AIBU to not understand all the hype regarding Aga's?

(101 Posts)
sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 16:48:35

Just been round to MIL who "adores" her new Aga it just got me thinking, are they all that? The ovens seem small, not sure a turkey would fit and they must cost a fortune to run.

I am willing to be corrected but I don't understand why people like them.

farandawaysheran Sun 09-Dec-12 19:35:11

Agree with the 'nothing nicer than a sleeping dog in front of one' comment.

Sole drawback is you can't smell burning; I was always retrieving obscure charcoal lumps weeks after I'd cooked a big dinner.

I would have one again like a shot.

parakeet Sun 09-Dec-12 19:36:11

Apologies, I am obviously misinformed about the hot water then.

My kitchen's flipping freezing these days - probably just jealous...

buzzbuzzbuzzingBee Sun 09-Dec-12 19:39:23

I don't really get the fuss. Agas are expensive and inefficient normally. They can be nice and warm for the house, but really aren't the best thing to cook food quickly on. Ordinary cookers do just as well, as do ordinary ovens, radiators or whatever else. It's the kitchen sign of status.

JellicleCat Sun 09-Dec-12 19:44:03

Love my Aga, which is NOT a status symbol.

Enormous turkey fits in just fine. Great for cooking just about everything.

Ours is on all year, it is rarely hot enough for more than a few days at a time to ever want it off, and if it is hot we just open the windows wide and then the back door. For the rest of the year it keeps the kitchen toasty and takes the chill off the rest of the house in the spring and autumn when the heating is not on.

The cats love it. Male cat lies in front of it with his feet on it!

And, you can get a lovely hot, cooked banquet even when there is a power cut.

oohlaalaa Sun 09-Dec-12 19:51:19

Give me a really super cooker any day of the week. My mum used to have an aga, but when they put in central heating, she sold it. They cost a fortune to run. We soon got used to life without an aga.

YellowTulips Sun 09-Dec-12 20:31:52

I have just ripped one out of my kitchen having put up with it for 4 years (it was in the house when we moved in).

Hugely expensive to run, rubbish at cooking unless it's in the oven, but try anything on the hot plates you need really hot (steaks, stir fry etc) and it loses heat far too quickly to cook effectively.

Nice and cosy in the winter but the rest of the year heated the kitchen to an uncomfortable degree.

After 4 years I had enough and sold it to a company who re-furbs and re-sells them. Quite frankly I think most people like the idea of them more than the actuality. Unless your kitchen is big enough for a separate additional cooker and hob for the summer and spring so you can turn it off I think they are a total waste of time and money (both to buy and run).

Can't tell you all how much I love and appreciate my lovely new SMEG range cooker compared to the Aga (and actually looking forward to cooking Christmas dinner on it) - bliss....

sue52 Sun 09-Dec-12 20:59:08

You transfer pans from the ring plates to the hot oven yellowips. Agas are great. Mine was installed in 1974 bet your Smeg oven wont give you 40 years of srevice.

ZuleikaJambiere Sun 09-Dec-12 21:07:27

No one has mentioned that you don't need to clean the ovens! Just sweep them out every so often. A major plus in my book

I grew up with one and have one in our house now, and I love them. I'm a useless cook with a conventional oven - I forget to pre-heat, I can't handle having the whole oven at one temperature when inevitably I need 3 different things to cook at the same time and at different temperatures, I find the gas hobs too fierce. But it is a case of what you're used to.

We turn ours off for 2 or 3 months in the summer, as our house has a lot of insulation and does get too hot. And yes, the (mains) gas bill is high when the Aga is on, but the amount we save is matched by the amount we spend on electricity on heating the water, using the oven etc.

I love it so much that we have a verbal pre-nip saying I get the Aga and DH can have everything else (although that was pre DCs, so I'll probably fight for them as well)

goralka Sun 09-Dec-12 21:09:26

I just went to see a rented house with a Rayburn, it sold it to me. Or am I being foolish and I will out scouring the countryside for logs?

mrscrimbobash Sun 09-Dec-12 21:13:33

I like them, only in country houses though. It's a bit daft to have it in a 'standard' home imho.

