Half of Brits plan to cook their ‘best ever’ Christmas dinner this year – by adding extravagant ingredients to make up for a dismal 2020.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 44 per cent want to make their festive meal ‘spectacular’ while 51 per cent aim to make their best roast ever.

For seven in 10, the plan to push the boat out is an attempt to make at least one part of 2020 tolerable, while 47 per cent think their family deserves a treat.

To make it stand out from previous years, one in five intend to experiment with new tastes and textures.

And a quarter of cooks plan to spice things up by adding chilli flakes to cabbage or other greens.

The study also showed how people will put a spin on their Christmas dinner across the regions, with more than 60 per cent of those in Northern Ireland glazing their carrots in maple syrup.

While a quarter of Londoners plan to cook their turkey on a BBQ.

Maple from Canada UK, which commissioned the research, has teamed up with BBQ restaurateurs Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn – AKA Sam & Shauna –  from Hang Fire Southern Kitchen to highlight the alternative Christmas dinner possibilities.

Sam said: “It’s great to see some of the weird and wonderful ways people are going to try and up their game for Christmas dinner after a challenging year, especially with so many planning to barbecue their turkey.

“This way of cooking adds so much flavour to the turkey and brings so much fun to the Christmas dinner table.

“At Hang Fire we like to barbecue turkey breasts wrapped in maple bacon, it’s a recipe we love to make every year.”

The research also found 14 per cent of adults are going to branch out with their side dishes and offer creamy macaroni cheese as an option.

The same amount will even make their own flavoured butters to go with the meal, while more than a tenth will use crumbled Christmas cake – in their stuffing.

More than a third of those polled via OnePoll will add a twist to their festive feast to ‘surprise’ diners – but a fifth just want to show off on social media.

However, not all twists are welcome ones – as one respondent reported members of their partner’s family have baked beans with their Christmas dinner.

Another dished up fried Christmas pudding for breakfast, while others raged at being served non-traditional mashed potatoes with their meals.

It also emerged that Brits are most likely to jazz up the potatoes in their roast, with sprouts and gravy also popular choices for experimentation.

Hang Fire’s Shauna added: “The great thing about a big Christmas dinner is that there are so many different areas to experiment with.

“You can do all sorts with roast potatoes, carrots, sprouts, cabbage and the myriad other veg on the plate.

“Maple syrup is a great ingredient not only for desserts but many of the key components of the Christmas dinner too, whether it’s cooking your sprouts in it – or glazing other veggies.

“We encourage Brits to dig into their cupboards and spice racks this Christmas and see if they can find a new taste – that may well become a beloved family tradition.”

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