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.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 09-Dec-12 16:54:38

YANBU. I don't get it either.

NettoHoHoHoSuperstar Sun 09-Dec-12 16:57:56

Aga's what?

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Sun 09-Dec-12 16:59:56

I like them. Nearly bought one but didn't.

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:00:42

Everlong, do you mind me asking what exactly you like about them?

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 09-Dec-12 17:02:41

I have one and the ovens are deceptively large - they go a long way back. But they cost a fortune to run - a fortune!

I won't be keeping mine when we re-do the kitchen despite having always wanted one.

They are good for somethings though and the new ones are amazing but so they should be for £10k+

they are so pretty.

Svrider Sun 09-Dec-12 17:03:48

Yanbu
It's a cooker
End of

farandawaysheran Sun 09-Dec-12 17:04:21

I love that they warm the small of your back when you stand against them, that in winter you can warm jumpers, dry socks and keep little animals alive in them.

Bit of culinary/lifestyle Marmite though.

Whenever they get discussed IRL it usually ends up in thinly disguised class war.

Booboostoo Sun 09-Dec-12 17:07:27

I love them. They make the kitchen toasty and warm, you can pop your wet outdoorsey clothes on them and they make the most amazing slow roasts. We don't have one now but there is a special feeling associated with moving all the heating racks in and out to get just the right temperature for backing that you just don't get with a simple knob! wink

gail734 Sun 09-Dec-12 17:08:39

I grew up in a house with a coal-fuelled Aga. It was lovely, it heated the whole house. It must have been hell for my mum though, to keep it alight and topped up with coal. My brothers were sent out to the coal bunker in all weathers to fill the scuttle. I was not sent out - this was a designated "boys' job, ha ha!) The kichen, however, was filthy. I wonder if you can work out what a "sooticle" is?? I wouldn't have one myself, unless I had a maid! And by the way, I'm not talking about the 50s - I was born in 1975!

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:12:16

Nettohohoho Thanks for highlighting my mistake, I did realise as soon as I pressed enter.

ditavon I agree they look nice but I can't see any true benefits that a radiator and range don't give you but a lot of negatives.

Boohoo What happens in the summer when it's hot though? Don't radiators keep the kitchen toasty and warm and dry wet clothes without the hygiene issues? I don't understand.

higgle Sun 09-Dec-12 17:12:20

They give a lovely deep warmth to the house, you can lean on them if you are cold. They make heavenly porridge and rice puddings. They encourage you to be laid back and releaxed in your cooking style. You can surprise everyone with toast when they didn't think an Aga can do that. they look lovely, you can dry your clothes on them and ......most important of all...dags love sleeping by them and seeing your dogs asleep by a nice warm Aga is the bestest thing you can imagine.

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:15:34

Higgle
Honest question, why does porridge taste better from an aga rather than a range?

FrothyOM Sun 09-Dec-12 17:18:28

They are a lovely warm status symbol.

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:19:51

a status symbol? Why on earth would an oven be a status symbol, genuine question?

FreyaFridays Sun 09-Dec-12 17:20:23

Toast never surprises me all that much, even if it comes from an Aga. Toast from a toaster suits me just fine... I can't really see why these over-expensive contraptions are any better than a regular stove/radiators. But then, I suppose it's got to be to do with something you have a passion for, like baking, which I absolutely do not have.

to be fair if I had an aga I wouldnt have anything else in my kitchen (very tiny offshot), pil have one but as a secondary cooker. also i remember leaning onn one at the stables when we had been out with the horses all day, dont think you can beat that although definatly not posh.

Notoutorabout Sun 09-Dec-12 17:22:57

They are warm. At this time of year they make the house cosy. You can dry clothes on them.
They cost a fortune to run, are highly inefficient and more suited to slow cooking rather than rapid feed-the-kids-in-15-minutes type food.
My resolution for 2013: Learn to love the sodding aga.

Weissdorn Sun 09-Dec-12 17:23:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:27:27

Ok please can someone answer these 3 questions for me

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

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

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?

Flatbread Sun 09-Dec-12 17:27:53

I don't have an Aga, but we have an Esse. We love it. It is not expensive to run as it is wood-burning. It cooks really well and we can make lovely crisp roast potatoes the same time as warming our house.