KindleMum Sun 09-Dec-12 21:15:09

We're looking for a house to buy at the moment and the one we're currently negotiating on has an Aga and I'm undecided on whether I'd keep it or not. I think I'd prefer to re-do the whole kitchen and get a "normal" oven. My only experience of Agas was spending a summer at a friend's where they had one that did all the heating and hot water and they had no other cooking appliances at all so the Aga stayed on at full blast all summer. But if we ripped out the Aga then I'd have to budget for a whole new kitchen really. With small kids I do like the idea that you can't really burn yourself on an Aga.

2rebecca Sun 09-Dec-12 21:15:55

I think they're fine if you don't work. If you work then a conventional oven with fast acting rings is much more flexible and faster.
I don't need the oven to warm our house. The kitchen gets hot enough anyway, I don't want to bake in the summer.

NotTodayThankYou Sun 09-Dec-12 21:18:52

They look nice, but have no other redeeming features.

Indith Sun 09-Dec-12 21:24:42

my granny had one, I loved it and they make me thunk of her as she was when I was young. I'd love one, we have solid fuel heating and water so it would make far more sense to cook with that heat too!

PolkadotCircus Sun 09-Dec-12 21:30:47

Loath them.

Dreadful for the environment,dreadful to live with unless you like feeling uncomfortably hot all year round,dreadful on your pocket and dreadful to cook on hence most people I know who have them having another oven too.hmm

I know several people who have ripped them out or moved to get away from them.

I had to live with my parents for 6 months and it was utterly unbearable in the summer,1 of my dc got dreadful eczema which disappeared when we moved out.

I think people used to buy them for the look but think they've had their day now.There are many other options.

poozlepants Sun 09-Dec-12 21:42:08

We inherited a gas one in our new house. It was ruinously expensive. The only upside is that you don't have to wait for the oven to heat up. A roast tastes no better from an aga than a normal oven. We dismantled ours for selling and when you see how an aga is actually made they are taking the piss charging £10,000. They are def. a lifestyle choice. We put in a woodburner in our large draughty farmhouse kitchen and it does a better, cheaper job at heating the room.

freddiefrog Sun 09-Dec-12 21:48:10

My parents had one in the house we moved to when I was a child, it was there when they moved in

I loved draping my school uniform over it so it was warm for when I got dressed and it was always festooned with wet socks and gloves in the winter

They got rid of it and had a normal large cooker put in when they did the kitchen about 10 years after we'd moved in, so I don't think my parents were all that keen on it

GingersarealwaysToms Sun 09-Dec-12 21:49:55

Aaaaarrgghhgas. When I hear the word I think of someone I once had the misfortune to know who used to talk about hers as if it were a beloved child/auntie/pet. She would talk incessantly about all the things it could do (I had no previously declared interest in cookers).

I even attended a wedding in which she hooked up with another social climber aga lover and they talked about their agas all day. There was no escape. We had to sit around for about two hours whilst photos were being taken (three couples) and I just about needed counselling at the end of it. They simply had no wish to talk about anything else. I feel sick now at the thought of losing two hours of my life not knowing anyone there and not having anything to read/play with. (It was before smartphones.) No offence to anyone who owns an aga and is actually an interesting person.

We have an oil fired Aga , came with the house we recently moved into .
Costs a fortune to run , however it does the hot water too , and keeps the chill off the rest of the house .
It's brilliant for drying clothes and ironing sheets and Tshirts .
We live in Wales , so being too hot isn't going to be a problem ( sadly ) but had hoped to turn it off and live on barbecues in the summer ( wishfully thinking emoticon )
Makes lovely toast in the morning , and cheese toasties for lunch .
Whole turkey would easily fit in , and it does lovely roast potatoes , and absolutely fabulous baked potatoes .
It's a different way of cooking , once you get the hang of it , works like a dream .

awingandaprayer Sun 09-Dec-12 21:58:03

I had one once and hated it. There are two sides to each of the reasons people usually give for loving agas:

But you don't have to switch it on and wait for it to heat up = you have to leave it running all the time because it takes 12 hours to heat up

You can do your ironing/dry your clothes/warm yourself on it = you'll have no money left in he household budget after you've left it on all day to turn on the heating and you have to justify all the waste of energy somehow.

