Everything in Christmas Dinner: Ranked

By Tom Pritchard on at

Later this week everyone is going to sit down and eat Christmas dinner, assuming they celebrate Christmas at all and won't be on the hunt for a Chinese restaurant that's diligently working through the holiday season as if nothing special is happening.

But that got us thinking, which parts of Christmas dinner are the best bits? It seems obvious until you really start to think about it, so we decided to put this matter to rest. Here's our official ranking of all the food in a traditional Christmas dinner.

666th: Sprouts

Photo by Keenan Loo on Unsplash

The least favourite part of any Christmas meal, despite how Shabana keeps telling the rest of the Giz UK team that they're actually really good and we're just doing it wrong. Sprouts, mini cabbages or not, look weird, taste weird, and make your house smell weird hours after they've been eaten.

You can add bacon, butter, chestnuts, or whatever else, but there's no changing the fact that sprouts are shit.

7th: Cranberry Jelly

Photo by Keenan Loo on Unsplash

As Kim put it, one of those things that's always on the table and people rarely bother with it. I never really got the appeal, and it must be a Turkey thing because cranberries are also associated with turkey at Thanksgiving up in the States. It's certainly not one of the things a lot of people associate with Christmas dinner anyway, which is why it's ranked so low.

6th: Carrots, parsnips, and other vegetables

Photo by Harshal S. Hirve on Unsplash

Your Christmas dinner can't all be meat and carbs, you have to at least pretend to balance out the load with some vegetables. No big meal is complete without the vegetables, and Christmas is no different. Not to be crude, but you need something to help the turkey on its way out too - and potatoes are going to do nothing to help.

Everyone has different ideas of what vegetables should be in the Christmas dinner, and barring sprouts they're all pretty good. Whether you have carrots, parsnips, cauliflower cheese, or whatever else, it's certainly the best part that isn't anyone's favourite. Though I feel sorry for anyone with a family that insist on having broccoli.

5th: Turkey

Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

It seems off to put the centrepiece of the Christmas dinner so low on the list, but let's be honest, turkey is pretty rubbish isn't it? It's like a big chicken, and unless you did something special it's always quite a bland meat. And nobody ever does anything special, because traditionalists like my brother throw a tantrum and insist it be done the usual way.

All the stuff together makes for a great meal, but the turkey doesn't actually add a whole lot of anything to the meal. Which is kind of a shame, but that's the way it is.

4th: Stuffing

Image: mroach/Flickr

Turkey is great, but it's not as good as the stuff you, well, stuff inside it. Assuming you have good stuffing, and not some cheapo dry stuff your dad got at Poundland because it was cheap and he forgot to pick it up during the big shop.

Obviously we're talking about the traditional sausage and sage stuffing, because none of us are vegetarian or vegan and can't really comment on the animal-free options we haven't tried. Hopefully, like the Greggs vegan sausage roll, they're just as good.

Stuffing is the thing that adds the extra oomph to the meat, because on it's own turkey is a little bland. So a bit of this, and a bit of sauce, and you have a lovely mouthful of deliciousness.

3rd: Sauces

Image: Glory Foods/Flickr

You know what the fastest way to ruin Christmas dinner is? Not having any gravy, and being forced to contend your grandma's overcooked food - all because she's so terrified of hidden bugs that may be lurking around. Of course a well-cooked dinner could always use a little bit of moisture - especially if you're one of those weirdos with an aversion to leg and thigh meat.

Gravy is the obvious choice, taking the edge off any dryness that may be lurking in your meat, with an extra dash of meaty flavour to go with it. Then you have bread sauce, which has all the benefits of both sauce and bread - especially if you're not a meaty person and can't find any good vegetarian gravy to go with whatever your plant-based option is.

This doesn't include the aforementioned cranberries, though, because even if you make them as a sauce they're still a resounding meh.

2nd: Pigs in Blankets

Image: brianfagan/Flickr

Weirdly we never had pigs in blankets at Christmas when I was growing up. Or any kind of pig that wasn't made of stuffing, as far as I can remember. But pig is certainly the tastiest animal out there, and a tube of pork wrapped in strips of pork is the perfect kind of piggy excess. Of course people have tried pushing that excess to new extremes, but there's no beating the classic chipolata wrapped in bacon. Especially when you can grab a mouthful with the top contender on the list...

1st: Potatoes

Image: Fiona Henderson/Flickr

There are many, many kinds of potatoes that are available to the world when any sort of roast is involved - Christmas or not. Whichever you opt for (be it mash, roast, croquette, or something else) you can't deny the fact that the potato is the best part of the meal. Especially when gravy is involved, because you can basically turn your tater into a solid version of gravy for you to enjoy.

Everyone has their own favourite, though we're partial to roast here at Gizmodo UK. They're crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and if you've roasted them from scratch with oil they're tasty as hell. But of course a potato is a potato, and as long as you haven't just popped it in a pan of boiling water until they're dried out then there's no wrong way to do them.

Featured image: Deleece Cook on Unsplash