults rated their Christmas cooking skills as “excellent”, while a further half said they were good.

The study also found leaving the giblets inside the turkey, creating gravy which was too thin and under boiling the sprouts also featured on the list.

It was revealed the average person will cater for around five people at Christmas time and four in 10 admitted they are worse at cooking if there are additional people watching them.

The hardest person to cook for was the mother-in-law (14 per cent), followed by a partner or spouse (11 per cent).

Many also struggled with timings, as 26 per cent of adults claimed serving everything to the table could be the hardest part of getting a Christmas meal right.

A further fifth said it was difficult to maintain a calm relaxed appearance as the host, when feeling stressed preparing the meal.

And 13 per cent said they found it hard to entertain the family at the same time as cooking.

But for 17 per cent of respondents meal preparation failed due to too much alcohol on Christmas morning – which meant dinner was prepared in a booze-fuelled "haze".

When it came to the food adults were most upset about spoiling, more than half said the turkey, while 47 per cent wanted the roast potatoes to be spot on, according to the OnePoll study.

Andre Dupin, head chef at recipe kit company HelloFresh UK, said: “This research shows that even the most confident chefs can find preparing Christmas dinner a challenge, particularly when cooking for a large number of people.

“Preparing the festive feast involves lots of different elements and you need to be fairly confident in the kitchen to be able to bring each of these elements together at the same time.

“Almost half of those polled admitted coordinating cooking the turkey, sides and sauces was the hardest thing about preparing Christmas dinner."