How Do You Cook a Christmas Turkey in an Aga Cooker?
The Christmas turkey is one of those quintessentially British things that we just couldn’t do without and, for some people, their Christmas dinner is one of the most important meals of the year. If you’ve just bought a new Aga cooker, or are thinking about buying one, we’re here to help you prepare for the big day with detailed information on how to cook the perfect Aga turkey and some classic Christmas dinner trimmings.
So, how do you cook a Christmas turkey in an Aga cooker? Follow the following steps to cook the perfect Aga turkey:
- Remove the giblets, insert stuffing and butter up the breast
- Place the turkey into the baking oven and follow the suppliers cooking time instructions - the baking oven is the perfect temperature!
- Leave to rest and get on with the trimmings
Read on to learn more about cooking the perfect turkey - fit for Christmas day.
What is the Best Way to Cook a Turkey in an Aga Cooker?
Cooking a Christmas turkey in an Aga cooker may seem a little daunting if it’s your first time, but it couldn’t be simpler. You’ll largely be following common guidelines for cooking turkey in a conventional oven, but you may find yourself adjusting cooking times to suit an Aga cooker.
As you’ll see as we move through the process of cooking a turkey in an Aga, it’s a relatively simple process, but the results are unparalleled - the cast-iron ovens of an Aga cooker uses indirect radiant heat that seals meat, locking in the moisture and flavour that can easily be lost with a conventional oven. You can learn more about how Aga cookers work and its radiant heat qualities in our blog How Does an Aga Cooker Work?.
Below we outline how to prepare and cook your Aga turkey to perfection.
Prepping an Aga Turkey
- If you have previously frozen your turkey, allow a couple of days for it to thoroughly defrost in the fridge.
- Allow the turkey to come up to room temperature before cooking
- If your turkey contains giblets, remove them and any other bagged items from the packaging before continuing
- If adding stuffing, remove the wishbone from the neck and insert the stuffing
- Butter the breast of the turkey generously and cover with bacon
Cooking an Aga Turkey - Which Oven Do I Use?
Believe it or not, you can achieve great results using any of the Aga ovens. Below you’ll find specific cooking information for each oven:
Time to Cook
20% less time than recommended by the manufacturer.
E.g. Place the prepared turkey into a roasting tin, or on a grill rack, and hang from the lowest set of runners.
Roast uncovered for 30 minutes - 1 hour until browned. Baste, cover with foil, then return to the oven. For the last 20-30 minutes, remove the foil.
To use the simmering oven to cook a turkey, you will need to begin the cooking time on the floor of the roasting oven for around 30-60 minutes, or until browned.
Remove from the roasting oven, cover with foil, then place into the simmering oven for the remaining time - deduct the time spent in the roasting oven from the suppliers cooking time instructions, then multiply by 2.
The temperature of the baking oven is perfect for cooking the perfect Aga turkey - simply follow the supplier’s cooking time instructions.
If turkey isn’t quite your thing and you prefer a different meat with your Christmas dinner, take a look at our blog How Do You Make a Roast Dinner in an Aga? where we talk about cooking beef and chicken in an Aga cooker, as well as all the trimmings.
Which Size Turkey Will Fit in an Aga Cooker?
The large ovens of an Aga cooker can typically fit turkeys up to a weight of around 13kg (28lbs). This would yield approximately 28 servings at 450g (1lb) per serving. To be sure that your turkey will fit, however, we recommend quickly measuring the dimensions of the oven you intend to use and compare it against the turkey you want to purchase (if shopping in-store).
How to Prepare a Christmas Dinner with an Aga Cooker
Now that we’ve got the turkey down, let’s move on to the trimmings. We know that every Christmas meal is a little different, which is why we won’t be focusing on each and every potential element of a Christmas dinner, just some of the key ones like potatoes, vegetables and gravy.
We think that roast potatoes are the superior type of potato for a Christmas dinner - who doesn’t love a crispy roast potato?! Here’s how to make them using an Aga cooker:
- Peel enough potatoes to serve your guests and chop into even-sized chunks
- Par-boil the potatoes in a mix of salted water, a couple of sprigs of time and a clove of garlic, crushed. Cook on the simmering plate for around 5 minutes, then drain
- Fluff up the potatoes ready for roasting by shaking them about in the pan with the lid on. Remove the garlic and the thyme
- Heat the fat (goose fat, duck fat, or beef dripping works great) in the roasting tin on the flat floor grid of the roasting oven until very hot
- Add the potatoes and roast for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are golden and crisp
You’ll all no doubt prefer different vegetables on your Christmas dinner, but here’s a couple of common ones - carrots and parsnips. This method also works particularly well for mashed potatoes! Simply mash the potatoes with a little butter and seasoning after step 5.
- Peel and chop or slice the vegetables into your preferred size chunks
- Par-boil on the boiling plate
- Drain off all of the waste and transfer into a roasting tin
- Dot with butter and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and season with salt
- Cook for around 20 minutes on the floor of the simmering oven
Depending on where you are in the country gravy may mean different things, but here, we’re going with a classic meat-juice gravy.
- Save any juices from your turkey and pour them into a saucepan on the simmering plate
- Stir in the flour and water, stock, or wine
- Stirring continuously, bring to the boil and let it simmer away until it reaches your desired consistency (don’t walk away from it - it will stick to the bottom of the pan!)
Reconditioned Aga Cookers at Range Exchange
Range Exchange is the home of showroom-quality reconditioned Aga cookers. We offer a wide range of models that are all more than capable of cooking the perfect Aga turkey and all the trimmings. Take a look at our traditional oil or gas models, or New Gen models like eControl and Total Control.