I am thrifty so love the idea of two-in-one cooking and heating. Plus there are few things as deeply satisfying as a lovely hearth, where you prepare meals for the family and gather around to stay warm.

In summer we gather around the BBQ wink

I have no idea what an aga is.

fivefoottwowitheyesofblue Sun 09-Dec-12 17:31:29

They needn't cost a fortune to run. We isolated ours from the heating and now only turn it on when we are going to use it. You just have to be a bit more organised and remember to turn it on an hour before you will use it! I love mine and think it helps to give a lovely atmosphere in the kitchen,

MoomieAndFreddie Sun 09-Dec-12 17:31:42

pffft

exH (ds dad) has got one of these in his massive posh house

DS always goes on about it for some reason confused when he comes home from visits, just makes me feel more inadequate about our tiny council house with an argos electric cooker

aga's - pffft, even the NAME sounds posh envy

fivefoottwowitheyesofblue Sun 09-Dec-12 17:34:58

1) Can fit more clothes on top of an aga than a radiator (and flat for jumpers etc). This is certainly not a reason to buy one though grin

2) See my post. I turn mine off in the Summer.

3) The ovens are huge - I have never struggled with a turkey or pizza.

HTH

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 09-Dec-12 17:35:03

Seriously you could cook an enormous turkey in one - the racks all come out and the oven size is big.

I can't turn mine off as it runs my hot water and I don't have any other oven.

But with servicing etc and fuel costs being what they are it is expensive to run. An oil aga needs to be serviced every 6 months and gas once a year.

They're also not great for cooking steaks/stir-fries etc but great for roasts. There is a definite art to aga cooking though.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 09-Dec-12 17:35:38

Oh and of course aga-ironing.

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:37:48

MrsCampbellblack

But what do you do in the summer? I would hate to have an oven/heater on in my kitchen in the summer.

peeriebear Sun 09-Dec-12 17:38:50

My great grands had an Aga type stove in their council bungalow- it was original to the kitchen... The tiny kitchen was always stiflingly warm. The council replaced it with a bog standard cooker when my g-gran couldn't cope with it any more.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 09-Dec-12 17:39:01

Well you know its not as though its been that hot the last 2 summers so not been a major problem to be honest.

ijustwant8hours Sun 09-Dec-12 17:40:42

I grew up with a coal fired aga too. I could not wait to get a house of my own and a gas cooker!

The aga ran the central heating, the hot water and was the only cooker. Yes it was warm, yes it dried clothes, warmed dogs and kept newly hatched chicks at the desired temperature. It was also a pain in the backside that my parents ran because they thought it would be cheaper than gas central heating (which it probably was).

I will never get one, solid fuel ones are a pain and the non-solid fuel ones just feel to me like they are pretending!

Tailtwister Sun 09-Dec-12 17:41:02

I would love one, but they are only really practical in a fairly large kitchen. I would want a separate gas hob and possibly double oven too. My Aunt has one which is oil fired and she turns it off in the summer and uses an ordinary cooker. It would be far too hot to keep on all year. She does have a huge kitchen though and it is original to the house.

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:41:49

MrsCampbell

Really? I seem to remember some really warm weeks in April and September this year where I would not have wanted more heat in the kitchen.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 09-Dec-12 17:43:33

Well for a couple of weeks it was a bit warm but there have been very few weeks where its really been an issue. But as I said I don't have a choice until we re-do the kitchen - was here when we bought the house nearly 2 years ago.

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:44:51

Thanks MrsCampbell smile

JakeBullet Sun 09-Dec-12 17:54:32

Lived in a rented house which had one once....did the heating and I hated it. Broke down without fail every sodding winter so I was icy cold waiting for lazy arsed LL to sort it out, would never have one out of choice.....they look nice but that's about it.

MrsDeVere Sun 09-Dec-12 17:54:40

I have a beautiful pink pseudo Aga.
It cost a fraction of the price and didn't cost £££££ to install and use.

Alas appeal to the retro fiend in me but they do seem an awful faff.

I live in east London hardly ever have to revive poorly lambs...

stargirl1701 Sun 09-Dec-12 17:55:02

I think the new ones can run off renewable sources. You can connect to a ground source heat pump, solar panels, etc. We have friends who have their Aga running from their wind turbine.

