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Am I mad to want an Aga?

(63 Posts)
lexie01 Thu 13-Jan-11 09:24:37

My DH thinks my desire (obsession?) for an Aga is ridiculous given the fact that:

1) Despite having a kitchen/breakfast area which is just over 22ft it is quite narrow (10ft) and very oddly shaped making it impossible to have a backup oven/hob for the summer (I do have a large utility where where the combi microwave will be going)

2) I am not a great cook - my 'skill's' really only extend to trad family fayre like shepherds pie/stews of varying descriptions, the odd roast with a bit of pizza/fish fingers and sausages thrown in.

Am I letting my heart rule my head? Will we absolutely bake (parden the pun) in the summer with the Aga left on? Will it be just a very expensive mistake that I will regret? Please help!!

BlooKangaWonders Thu 13-Jan-11 09:27:17

I think they're mad WAs looking at a house at the weekend, and the aga was a main reason not to buy!

It was the piles of logs in the garden that really put me off...

This is the 21st century, after all!

Pannacotta Thu 13-Jan-11 09:29:39

If you're not a keen cook/baker, then it does seem a bit bananas. They are very ££ to run, not very energy efficient.
There are other options which might be better for you, eg smaller ranges liek Everhot
www.everhot.co.uk/

bamboobutton Thu 13-Jan-11 09:32:14

is it a gas aga?

i grew up cooking on an aga and miss having one like crazy as i can't get used to normal gas/elec ovens, everything burns. i can't wait to buy a house so i can have a massive aga in the kitchen with one of those drying racks hanging above it.

any pets will love it, our old dog used to sleep with her belly pressed right against it, so did the cat.

wouldn't have a solid fuel aga though.

lexie01 Thu 13-Jan-11 10:09:56

It would be a cream gas aga.

BlooKanga - we already have piles of wood i'm afraid for the fireplaces. We live in an Edwardian house and all the fires are open. The Aga however would be gas so less trouble from that perspective.

I have also looked at other range style cookers (although not Everhot) but I keep coming back to the Aga for some reason. It feels well built and looks fantastic - it also has larger ovens than some of the similar ranges on the market.

I have thought that using AIMS with the Aga might help with the summer heat issue but I don't know anyone who has it to ask.

Ohforfoxsake Thu 13-Jan-11 10:21:26

We have one (because it was here when we bought the house) and now I'm used to it, I really do love it. I never use the hob or oven (except in the Summer when we turn the Aga off as it makes the kitchen too warm).

Our gas bills aren't higher than I would expect them to be in a house this size - in fact first 6 months suggest we use less than average.

Its the first place you stand when you come into the kitchen. It usually has football boots and trainers lined up in front of it to dry them out. DH loves it more than me. You don't get the same cooking smells and its easy to forget things are in there - especially in the warming oven.

Aga pots and pans are expensive,and not necessary.

To use it efficiently you would bring something to the boil on the hotplate then put it in the roasting oven (you do pasta like this - it works fine). Mary Berry books are a good starting point.

It costs about £100 for an annual service, ours is a gas conversion so it probably costs a little more. It also heats the water for upstairs.

This post is my total knowledge about them and how to use them!

Ingles2 Thu 13-Jan-11 10:35:49

we've got an electric aga and I love it...
It's not true you have to be a keen cook, or it's a waste. It's easy, if not easier to make your day to day staples on it. It's always on, you can leave things simmering slowly in the warming oven, it takes a bit of getting used to, but otherwise simple.
My kitchen is similar to yours, 10ft x 40ft and I don't have a back up oven in the house.. never needed one. and we use it as sole form of heating from spring to autumn.
Have you considered electric? the inital outlay is £££ but is energy efficient and can be run from a renewable resource

mrsshackleton Thu 13-Jan-11 10:37:13

We have an aga and no spare hob for summer, there's a couple of days a year the kitchen feels v hot, apart from that no worries

You could always buy a mini overn/hob thingy from Lakeland and use that during those two days of the year

I love my Aga and dcs huddle round it all the time

blowninonabreeze Thu 13-Jan-11 10:49:07

I adore ours. We inherited it with the house and have no other form of cooking so it's on all year round. It does get a bit warm in the summer, but we have French doors that are constantly open.
Ours is gas and is the only thing in the house that runs on gas (heating is oil) when we moved in they put us on the standard gas tariff for a family of 4 in a 4 bed house, i aggreed, but explained that as it was only the aga, I didn't think we'd use that much, after 6 months, we were £12 in debit!! So they are pretty expesive to run. (it's a 4 oven though)

still wouldn't change it for the world.

nowwearefour Thu 13-Jan-11 10:53:48

what fox said. though ours is oil.

wolfhound Thu 13-Jan-11 11:04:59

Hello, we bought a house with a 4 oven cream gas Aga last year, and I LOVE it. Had never cooked with an Aga before, but am completely converted, and it is wonderful. Coming down to a warm kitchen in the morning is fab. Got ours converted to AIMS at the end of the summer, so haven't yet had a summer with it on AIMS. It was a bit hot last summer with it on all the time (we don't have another cooker either.) Just opened windows though. Hopefully will be better this summer with the AIMS. Have ours set to go down to almost-off overnight, and down to low from breakfast till mid-afternoon (you can still cook on it on low, it just takes longer). I am not a fantastic or over-keen cook, but so many things are so much easier with the Aga (and it's brilliant for Xmas dinner!).

lexie01 Thu 13-Jan-11 11:16:34

Ooh....this all sounds very positive.

