New Aga is in! Any tips out there for an Aga novice?

(14 Posts)
Kittybythelighthouse Sun 18-Sep-16 18:41:51

Our new Aga went in on Friday. Well it's new to us, we got it secondhand. It hasn't been switched on yet because of some issue with the flue (we'd had the chimney opened up and lined to get it put in). It should be turned on this Wednesday and I'm really excited! Any tips out there for an Aga novice? I'm a keen cook already but slightly intimidated by this totally new way of cooking...what are the most useful Aga accessories out there? Do you really need the toastrack for example?

FurbysMakeSexNoises Sun 18-Sep-16 18:48:09

Yay!! Go on an aga cooking course, buy some Mary berry books and the roasting tins and tin liners that fit. I can't be arsed with the toasting thingy personally.

Kittybythelighthouse Sun 18-Sep-16 19:06:46

Thanks for the advice! Any particular brand of roasting tins? Must they be Aga branded? The cook shop have 3 for 2 on today as it happens...

FurbysMakeSexNoises Sun 18-Sep-16 19:23:32

They ideally need to be designed for the AGA as they got exactly on the tracks so you can stack them. There's a really good starter pack that includes a cookery book on the aga website- great place to start.

squiggletea Sun 18-Sep-16 19:34:32

Do as much in the ovens as you can rather than on the hot plates. ie bring your potatoes to the boil, drain most of the water away and then leave to steam in the bottom oven. Does make fab mash!

Yes you want the toast rack. Toast made on the hot plate is lovely. What fuel source is it? Oh and colour? Not important but I love Agas and am being nosey. grin. I can't wait for the weather to cool down as I want to switch ours back on.

squiggletea Sun 18-Sep-16 23:40:02

And toasted sandwiches/panini etc

TeaAndCake Wed 21-Sep-16 14:48:23

Definitely try a beginners course at an AGA shop. You'll be amazed at how much food can be produced at one time!

Buy the AGA roasting tins and line them with Bake-o-glide. They fit directly on the runners in the ovens then you can fit more in. It certainly helps if your saucepans have metal handles so they can go directly into the ovens too.

Use the cook everything in the ovens method as much as possible. This saves fuel. So start things off on the hot plates then transfer to the appropriate oven and just let it cook away in there. A cast iron casserole dish is very handy.

Use oven gloves. I have always hated oven gloves but had to get used to them once we had an AGA. I use the long 'gauntlet' type ones as its really easy to burn your forearms when fishing pans out from the back of an oven (they're really deep).

A friend lent me a book book called 'The Complete Book of AGA Know-how' by Richard Maggs which has been absolutely brilliant and I still refer to it when a bit unsure about the best method to use (must give it back to friend! Oops!). Highly recommended.

We love the toast rack, it really does make the best toast. Pre-warm it on the boiling plate for 1 minute before putting the bread in it, then it won't stick.

We have two stackable racks which sit over the closed lids and are fabulous for drying everything. Load them up with laundry in the evening (when you're presumably not cooking anything) and everything will be dry in the morning.

The circular chef pads which sit on the lids are also v handy and protect the domes from getting scratched.

A good razor blade type scraper is also essential for scraping the gak off the top. Trying to use a cloth and get a good result while it is switched on is hopeless. Also, NEVER use the 'power spray' type cleaners on the enamel. It will wreck the finish and there will be no going back.

Can't wait for ours to go back on either! Looking forward to roast dinners, pancakes made on the simmering plate and airing the laundry from the washing line!

Kittybythelighthouse Wed 21-Sep-16 17:04:06

Thanks everyone! This is all great advice. SingingTunelessly, it's pistachio and I LOVE IT!!

Buggerlugs123 Fri 23-Sep-16 14:25:43

I love our AGA-it's another member of the family!! When we got ours I did loads of research - read books and watched lots of demonstrations on YouTube. I went to 2 AGA demonstrations-1 general one and 1 Christmas one. You'll get the hang of it in no time. Enjoy!

Buggerlugs123 Fri 23-Sep-16 14:25:50

I love our AGA-it's another member of the family!! When we got ours I did loads of research - read books and watched lots of demonstrations on YouTube. I went to 2 AGA demonstrations-1 general one and 1 Christmas one. You'll get the hang of it in no time. Enjoy!

knittingwithnettles Fri 23-Sep-16 16:12:20

saucepans and frying pans which work on gas, may not be quite level enough for an Aga. I have lots of Aga saucepans, and heavy duty frying pans. Pasta cooks incredibly fast on the boiling plate, as do potatoes, green veg, rice, but you need to have a pan which makes contact.

PS. I do very little of the cooking pasta in bottom oven whatever they say, life is too short... and I don't like bending down with heavy pans of hot water. Some potatoes also taste v nasty when cooked in steaming low oven method..

I have had Aga for 10 years now, Gas, and it is heaven. If you have a two oven Aga though, watch the tops of the cakes, and invest in one of those cold plain shelves.

Never simmer things on simmering plate though, much better to put them in the simmering oven, simmering plate can be too hot for stews etc..

Drying clothes on the Aga can become an obsession to the exclusion of actually cooking anything!

A bit of patina doesn't matter, don't obsess over the finish on the enamelling. Joy of Aga is that it needs very little cleaning, just a quick wipe over. They look good even when a bit greasy and stained...

knittingwithnettles Fri 23-Sep-16 16:18:10

I tend to bring things to a fast boil on the boiling plate and then move them over to the simmering plate (where they continue to boil very fast smile if I am boiling several lots of veg/starch. The trick is to start on boiling plate.

Always make a note of putting something in the oven, you won't smell it, unless you are on the roof, if it is burning wink

A lot of recipes which call for gas mark 4/3, can be adapted by putting them in hot oven for a short period (say 10 minutes till breaking bubbles) then moving to simmering oven for at least two hours. Ie rice pudding, casseroles. Be prepared to try out new methods for old recipes and don't panic if the simmering oven doesn't seem to cook fast enough, it is just a matter of leaving a bit more time. Too long in simmering oven and things do actually burn!

Molecule Fri 23-Sep-16 18:09:24

Have always cooked on a Aga, and tend to make standard toast by putting the bread directly onto the simmering plate, as it doesn't burn as quickly. Toasted sandwiches do need the toasting thing though.

A couple of years ago I bought one of these baking trays www.agacookshop.co.uk/hard-anodised-baking-tray.html
It is fantastic, and crisps the underside of whatever you are baking beautifully. Well worth the money and easy to clean.

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