It's official: 31 is the average age we master the Christmas dinner

London, 22nd November, 2023

  • A new study has revealed that while Christmas dinner is the highlight of the big day for over two thirds (71%) of Brits, the majority of us don’t master the culinary art until age 31
  • In fact, over a quarter (28%) have argued with a family member about cooking techniques on Christmas day
  • Over a third (39%) say that the most difficult dish to perfect is the turkey, followed by roasties (14%) and yorkshire puddings (13%)

The research has been commissioned by flexible work platform Indeed Flex, who are encouraging budding chefs to finesse their festive cooking skills at a free masterclass.

Guilty of burning those roasties one too many times? You’re not alone – as a new study by Indeed Flex, the app for temporary work, shows we don’t master cooking a traditional Christmas dinner until we’re 31 years old, on average.For over two thirds (71%) of the nation, Christmas dinner is their favourite part of the big day but almost half (43%) are yet to master the culinary art, while one in 10 have taken nine attempts before perfecting the meal.A notoriously drama-filled day, over a quarter (28%) of British adults have argued with a family member about cooking techniques on 25th December and one in six (16%) admit to having had one too many drinks to successfully get the dinner on the table.While they so often make for fond memories, no Christmas day is complete without a disaster or two – with almost a quarter (25%) of Brits forgetting a key ingredient in the big shop, one fifth (18%) dropping a dish on the floor, and one in 10 (11%) failing to defrost the turkey in time.

And the downfall? Over half (57%) agree that timings are the most challenging factor, while over a quarter (27%) melt under the pressure of cooking the ‘most important meal of the year’ and a similar number (26%) struggle to entertain and cook simultaneously.

When it comes to the dinner itself, Brits have named turkey the most difficult element to master (39%), followed by roasties (14%) and yorkshire puddings (13%) – more specifically, turkey has been found to be the most common victim of undercooking (27%), closely followed by brussel sprouts (23%) and roast potatoes (18%).

But interestingly, the recent surge in popularity of cooking dramas, such as Boiling Point and The Bear, have inspired a quarter (25%) of Brits to refine their skills in the kitchen – and a further one in 10 have even seriously considered a career in cheffing as a result

Novo Constare, CEO of Indeed Flex says, “Every year in the run up to Christmas, our app is flooded with requests for temporary workers in the hospitality sector. Chefs are especially sought after and can reap big rewards with their expertise. In fact, the pay for hospitality temporary workers in the UK is rising faster than the UK average for all jobs, this includes the hourly wage for commis chefs, which rose most sharply, surging 13.2% year on year. As a result, we want to inspire as many chefs as possible to enjoy flexible working over the festive season, so they can embrace working wherever and whenever they want and make the most of all the opportunities waiting for them on the Indeed Flex app.”

With over half (51%) of adult Brits feeling they’d benefit from being taught how to hone their festive cooking skills, Indeed Flex is hosting a cookery masterclass on 30th November to help you master the craft just in time for Christmas Day itself.

Taking place in east London and led by head chefs at the top of their game, who regularly use Indeed Flex, you’ll learn how to tackle a turkey, perfect your parsnips, and refine your roasties, to get you truly in the festive spirit.


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Long gone are the days of CVs and endless form-filling. Our speedy onboarding process instantly opens the door to countless work opportunities spanning diverse roles and industries, smart-matched to each worker’s skills, location, and preferences.

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