AIBU to not understand all the hype regarding Aga's?(101 Posts)
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.
Everyone gravitating to the kitchen is fine if you have a large farmhouse kitchen. if everyone gravitated to my kitchen you wouldn't have room to cook anything.
higgle, yes I have heard quite a few stories about newborn lambs being put in the oven to warm up (and save their lives!)
lol at status symbol!
Most people I know who have an aga are from the farming community where the aga is used because it's so cheap to run! (And yes also in case of electricity cuts)
Most people from what I have seen are using it as a heater more than a cooker, even though it is lovely to cook on it too.
It's cheap because you can use both coal (not that expensive) and wood (free from the farm...).
I know of one person who has an aga which has been converted to use fuel. Again the main use is the heating.
I don't think that anyone who has an aga (not just to show off!) doesn't have a simple cooker too. They usually use the oven from the aga and the rings from the cooker (which also means you don't need to have it on all day long during the summer).
Downsides? Clearly, if it's still running with coal, it can be dirty, you need to being to coal in etc...
Plus side? Apart from being a nice cheap way of heating the house, it also allows for cooking lovely meals. The oven is huge (Massive Christmas turkey fits nicely in it).
YANBU. My exH's family all lived in massive draughty old houses and their adoration of their AGAs was universal. Years of 'it dries wellies' and 'it makes great rice pudding' later, I think it was because it was the only source of warmth in the entire place. A friend restored another big old house at vast expense and installed a brand new AGA for the same price as a decent hatchback. It looked quite at home in this big Victorian kitchen but it was a waste of cash because she only ever reheats things in the microwave.
Porridge tastes great because you cook it in the slow oven, not on the top. Also, forgot that another reason I love them is that as a child my farmer uncles would not only have dogs curled up by them but orphan lambs too. We had one when we were first married - a fairly ancient oil fired one - eventually we had to have it taken out as it did not fit in with our renovation plans for the house. We got about half the price of a new one for it and the buyer removed and took it away, so although they are expensive they do make good prices secondhand. I would love to have another one bud sadly that is unlikely.
Forgot to add, there is a little back boiler that the hot water goes through. You can really tell (even though we have a good boiler) when the Aga is off.
The best thing about them is they make the kitchen the warmest place and everyone gravitates there, so proper family life. Also that you can whack in a stew in the slowest oven and it is done for you the next day.
They are ridiculously expensive to run.
I inherited mine, hugely inefficient and the kids and their friends used to sit on the top of it to keep warm in winter. I have some lovely pictures of a succession of cherubs in pyjamas beaming at the camera! [melt]
You get to know your particular beast and develop a relationship with it. So timings etc fairly irrelevant you 'know' when things are done. For cakes requiring a lower temp, ridiculous drama of opening all the doors and lids.
The absolute downside is forgetting something is in it/wandering off. It silently goes on cooking, to a carbonised shell
I think the complaints about it being too hot are a personal thing. I'm a cold-blooded snake, the house could never be too warm for me.
<sobs, shivers, fondly remembers beautiful Aga>
All I know if I miss ours since we moved
I miss getting up to a warm kitchen with porridge already made
I miss being able to make my dough rise and to make yoghurt easily
If I ever get a house again I have decided I will get a Rayburn (the workhorse range, more so than an aga) with backboiler for the heating and hot water
Agree you do need a large kitchen though or they can be stifling
Mil has an electric, we had oil, I would go for multi fuel next time
We have a three oven oil aga, and we love it. Everybody naturally gravitates to it to warm their hands/ backs.
It is just used for cooking and is turned down in the summer. We also have an electric range with gas hob to use then.
The ovens are really large and we have never have had a problem with fitting in a turkey or pizza. The turkey is slow cooked for 20 hours and I am told it tastes much better than from a conventional oven.
Bread and cakes are also much better as they don't dry out.
I think it depends on the alternatives, tbh, Worra. A Rayburn is excellent when you live in the middle of nowhere with very few options. But we'll be moving back to civilisation soon and I don't intend to shell out for the cost of a new Rayburn if I've got the convenience of proper gas that comes right into my house.
Ahh that makes more sense Pandemoniaa
But I think I'd rather spend the extra and get a decent central heating system installed.
No one's ever mentioned my Aga (Heritage) neither do I talk about it in real life. For me it's not a 'status' thing.
It runs the hot water and heating for a 10 bed house (have still to build extension for 6 of those rooms ). It has a highly efficient burner that the recent gas combi's are just catching up with.
We'll never the option of cheap mains gas.
Go on An Aga demo day to see someone really working the ovens.
To do my steaks I just heat the skillet on the floor of the top oven, move to hot plate, splash of oil, steak on, back to oven floor, all smells & gease exhausted outside, you can even leave the door open if you want to keep an eye on things.
*I'm clearly missing something but why would anyone use a cooker to heat the house and dry clothes?
Don't these people have central heating and tumble driers?*
It's not just a cooker though. It's a range that also heats the water and runs the central heating. The clothes drying is a bonus.
we too have a rayburn, and we love it,
it is fairly new to us, it replaced the old one that has been in the house for years and years, the newish one runs 2 rads and the hot water tank,
it runs on wood, and as we get all our wood for free, it costs us only the price of the odd bag of coal, it is in our living room, and replaces the need for a fire, gas and oil were out of the question for our location.
our house is nearly 300 years old and could be damp if it were not for the rayburn, we only use it for cooking during xmas, or to do the sunday raost in,
from being unlit to 200 degrees takes about an hour and a half, the dog and cat love it and so do we, we wouldn't have anything else.
and we don't light it in the summer, we have an emmersion switch and go without heating.
Rich - I can guarantee your cat will prefer the Aga, as cats are extremely discerning creatures.
In reference to some posts above, mine was serviced annually and before I moved into the house I bought a number of specialist Aga cookbooks as I was aware that there a number of techniques that you use to "suit" the type of oven it is.
As such the reason I had it ripped out was nothing to do with not understanding how to use it or it not functioning properly.
I admit in the winter it was lovely and having the oven ready at all times was great, but for most of the rest of the year we lived with the windows open pretty much watching our pounds of our heating bill migrate outside. In summer the kitchen was unbearable and I just came to resent it more and more.
I stand by my comments about the hot plate, it's nowhere near as good as gas with regard to a constant very hot temperature for steaks etc. You can of couse cook these on an Aga but it's far from a strong point.
Yes they last a long time, but from a ecological point of view that's their only redeeming feature and if I add the cost of purchase, fuel bills and servicing together I could buy 5 of my new cooker which I am pretty sure will keeping me cooking for the next 40 years ;-)
Well I know a couple of people with Aga's and according to them they are life changing wonderful things. Get an Aga and your whole life will be a bowl or roses or whatever the saying is.
<leans arse on Aga and pities the rest>
I find our toilet is great for rinsing the shampoo off the DC's hair if you hold their heads at the right angle while you flush.
Don't have an Aga, but I do find that our dishwasher does a great job of cleaning dirty jeans, so easy, just lie them flat on the top shelf. And our flat screen television can be turned on its side and double as an ironing board. And of course, the thing I like best about our desktop computer is that the cat likes to sleep by the screen - it just looks so cosy and lovely.
I'm clearly missing something but why would anyone use a cooker to heat the house and dry clothes?
Don't these people have central heating and tumble driers?
I possibly am missing something cos I haven't read the thread
poncy I actually weep a bit when I come downstairs on the day it is due for service.
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