2023 Gets Grimmer: Sunday Roasts Are Going Extinct

It’s official, according to a new study, our much-loved Sunday roast is slowly going extinct.

And unsurprisingly the cause of its unfair decline? None other than the cost of living crisis.

New data from Tesco has found that home-cooked Sunday roasts are in decline with over a third (36%) of UK adults admitting to cooking the popular dish less frequently than a year ago due to the costs of oven cooking.

This figure jumps amongst 18 to 34-year-olds, with nearly half (47%) forgoing the Sunday staple in a bid to save money.

And it’s not even just the high energy costs putting us off from having a big old fashioned Sunday lunch – nearly two fifths (38%) of people surveyed admitted to feeling too overwhelmed at the thought of cooking a roast dinner.

Sunday salad just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?

The saddest stat is that it’s not even that we don’t want roasts in our life. The appetite for the Sunday roast doesn’t appear to have changed, with almost half (46%) of UK adults keen to find more cost-efficient ways of making them at home without an oven. In fact, over a quarter (28%) stated they would cook them more often if they could use an air fryer.

With nearly half (46%) of UK adults claiming to have access to a slow cooker, a third to an air fryer (31%) and two thirds (72%) a microwave, Executive Chef at TescoJamie Robinson shares his top tips on cooking a delicious oven-free roast.

Slow cook like a pro

According to Robinson, slow cookers are a great alternative to an oven and perfect for cheaper cuts of meat such as brisket or pork shoulder as the lower temperature and longer cooking time tenderises the meat, whilst allowing the flavour to come out.

“Simply prepare the meat, place into the cooker with cut up veg such as carrots alongside fresh herbs and let the slow cooker do its magic,” says Robinson.

Air fryer stans

Air fryers have risen in popularity as people realise just how versatile they are, but it may be surprising to know that you can cook a Sunday roast within an hour.

Robinson advices: “For moist, juicy chicken coated with a crispy layer of skin, all you need is a few simple ingredients. Season your chicken with fresh herbs, salt and pepper before placing in a preheated air fryer at 180 degrees. Leave to cook, rotating every 15 minutes, for about an hour. Once cooked through (pierce to check the juices run clear), rest for 30 minutes before serving.”

Microwave maestros

Okay, so microwaves aren’t the one when it comes to meat, but it can be a huge help for the sides element of your roast.

While air fryers and slow cookers are best for meat, microwaves are a great option for cooking vegetables and can help ensure you end up with great tasting vegetables every time.

According to Robinson, the best way to prepare veg using one is as follows: “Try slicing up some carrots into a microwave safe dish before adding enough water to cover the base of the dish, a tablespoon of honey and a knob of butter. Cover and microwave for 4 mins on high power. Carefully uncover and give the carrots a good stir before microwaving for a further 3 to 4 minutes until cooked through.”