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We cooked a roast!

A little while ago one of our Electrikit conversion customers got in touch to say that they had cooked a lot of everyday dishes with their Aga since we'd seen them but were a little daunted about using it to cook a roast for the first time.  

Would the crackling crackle? Would the roast potatoes would come out soggy? and would there be any trouble with the ovens maintaining temperature? All very worrying questions, especially with hungry family gathered around. 

We suggested a number of tips for them to try that would hopefully help, but thought, we can do more!
So right here at Blake & Bull HQ in our showroom Aga we tried it for ourselves. 

So in between writing emails and updating spreadsheets I cooked roast pork and roast potatoes for everyone here in the office. (With a little bit of help from our office dog Alfie)

The ovens of our showroom cooker were turned on and set to 220°C at 8.30 in the morning and left to warm up thoroughly for about 3.5 hours, so the heat could penetrate deep into the castings. The left hand hotplate was also set to resting temperature (number 4 on the dial) and left with the lid down.

Once the pork was prepped and in a roasting dish, I put it as high as I could in the simmering oven. With the electrikit the oven heating element sits between the 2 ovens so the very top of the lower oven is one of the hottest spots, and ideal for cooking crackling). That said, overall the simmering oven tends to be 60°C cooler than the roasting oven (so about 160°C overall) which is great for cooking the meat a bit more slowly and keeping it nice and succulent. 

After 20 minutes - and a few more emails - I turned up to the hot plate to max (lifting the lid), chopped the potatoes and put them in a saucepan on the stove to par-boil.
Once that was done, they went in one of our a large roasting tins and into the middle of the roasting oven. I pushed the tray right to the back of the oven and then pulled it forward till there was a gap of about 1.5" allowing room for the heat to circulate and to avoid creating a 'hot pocket' which can affect the reading of the temperature probe. 

I had planned at this point to move the pork from the simmering oven up to the roasting oven, but it was cooking away so well in the lower oven that I left it there for the entirety of the cook. 

With the exception of turning the potatoes every now and again that was how things were left for the rest of the cooking time. 
I also kept a record of the oven temperature -according to the digital display- through the process. N.B this is the Roasting oven temperature as the Simmering oven doesn't have a thermostat read out, but this demonstrates the consistent temperature of the ovens as a whole, the simmering oven being 60° lower than the roasting.

  • 226°C  -At the start of cooking.
  • 229°C - After the pork had been in for 20 minutes
  • 222°C - About 5 minutes after the potatoes went in
  • 225°C - At 1 hour 20.
  • 225°C - When the oven was turned off at the end of cooking

As the temperature probe reads the air temperature fluctuations in readings are not unusual when the doors are opened or food/oven trays are put into the ovens, but the heat locked in the cast iron will soon bring this back up when the doors are closed again.  

The Aga range cooker in our showroom vents directly into the room, and the whole office smelled delicious -There was a little steam escape from the oven door when the potatoes went in but nothing we were concerned about -.  

When it was all done, the pork had been in the simmering oven for about 1 hour 45 minutes, and the potatoes were cooking in the oven for about an hour. (In the interests of full disclosure the juices were still a little pink at this point, so with the Aga turned off and the crackling removed it was bunged back in the roasting oven for another 10 minutes)

All in all I was very pleased with how it turned out, and judging by how quickly it all disappeared so was everyone else here at HQ. 

 

Crunchy crackling, succulent pork and crispy roast potatoes. Delicious!! (and the best roast pork Katy has ever eaten... but please don't tell her partner)

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