It did make the most amazing toast and fried breakfast but it was the most expensive toast in the world. Also next to impossible to make crackling or do a stirfry.

You have to give up and live without a cooker in the summer.

I know a few professional chefs - all of whom hated the things.

MrsZoidberg Sun 09-Dec-12 22:00:25

MrsMinivers - I could not fry eggs, don't know why but I just never mastered them - until I got the Aga.

You crack the egg onto the simmer plate and close the lid - lift lid a couple of minutes later and you have a perfect fried egg with very little fat used. I use a circle of baking parchment thingy (forgotten what its called, a non-stick brown sheet thing that Aga sells to line dishes) on the ring, and spray it lightly with 1 cal oil. I can do a couple at a time, I also fry tomatoes the same way - guilt free fry ups grin

Same for the pancakes.

I worry about all the posts above that say the tops aren't hot enough to do steaks etc - when was it last serviced? Just like your boilers your Aga's need regular servicing - this also keeps them efficient, we're oil based as no gas in the area. I worked out how much it costs for a week, and then worked out the same for electric and it was much of a muchness. Especially when you take into account the reduction in heating costs - the house is always just right, and the underfloor heating rarely kicks in.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Sun 09-Dec-12 22:02:09

Agas are fantastic for crackiling! My inability to get mine as good as the Aga did is one of my main reasons for regretting I now have a conventional oven.
Also excellent for Yorkshire puddings. Anything that requires a blast of consistently high heat.
Plus they last forever.

Viewofthehills Sun 09-Dec-12 22:17:48

Sockmuppet:

1) why is drying clothes on them is a benefit, can a radiator not be used the same?

You can iron on an Aga lid, teatowels, tablecloths, sheets, anything you can fold flat. Effortless.
A fully loaded rack of wet clothes will also dry overnight in front of it.

2) What happens in the summer when it's really hot?

We turn ours off from April to September

3) The ones I have seen have 3 smallish ovens that are deep but would not accommodate a large turkey for example. Or a large flat pizza? How do you cook these items in them?

Ours has two ovens and comfortably fits a large pizza or turkey.

Our house is old and I strongly suspect would be very damp without the Aga warming it through. We hardly turn the heating on as we have the Aga and while it is expensive to heat our house i know it would be anyway. Our Aga is from 1974 and I don't think there are many houses that have had the same oven for all that time. Nearly all the parts of it can be refurbished or recycled.

My conclusion is that it is a good system in our house, but would not be necessary or desirable in a modern house.

InExitCelsisDeo Sun 09-Dec-12 22:34:17

I do stir fry once a week with my Aga.

It is never turned off.

I do not have any other cooker or microwave.

I have just taken DD's school skirt out of the washing machine, hung it on the Aga rail and it will be dry by morning. We do not have our radiators on over night.

I don't actually care a monkeys what anyone thinks about my choice of cooking appliance. It suits me.

poncyettia Sun 09-Dec-12 22:51:40

Have an oil fired 4 oven aga here which is never turned down or off in summer. Its the only form of cooker I have and apart from a wood burning stove, the only form of heat for the house. Quite happily cook Christmas dinner for 20 every year on it.

don't find it any more expensive to run than when we had oil fired central heating in our old house. Clothes dry really fast and don't need ironed. Keeps the kitchen lovely and cosy and it doesn't get too hot in summer as I usually have all the doors open anyway. The cats and dogs and dcs fight for the prime spot in front of it and its saved many a lamb which had got too cold.

It is the heart of our house and I really notice if it is turned off for service.

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