-    -  Christmas cooking on the Aga

Christmas cooking on the Aga

How to have the perfect Christmas with a new Aga in the kitchen.

Whether it’s your first Christmas with an AGA or you’re a seasoned AGA pro, there’s sure to be something to help make the day go even more smoothly in our guide to Christmas cooking on the AGA.

Aga Christmas tips

Simple tips to make your Christmas run as stress free as possible, giving you more time to relax with your family and a glass of your favourite tipple!

1. Make full use of your ovens

This is what your AGA was built for, creating a showstopper roast for the whole family and friends. The radiant heat providing cast-iron ovens are perfect for keeping in flavour and moisture on roasted meat and vegetables.

Not to mention the simmering and warming ovens that let you slowly cook sides and dessert or keep food warm meaning you roast will hit the table piping hot.

For those with an older AGA cooker (with a single heat source) remember the AGA 80:20 rule. 80% of your cooking should take place in the ovens and 20% on the hotplates.

2. Get ahead

Prep as many vegetables the day before as possible, never underestimate the time it takes to peel enough potatoes for 14 people!

Keep peeled potatoes covered with water in the fridge – you could even pre-roast (along with parsnips) and finish off on the floor of the roasting oven for 20-30 minutes on the day

  • Peel carrots and parsnips and store in the fridge in sealed containers
  • Shred cabbage
  • Trim brussels sprouts – store in a sealed container with a little water in the refrigerator overnight

If you have time, don’t just stop at preparing veg, all below can be cooked and kept in the fridge or freezer ready for the big day:

  • Prep and cook sausage or veg stuffing
  • Prep pigs in blankets
  • Make any sauces such as cranberry or bread sauce.

3. Choosing the right turkey

One of the benefits of an AGA is the large oven space, with the official line from AGA being you can fit a 13kg (28lb) bird in the oven.

That doesn’t mean you need to find a turkey to fill the oven! When choosing your turkey or goose, allow 450g (1 lb) per person weighed when plucked and drawn or 225g (8 oz) per person for boned and breast-only roasts.

For goose, allow 900g (2 lb) per person, weighed when plucked and drawn or 450g (1 lb) per person, for boned and breast-only roasts.

This allows for the all important second helpings leftovers that can be used up on boxing day.

4. Re-heating the Christmas Pudding

To re-heat your Christmas pudding on Christmas Day simply wrap the pudding basin in several layers of foil and place in the simmering oven all morning. It will slowly heat through ready for serving piping hot at the end of your meal.

5. Warming plates before serving

Warming plates is a fantastic way to keep your food warm and delicious for longer. If you are lucky, your AGA may have a separate warming oven, which is ideal for warming plates and dishes.

Vegetable tureen lids and gravy boats are best warmed at the back of the top plate of the AGA, where they heat through without the handles getting too hot. Protect the enamel by using a Chef’s Pad or cloth.

If you have a lot of plates and serving dishes to heat, then try the dishwasher trick, fill your dishwasher and put it on a heat only (drying) cycle, or on the shortest wash option.

6. Keeping the oven hot

When cooking a lot of food on a traditional AGA, avoid using the simmering plate apart from essential tasks and keep the simmering plate insulating lid down as much as possible to keep the roasting oven temperature high.

More recent AGA models, the hotplates are heated by separate electric elements and therefore do not affect the heat output in the ovens.

Virtual events

AGA are well known for hosting wonderful in-store Christmas demonstrations. Unfortunately this won’t be possible this year, thankfully AGA has a wide array of virtual events and hosted video resources to help inspire and guide your festive entertaining this year.

See the schedule of live events below hosted on Facebook and Instagram and make sure you follow @aga_cookers so you don’t miss any of the events live or need a link to watch later on.

Follow the link for full details on their virtual events or read the summary below:

Baking your AGA Christmas Cake

With: Penny Zako
Watch back: https://youtu.be/7L6YvbXghlY

Getting Your Home Ready for Christmas

With: Neptune
Watch back: https://www.instagram.com/p/CWTvk5yl22M/

Preparing Your Christmas Ham

With: Penny Zako
Watch back: https://youtu.be/pdbHln1goKk

Wreath Making

With: Birch & Bloom
Watch back: https://www.instagram.com/p/CWnccVTKVlo/

Cooking and Chatting

With: Davina McCall
Where: https://www.instagram.com/p/CWwFwIUlngJ/

Choosing Wine for Christmas

With: William Sitwell
When: 30/11/2021 @ 7:00pm
Where: Instagram Live

Vegetarian Christmas Cooking

With: Naturally Sassy
When: 01/12/2021 @ 7:00pm
Where: Instagram Live

Christmas Cookware

With: Naomi Hansell
When: 03/12/2021 @ 10:30am
Where: Facebook Live

Setting the Christmas Table

With: Sophie Conran
When: 06/12/2021 @ 10:30am
Where: Instagram Live

Christmas Canapes

With: Naomi Hansell
When: 08/12/2021 @ 10:30am
Where: Facebook Live

Christmas Roasting

With: Naomi Hansell
When: 16/12/2021 @ 10:30am
Where: Facebook Live

Christmas SOS

With: Penny Zako
When: 22/12/2021 @ 12:00pm
Where: Instagram Live

Christmas day timings

Thanks to AGA Living and Richard Maggs’ “The Little Book of Christmas Aga Tips” , here’s a Christmas Day lunch plan, tailored to cooking on your AGA.

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