MsVestibule Sun 09-Dec-12 18:04:38

I wouldn't have bought one (far too expensive) but moved into a house with a gas fired Aga. We live on the North East coast, so the warmth is a benefit all year round. I have never had any problem with cooking large items. A poster above said it's not good for cooking "15 minute kid meals", but as our hottest oven is 230 degrees and doubles as a grill, we don't have that problem.

We can't use our radiators for drying clothes, so to dry them on the Aga with a clothes horse and dehumidifier next to it means we don't have any condensation problems. It costs about £40 per month to run, but pays for itself in the winter as it takes the chill off the whole house and means we don't normally have the heating on through the day.

It's difficult to explain why I actually love it, though - I just do! We could get a normal oven, a tumble drier and have the heating on low in the winter, but it just wouldn't be the same to me.

Pandemoniaa Sun 09-Dec-12 18:04:47

We've got a solid fuel Rayburn which is very similar to an Aga. It's brilliant and provides all the central heating (to quite a spacious house) plus heating the water and, of course being a cooker. We've got a large kitchen which is blissfully warm too and where clothes dry quickly. If you use it properly it costs less to run than, say, gas central heating. We also live out in the wilds where we've got no mains gas so alternatives are expensive.

We also have a built in fan oven and an electric hob so that's how we cook in the summer and we've got an immersion heater in the airing cupboard so there's no need to light the Rayburn all year round.

It's not a status symbol, more a really economical source of heat out here in the country.

MrsZoidberg Sun 09-Dec-12 18:05:06

1. We have underfloor heating so no radiators

2. We tend to have the door open all summer anyway so don't really notice.
If we did worry about the heat, we would turn it off for the hottest months.

3. I got an 18lb Turkey in ours last year & I make massive pizzas.

I know when the Aga is off as the house feels cold (barn conversion, loads of brick, high ceiling etc). The house just feels homely when it's on. I hated mine for the first 4 months after we moved in, then I learnt to use it properly and now I love it.

It makes the very best fried eggs with very little oil (quick spray of 1% stuff)

It makes the best pancakes ever, pity Pancake day is just once a year!

I can make a 15 min kids meal in it as easy as a massive Christmas meal.

I have made massive buffets using it.

My fruit cake comes out beautifully.

When DH is going to be late, I just shove everything in the bottom oven and it's all cooked to perfection when he eventually gets home.

Veg steams in the bottom oven - no need for seperate steamer burning electricity.

It makes the best yorkies going.

My dogs love it

I wouldn't pay 10k for an oven but I also wouldn't get rid of one if it was in the house when I bought it, and the presence of an Aga might make me choose one house over another.

InExitCelsisDeo Sun 09-Dec-12 18:09:10

To have an Aga you need a massive kitchen which will not overheat even in the hottest British summer.

Why on earth would you imagine you could not get a turkey in an Aga? the ovens are huge.

sockmuppet Sun 09-Dec-12 18:14:27

Thanks for the posts I have a clearer picture although would still worry about the heat in summer personally.

WelshMaenad Sun 09-Dec-12 18:27:19

My old house (big rambling bungalow) has an oil fueled aga, I lived it. 'twas my grandparents' home and I have such fond memories of learning to make toast on it. The ovens are indeed huge and we easily cooked massive turkeys and joints in then (my grandad was a butcher and grandma used to cook massive hams and beef joints for slicing and selling in the shop). Never had a problem with stifling heat in the summer, but the kitchen was massive. It was linked in with all the central heating so we just turned the radiators off in the summer and it was fine.

The only thing you couldn't make properly was stir fry.

Why would an aga make better pancakes and fried eggs than any other stove? confused Genuinely would like to know how that works.

My friend has an oil fired Aga which does make the kitchen lovely and cozy. However it costs an absolute fortune to run and in the summer she has to turn it off and use her electric oven which is in the utility room (not very convenient!)

PigletJohn would have an absolute fit about all the draping of wet washing that's going on in this thread grin

parakeet Sun 09-Dec-12 19:01:33

They are a terribly environmentally unfriendly way to heat a house.

You effectively have a massive heater in your kitchen, permanently on (can't turn it off or else you've no hot water), so that you have to leave your kitchen door open so the heat can escape.

silverten Sun 09-Dec-12 19:01:49

They are a bit like the cooking equivalent of wood burning stoves I think.

