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Yet another Aga thread...Bear with me(35 Posts)
We're in the process of opening up the fireplace in the kitchen (Edwardian house) and I'm really tempted to get an Aga to put in the space.
Looking through the threads on Agas, the main criticism seems to be that everyone turns it off in the summer as it makes the kitchen too hot but this house is freezing (we're in Scotland) and the ground floor didn't get above 17/18 degrees this winter despite having the heating on. The kitchen is north facing and never gets the sun - so I'm thinking that we won't need to turn it off as the heat will never be too much. Also, DH and I both work from home - my study is up small side stairs from the kitchen - so the heat during the day will also be welcome. Is this a valid argument?
Another issue is that we are pescetarian so the 'great for hearty (meat) stews/roast dinners' angle is missing for us. Thinking about my cooking, I do a lot of rice and pasta meals (on the hob) but I do bake cakes, crumbles, etc. Any vegetarians happily cook with an Aga?
Any other thoughts welcome.
Our Aga has been on all summer and we’re south England! We live in a very old farmhouse tho so although the kitchen has felt warm it hasn’t ever felt uncomfortable in there. I’m not a vegetarian but Aga’s are great for cooking all sorts of things in/on - it’s not just good for joints of meat! There are vegetarian cook books for Agas available on Amazon so maybe have a look at one for some ideas? I’d highly recommend Mary Berry’s Aga recipe book too as she gives lots of hints and tips about where to place food in the aga etc (especially for cakes) to cook them in the best way.
We have an old Aga (over 15 years old) and leave it on all year (although do turn it off when we go away for 2 weeks +). I think with the new Agas you can turn them on and off easily and they heat up really quickly, so you get an Aga and cooking style but the ability to turn it on and off. I have to say that given the cost of running one I wouldn't buy one now that had to be on all the time.
Given that you're in Scotland with a North facing kitchen, an AGA sounds quite sensible.
I've never used an AGA, but as a child we had one in a house in the Midlands with no central heating! I recall our big kitchen was the best place to be when it was really cold.
As lost said, I believe that new AGAs have better temperature regulation than the old days.
“This house is freezing” - an Aga will change that. I turn mine off in the summer, and take out the gubbins and service it, but sometimes not for long. Some years its only off for maybe 4-5 weeks. The rooms above the kitchen do get some warmth from it. Sounds like it will be perfect for you actually!
I rarely get to turn my aga off but this summer I did however two friends with aga's didn't. I miss mine so much, i can't cook without it as I am so used to the Aga way of cooking. I do a lot more vegetarian cooking when it is on. I roast veg, cook rice and potatoes in the oven. Roast butternut squash and mix with curry paste and coconut milk to make curry. If you work from home then you can really justify the cost of running an Aga.
Totally worth getting an Aga for the toast alone, mmmmmm
Get one, it's not just the cooking, it's all the other stuff it does, if your ceiling's high enough, get an airer on a pulley, if they still do the same system, get a hot water jacket on it as well so you have "free" hot water. You have to choose that before installation, they can't do it afterwards. Things will have changed since mine was installed 24 years ago.
There's something so welcoming about walking into a house with an Aga, it's never like walking into an empty house, the warmth is more than just from a fire or a radiator, hard to explain but it's the thing that keeps Aga owners advocating for them I'm sure.
Sounds like your lifestyle is well suited to an AGA. The constant heat is wonderful and can air the whole house in winter.
You can cook rice and pasta in the simmering oven - does a great kedgeree/biryani etc.
They 'aint cheap to buy or run although the modern ones do have more controlability and are cheaper to run.
If you can afford it and have space, get a four oven one or I think some 3 oven variants have a baking as well as simmering and roasting ovens.Trot along to your local AGA dealer and have a browse.
I'm getting an Aga put in - it's a second hand one and we're having it converted to electricity to run off a solar panel. The lovely Aga specialists have told me that it's much easier and quicker to turn it on and off this way, and doesn't take days to heat up
flipping hope they're right
This is all fantastic information! Thanks for taking the time to reply.
There are quite a few second-hand gas ones for sale locally for around £800. The space in the fireplace will only take the 2 oven one - also any bigger would be too much in the kitchen.
DH, coming round to the idea, is off to work out the running costs and the exact space needed.
