Aga-owners: Can you survive with ONLY an Aga?

(28 Posts)
Rooble Wed 26-Mar-14 08:37:34

We are going to view a house this week, and as far as I can see from the photos, the only cooker is an Aga, the details don't mention how it is powered.
If you're an enthusiastic cook, is it realistic to have a kitchen with only an Aga (two ring), or would it be sensible to budget for some kitchen alterations?
I'd be grateful for your views!!

expatinscotland Wed 26-Mar-14 08:39:46

Could always get one of those toaster oven thingies and a two ring camp stove.

Rooble Wed 26-Mar-14 08:58:28

Yeah. All feels a bit like camping to me... Hmmmm. Going to have to have a serious think about this.

expatinscotland Wed 26-Mar-14 09:00:18

I'm sure people do it. I know a lady who has only a Rayburn, but her children are all grown and she's single, so she mostly uses a toaster oven and microwave.

LittleMymble Wed 26-Mar-14 09:12:13

My mum only had an aga for cooking and heating until I was about 11. This was in the days before microwaves were widespread etc. We definitely survived but I don't remember any enthusiastic cookery. Ours was coal and needed to be lit every morning, so an extra job, and had to be on all day in the summer too which did get roasting hot.

mumtoxii Wed 26-Mar-14 09:21:05

I only have an Aga, and have 12 children, and whilst only seven are now at home, I have never had any other means of cooking, and have found it no problem at all! I cook and bake every day. It is just a question of getting used to using one!

TalkingTree Wed 26-Mar-14 09:22:01

I had an aga and no other means of cooking for 15 years, all through the time my dcs were small. It was brilliant, and I miss it now that we've moved to a house with a more state of the art kitchen. It does take a while to settle in to the 'aga' way of cooking, but once you have, it's fantastic. Ours was gas fired.

LtEveDallas Wed 26-Mar-14 09:36:40

Fuck me 12 kids <<misses point of thread>> grin

We are about to exchange on a house with only an Aga (gas fired). I got lots of help on here from Aga owners, and Aga themselves do 'training days' which I am going to take advantage of. I'm looking forward to it, but have sensibly given myself a timeline to get used to it (and the bills) and put aside the money to replace if we don't get on.

My main worry is the stove top cooking, so we may invest in an electric hob to use alongside.

tobiasfunke Wed 26-Mar-14 09:46:08

My MIL had one and no other cooker but for at least 4 months of the year her kitchen was so unbearably hot (and she lived in Scotland.) Most people with another cooker turn it off in the summer months. We had one in this house when we moved in and got rid of it after a year because our gas bill was horrendous. We had another cooker and it was switched off from May to September.

Rooble Wed 26-Mar-14 09:47:47

LtEve - that's exactly what I thought! (Fuck me, 12 kids!).

I guess if the house is nice we could give it a go for 12 or 24 months, then review the situation. It seems a v expensive way to go when there are only 3 people in the family, and the Aga isn't used for heating at all. Hmmmm

Rooble Wed 26-Mar-14 09:49:17

Yes Tobias - I was thinking this would be similarly hot as the kitchen looks (from the photos) relatively small.

moobaloo Wed 26-Mar-14 09:56:04

My mum only has an aga and gets on fine, was used to ordinary ovens before she moved and only had the aga. It's not a problem. Two rings, two ovens (one is just warming or holding oven). However if she's just doing something quick like beans on toast she uses a little camping gas ring as it's quicker to heat up.

I have an ancient gas-fuelled aga and an oven. I very rarely use the oven, but get frustrated with not having a hob in the summer when I'd rather turn the aga off. I've used a 2-ring electric portable hob, but it does look silly in an otherwise organised kitchen.

Sunnyshores Thu 27-Mar-14 11:15:08

I dont cook much and when I do I'm really bad at it and dont enjoy it at all - so when faced with a new house with just an Aga I was really panicking. BUT I went on the AGA course, read some books and actually I love the oven part, but found the hotplates/rings more difficult. So for about £500 we fitted a hob. Then the only debate is financial & environmental!

OneEggIsAnOeuf Thu 27-Mar-14 11:59:02

I think it is fine to have a range only as long as it is running most of the time anyway. If you have to heat it up just to cook then it is not cost effective. Also, in a small space the room will get very hot in the summer so you may want an alternative for that reason alone. Of course it can be harder to fit an alternative into a smaller kitchen - i have had a camping cooker as well at one point for that very reason.

In terms of actual cooking though, they take a bit of adjusting to, but there is something very satisfying about cooking this way, and i can't think of anything a couldn't cook with a range alone. We had to take one out in our current house, and while it was the right thing to do (v expensive to run, tiny kitchen, no room for alternative) i did feel rather like i was ripping the heart of the house out, and i still miss it.

happyyonisleepyyoni Thu 27-Mar-14 22:04:52

You'll have to budget for astronomical fuel bills if not kitchen alterations. They are a shockingly inefficient way to heat your house/cook.

We have an Aga , we do have an electric oven too although I mainly use this as a store cupboard for my cake tins which I hardly ever use .
We don't turn the Aga off , it does our hot water , and as we live in a big draughty old house the kitchen never gets too hot , if it does we just leave the kitchen door open .

PigletJohn Thu 27-Mar-14 22:56:21

"the kitchen never gets too hot , if it does we just leave the kitchen door open ."

ah, the fuel economy method of heat control.

It's about one day evey 9th summer , a very rare occurrence .

randomfemale Fri 28-Mar-14 23:24:22

We have an Aga it is powered by gas and keeps the kitchen lovely and warm in the colder months. Switched it off a week ago (also have a free standing electric cooker) I do love cooking on the Aga - but to have it switched on all year round is far far too many £'s.

If ours heated the hot water as well it would be on all year round but it doesn't. I hate it when it's turned off sad

happyyonisleepyyoni Sat 29-Mar-14 20:35:58

Rofl at the Aga owners who are impressed it keeps the kitchen warm. I have central heating that does that.

Catsmamma Sat 29-Mar-14 20:41:43

I've a stanley oil range. If you're in most of the time, then they are great, they are hot, plenty of HW and house is warm,the cooking is a by product really

but if you've to heat them up for cooking then I'd say you are on a hiding to nowhere

We also have a wee domino gas hob, lpg tank/carton/container what the hell are they called?? outside the kitchen

gandalfcat Sat 29-Mar-14 20:49:06

I have a Raeburn that is gas powered and does cooking, hot water and central heating - I hate it with a passion. It is expensive to run, most rooms not warm enough, but kitchen too warm, oven takes hours to come up to temperature, then if you actually put a large joint in, it drags the oven temperature down. I manage with the addition of a gas hob, microwave with grill and two halogen ovens, but my primary desire when I move is to never see 'the beast in a kitchen' again!

treesntrees Sun 30-Mar-14 22:49:36

I was a cook in a boarding school for four hundred students plus staff and supplied three meals a day on a solid fuel Aga type cooker. We did also have ancillary equipment such as steam ovens and boilers, deep fish fryer range and three commercial toasters but the Aga was used mainly.

PigletJohn Mon 31-Mar-14 00:33:20

I do think an Aga makes more sense if you are cooking pretty well all day.

Otherwise it's just an expensive, bulky, inefficient, fuel-guzzling radiator.

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