Ingles2 - I don't think I can have an electric Aga. I had the survey done last year (yes my indecision has been going on for a long time!) and they suggested gas. I think it was something to do with where I was planning to site the Aga.

I have got a few friends with Agas and they all switch off in the summer saying that it would be unbearable with it left on. For those that don't switch off is the heat similar to me leaving my normal oven on 24/7. It is very hard to get an understanding of how much heat is generated..

lexie01 Thu 13-Jan-11 11:27:23

Forgot to ask as well - for those of you that leave your agas on in the summer do you have exceptionally large kitchens?

blowninonabreeze Thu 13-Jan-11 11:55:32

We leave ours on all summer, it IS hot. Probably 2 or 3 days a year when I wish we didn't have it. But it's hard to imagine that at the moment when the heat is sooooo welcome!
It's a pretty large kitchen, probably 22 x 15 ft. But we have doors at both ends so i just open them both to get a through draft.
I'd say it's hotter than just leaving the oven on, hard to quantify really, are you going for a 2 or 4 oven? Have you got space elsewhere just for a hob? I sometimes consider that for the summer.

jonicomelately Thu 13-Jan-11 11:59:06

I thought electric agas were easier to site than gas ones?
Ingles. I heard that electric agas could be a bit unreliable. I thought that sounded rubbish but what's your experience?

mrsshackleton Thu 13-Jan-11 15:01:24

It's probabaly a bit hotter than leaving the oven on but with windows open it is completely bearable, you just don't all huddle round it like you do now

Does anyone really cook pasta in the roasting oven instead of the boiling plate? Wouldn't you have to keep hauling it out to check it was done?

OmniumAndGatherum Thu 13-Jan-11 15:02:49

We bought an Aga 6:4 purely because I thought it was pretty and I didn't want to have the cooker on all the time. I am not a cook, and it does M&S ready meals perfectly. grin

Ingles2 Thu 13-Jan-11 19:35:56

I'm sure Electric agas are easier to site than any other, as there is no flue involved.
and it's broken down twice in about 9 years, so not unreliable either. Once it needed a new circuit board and that was pretty expensive, about £1000 but otherwise it's been great.
We've not found it too hot in summer, but this is an old cottage, draughty with stone floors. and I'm always grateful for the warmth especially as our heating is oil which is costing a fortune atm

lexie01 Thu 13-Jan-11 21:04:16

Thanks everyone for your comments. They have made me feel much more positive about getting an aga - especially the fact that you can heat ready meals in it given my lack of prowess in the kitchen!!

Ingles - I will pull out the survey info but I am sure there was an issue with an electric aga but I will check. We have very cold quarry floor tiles in our kitchen which are laid directly on ash so are freezing most of the time - hopefully this might mitigate the effects of the heat in the summer.

dikkertjedap Thu 13-Jan-11 22:05:07

We have an oil fired aga which also heats the water. It stays on during the Summer but on a lower setting, we still use the ovens and get hot water from the Aga then so we don't use the boiler during the Summer. It is not as expensive to run as the oil fired boiler TBH. I love baking in the Aga, especially bread, roasts, it is wonderful. However, cooking on an Aga can be a slow affair and I prefer our induction hob for that. Once we move house I intend to take our Aga with us, I really like it a lot.

pinksmarties Thu 13-Jan-11 23:11:09

What's AIMS ?

hidingmytrueidentity Thu 13-Jan-11 23:17:17

I have a new 4 oven gas aga. I love it and have always had agas though oil and old before.

It costs a fortune to run. My bill for gas was over 4k but I have now changed supplier and it's 3k. We have worked out that the aga is about half of that. Our only other gas is heating and we use that from November until end of April only. The entire summer consumption is the aga and it's about £150 a month.

Kato77 Thu 13-Jan-11 23:23:41

£4k for gas bill!!!!!! That is totally shocking. Don't get an Aga - they are the cooking equivalent of a Land Rover or hideous american SUV from an environmental point of view.

Yours greenly ................

lexie01 Thu 13-Jan-11 23:44:12

You are absolutely right of course Kato - they are very expensive to run and are bad for the environment (although they do last forever and I will get rid of other appliances like a tumble dryer etc) but that being said I still want one. Does that make me a bad person? Am I superficial and easily swayed by persuasive marketing campaigns? Probably!

Pinksmarties - not sure what AIMS stands for but my understanding is that it is a device which enables you to programme your Aga - so it will go into slumber mode overnight for example (and consume less gas) and during the day if everyone is out at work/school. I don't know anyone who has it and whether it actually works. For example if it takes hours for the Aga to get back to the correct temperature from slumber mode it hardly seems worth it. Are there any MN who use AIMS?

KittyFoyle Thu 13-Jan-11 23:51:07

We just had our Aga assessed to have AIMS put in and convert to electric. It does make it programmable and you can set it to be cool during the night and warm again by morning or to go off if you're away etc. Not sure it would have paid for itself, although much better environmentally, but when we had the assessment oil was 41p a litre and now it's 71p so it's costing an absolute fortune. Very scary - and we have no other way to cook (it came with the house) so it's on all year. We might go for the AIMS conversion now oil is so expensive - although it should come down again.

But lovely to have one for lots of reasons although if you mostly reheat stuff and don;t do much cooking it seems a HUGE extravagance to me.

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