Thoughts on colour? I've always fancied red...
If you are considering running it off electricity then take a look at an Everhot too. They are more flexible than Aga and cost a lot less to run. I love mine.
Another vote for the aga - had mine 18 years now. If you were to go for a new one they do a 3 oven one now which is the same size as the 2 oven. Also i favour the traditional ones - i would think the modern ones you can turn on and off must be more like a conventional oven encased in cast iron which is an expensive way to buy an oven - please someone tell me i am wrong here? Part of an agas beauty is its simplicity and although my gas aga needs servicing every year there is not much to go wrong and it should last forever which modern ovens dont.
I got mine second hand at a ridiculously cheap price on the Internet otherwise yes I would think it would probably be stupidly expensive. Luckily even the conversion and servicing still brought it in cheaper than buying either a new or a reconditioned one!
Good to hear about the second-hand Aga. I just looked on the Aga website where they warn about buying second-hand but I feel this is the result of them being 'made to last' rather than anything too sinister. I guess there will be ones out there which have been dismantled or trashed but I would think that ones which are in situ and unwanted due to people redoing their kitchen/house purchase, etc. will be fine.
You could also look at buying a second hand re-conditioned model which is loads cheaper than a new one but it will have been serviced, overhauled and be all shiny like new. There are a few companies doing this. Make sure to get advice about the chimney/flue as when we moved ours to our new house 7 years ago it cost more to have a new flue 8nstalled than moving the aga!
We’ve had our electric Aga about five years. Never switch it off, we’re in Yorkshire and our kitchen is south west facing. Has been a bit hot some days this summer but this year has been very unusual weather. It’s lovely in winter
If you make bread at all it’s brilliant and is ideal for things that you’d normally do in a slow cooker. I wouldn’t want to be without mine now
Possibly stupid question from someone who has never been around an Aga before - how do you cook if you turn it off for weeks over the summer? Do you need to have a secondary oven/hob?
Hi for it. I love my Aga although am selling my house so will lose it! (It belongs to the house really.)
I cook the best cakes in it. Much better than my regular oven! Xx
I have a beautiful duck egg blue 2 oven aga. It’s a pre-1970 model and we bought it about 10 years ago. We have a south facing kitchen in the north of England and it’s our only cooker and source of hot water, so we never switch it off. It’s never too hot in our (large) kitchen but I admit I couldn’t bear the thought of standing over it during the recent heatwave (probably would have been the same with any oven though!). I work part time and DH works partly from home, so whilst it’s not cheap on gas to run (approx 150-200 per month including central heating from boiler) we do use it a lot. Dry most of the washing on it or above it on a pulley maid. Do it!!
You could always ask the local Aga dealer if they have a service contract for the one you want to buy, or ask the people selling it if they have a service history with it.
If not, do be careful. Agas aren't a solid unit like a cooker to move, they have to be dismantled bit by bit then rebuilt in situ by a qualified Aga engineer or you'll have no guarantees that it's been installed properly.
Depending on its age, it may have been converted from one fuel to run on another. (wood/solid fuel to oil was common a few years ago) It really depends on how this conversion was done and who by as to whether you'll get one that works properly or not. If it runs on oil or gas or propane now, I'd want to know if it's safe as well.
I guess it's a bit like buying a second hand car, if you don't know enough to know if it's a good deal or not, pay an expert to give their opinion.
I contacted Aga about ours and they didn't want anything to do with something they hadn't sold as a new unit. I can recommend a company who have been fab though if you're anywhere north of Leeds
Yes Canine i have a gas hob and electric oven.
Do look at the Everhot range as well. I spent ages wanting an AGA till my SIL got an Everhot and I've ended up with an Everhot instead.
They run off a normal plug socket, the top is square, the grill is full width and depth, you can set individual ovens/hobs to come on and off at specific times with the newer range, you can have a choice of solid top and induction and they are basically bomb proof. Ours is 18 years old and runs like a dream.
My DM has an AGA and I much prefer the Everhot.
Depending on where you are in Scotland - or anywhere else actually, agas (gas/oil) are a fucking godsend when there’s a power cut! Our old one had people coming over to us for our piping hot water and slow roasts when the leccy was cut off for 4 days a few years ago.
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