You can get heating cheaper, cleaner, quicker and with less work by switching on central heating, but a stove is just nicer.

EuroShagmore Sun 09-Dec-12 19:19:46

I don't quite get it either. A friend has one. She grew up with one and so has the art of Aga cooking, but it seems like an awful faff - not to be able to turn the heat up and down quickly like you can with gas. Plus the expense. She loves it though, and turns out lovely food from it, so it obviously works for her.

Thinkingof4 Sun 09-Dec-12 19:23:05

parakeet I dont know anyone who's aga is linked to their hot water so that's just not true. I'm from a farming background and I think a lot of farmers used o have them as you could use them even if electricity off (frequent problem here)
My cousin still uses my granny's one (must be over 60 years old!), my mum has been using hers for 40 years and I hope i'll be using mine for decades to come.
Mine is electric and has transformed our house (esp kitchen) which was always chilly before we got it. I can set mine to 3 different heat levels dependin on time of day so it's not going full pelt overnight etc. Saves a bit of money, but also because we have the heating on less (hardly at all,maybe an hour a day) we save that way too.
As others have said it's not just a cooker, it does ironing, drying clothes (I have a pulley in kitchen), nappies, wet shoes etc
Also you can cook anything on it, no need for another oven! Slow cooked things are best, for some reason the aga doesn't dry food so casseroles etc taste divine.
It's hard to really explain it, my dh was dead against us getting one, and hated it with a passion for the first 6 months we had it. He loves it now.
My boys sit in front of it every night to drink their milk, it's just lovely and cosy to sit there. I sit there too, any chance I get (not very often)

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.

dolcelatte Sun 09-Dec-12 22:58:30

It's beautiful, it's warm, the animals love to curl up by it, it's the heart of the home and it cooks brilliantly. Different ovens all at different temperatures, so can roast, bake simmer and keep warm simultaneously.

I switch it off in the summer for a few months and use a conventional oven, but I am so happy when I switch it back on again.

I wouldn't have thought to buy one, but inherited one with my last house and now I wouldn't have anything else.

InExitCelsisDeo Sun 09-Dec-12 23:02:45

poncy I actually weep a bit when I come downstairs on the day it is due for service.

<sad bastard>

WorraLorraTurkey Sun 09-Dec-12 23:09:09

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 blush

poncyettia Sun 09-Dec-12 23:09:10

Exit me too.........blush

RichTeas Sun 09-Dec-12 23:11:04

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.

WorraLorraTurkey Sun 09-Dec-12 23:14:54

RichTeas! grin

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.

InExitCelsisDeo Sun 09-Dec-12 23:17:05

<leans arse on Aga and pities the rest>

RichTeas Sun 09-Dec-12 23:17:15

Turkey, grin Exactly!

Viviennemary Sun 09-Dec-12 23:20:57

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.

YellowTulips Sun 09-Dec-12 23:21:36

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 ;-)

dolcelatte Sun 09-Dec-12 23:25:23

Rich - I can guarantee your cat will prefer the Aga, as cats are extremely discerning creatures.

onetoomanytoo Sun 09-Dec-12 23:27:13

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.

Pandemoniaa Sun 09-Dec-12 23:32:01

*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.

BlackBagFestiveBorderBinLiner Mon 10-Dec-12 00:02:27

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 grin). 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.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 10-Dec-12 00:05:46

Ahh that makes more sense Pandemoniaa

But I think I'd rather spend the extra and get a decent central heating system installed.

Pandemoniaa Mon 10-Dec-12 00:15:57

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.

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.

GreatCongas Mon 10-Dec-12 00:26:34

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

Anyway...
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

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Mon 10-Dec-12 00:58:34

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>

Abitwobblynow Mon 10-Dec-12 06:21:22

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 angry

Abitwobblynow Mon 10-Dec-12 06:24:21

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.

higgle Mon 10-Dec-12 07:42:18

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.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 10-Dec-12 10:05:54

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. hmm

GreenPetals Mon 10-Dec-12 10:19:47

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).

GreenPetals Mon 10-Dec-12 10:21:27

higgle, yes I have heard quite a few stories about newborn lambs being put in the oven to warm up (and save their lives!)

2rebecca Mon 10-Dec-12 17:27:42

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.

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