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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.

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.


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


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


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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

MrsMiniversCharlady Sun 09-Dec-12 18:54:26

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)

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