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Cooking Christmas Dinner with an Electrickit aga
Several customers who have had ElectricKit conversions were asking before Christmas how to cook the roast turkey. Before conversion, for many of them it was a bit of a hit and miss process, as when they started using the hobs to cook the vegetables (and possibly steam the Christmas pudding!) the heat in the ovens dropped away significantly, and it became a juggling act trying to balance the heat in the ovens with the hobs, and still serve something edible on time.
This is no longer a problem following the ElectricKit conversion, as the ovens and hobs are independent of each other, meaning that they can all be used at whatever temperature you require, whenever you decide you want them.
We cooked an 11lb bird this year in our converted 2 oven aga, complete with stuffing, pigs in blankets, parsnips and roast potatoes. In short, we set the oven to 220degC (very easy and accurate on the electronic dial), and once up to temperature, cooked the bird for 3hrs, basting twice, and adding the trimmings and potatoes later. The hobs were perfect for boiling the vegetables, preparing the gravy, and steaming the Christmas pudding, and were switched on when needed.
It was succulent and delicious, and everything was ready at the time we initially set for feeding the family - quite a relief, and very enjoyable. A hassle free process!
Cooking the perfect turkey using an Electrickit Converted aga
Once you’ve converted your aga with an ElectricKit conversion, how do you cook the perfect Christmas roast? As an ElelctricKit specialist installer, I thought I’d share how it worked for us this Christmas.
Firstly my conversion is a pre ’74, 2 oven aga, but the cooking instructions are the same for any ElectricKit converted aga. I was cooking a 4.64 kg (11lb) turkey, stuffed with a celery, onion and parsley lemon stuffing, complete with roast parsnips and potatoes, and pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon). In addition, we cooked sprouts, carrots and peas on the hobs without any loss of heat from the oven, as the hobs and ovens are powered independently.
Cooking time: 3 hours
Serves 8 people
Oven temperature: 220 deg C
10 pound turkey, with giblets removed
1 lb streaky bacon
Chipolatas and streaky bacon - for the ‘pigs in blankets’
12 oz bread crumbs
8 oz chopped onion
4 oz butter, melted
3 oz chopped celery
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 egg, beaten
Zest and juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the onion and celery in a little oil in a pan, until soft. Then mix with the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, melted butter, chopped parsley and grated zest and lemon juice. Stuff the mixture firmly into both the neck and tail end of the turkey until the body cavity is full.
Preparing and cooking the turkey
Keep the turkey at room temperature for at least two hours prior to cooking. Placing the on its back in the roasting tray, rub the breast of the bird with a little butter, and cover breast with a lattice of streaky bacon – this adds flavour and lightly protects the breast from burning in the oven.
Ensure that the top oven is up to 220 deg C on the control panel, and place the turkey in it’s roasting dish in the top oven, on top of the grill resting on the bottom of the oven.
Cook for about 60 minutes, basting once in that time. Then remove the bird from the oven, and put the ‘pigs in blankets’ and parsnips in the roasting tray, around the turkey.
Cook for another 60 minutes, again basting the breast at least once during that time.
Remove the bacon lattice from the breast, return to the oven to allow final even browning of the breast for 20-30 minutes. Remove bird from oven, and check that it is cooked by inserting a sharp knife into the most meaty part of the bird (the thigh) and if the juices that run out are clear, the bird is cooked. If not return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, until the juices are clear.
Once cooked, remove turkey from the oven, set it on one side and cover with foil for at least 20-30 minutes before eating. This allows the bird to ‘rest’ and during that time, become very succulent and juicy. Remove the ‘pigs in blankets’ and parsnips from the tray and keep warm in the bottom oven. Use the juices at the bottom of the tray to make gravy.
Par boil your spuds for approximately 10 minutes, then transfer to the middle of the bottom oven in a baking tray with fat/ oil of your choice. Cook for approximately 1hr 10 minutes to 1hr 20 minutes in the middle of the bottom oven (with the top oven still at 220deg C). Then when the turkey has cooked and is ‘resting’, crisp up the roast potatoes in the top of the bottom oven for 5-15 minutes as required, by increasing the oven temperature by 20 degrees.
The veggies are easy to do on the hobs. Boil the water in a kettle then add to the veggies in the pans. Once boiled, keep the pan simmering on a 2-4 setting on the hob – the setting depends on the size of your pans. And best of all, there will be no heat loss to the oven while cooking them!
Do let me know how you get on with yours, and have a great Christmas and fantastic celebration meal!
This is my first attempt at a ‘steam punk’ lamp.
It is mostly made from old redundant parts salvaged from aga conversions.
You may recognise a burner shell as the lampshade…
In this sustained period of sunny weather we have been having, I have been running our aga for free.
It is a 2 oven pre 1974 aga which I converted to electric power with an Electrickit conversion some 5 years ago now. That in itself has kept the running costs low, as we can use it as and when we want to, it warms up very quickly, and there are no servicing costs or flue to worry about.
But even better than that, we had a 4kw array of solar panels put on our south facing roof 3 years ago, and as I write this on a bright sunny day, they are generating far more power than we need to run the aga.
I know that there was a capital cost to installing the solar panels, and they don’t work at night, but right now, I am really enjoying the thought that we are cooking all we want, and it is costing us nothing. And when we have finished cooking, we can just switch it off so that it does not add to the heat in the house. The panels are also generating enough electricity to run the dishwasher, washing machine, and all the hot water we can use via an emersion heater. Our summer electricity bill is almost nothing.
From an electricity consumption perspective, the aga main oven takes 1 hr 35 from room temperature to reach 200 degrees centigrade, and uses approximately 2.4Kw to get there. Then it uses 0.5Kw/ hr to maintain that temperature. The hobs, if put on a simmer setting of 4 (out of 8 available), take approximately 0.7Kw to get there (10 minutes), and 0.25 Kw / hr with the lid closed to maintain. And for a 4 oven model, the warming ovens take approximately 1 hr 15 minutes to reach maximum temperature of 110 degrees centigrade in the top oven, and uses 0.65Kw to get there. It then takes approximately) 0.4 Kw/hr to maintain that temperature. So even running the aga flat out, the panels are making more electricity than we can use.
What a great combination! I look forward to the cost of electricity storage systems coming down in price, and their efficiency increasing – then I think it would be an even better combination, and create even more smiles in me!