Turning on an AGA for the first time today- any tips?(9 Posts)
Over the summer I moved into a house with an AGA. Keen to use it, though I waited til it felt cool enough to switch it on (Costs £25 a week to run on oil i have heard). Any tips before I do so? What are the utensils I NEED (bearing in mind v small budget) to use it. How can I cook a lasagna in it? Do I need special baking trays that fit on the runners and what can I use as a dividing shelf?
Main q relates to cleaning it- it seems ok but not too sure what i should do before it goes on?
Is it an old Aga? And how long has it been standing unused for? If it's an old Aga then maybe consider having it serviced before you use it. We pay about £120 to service our four oven gas Aga. Other than that, just go for it! You'll never want to turn it off again though. We turn ours off once a year to be serviced and I hate it. The house feels so cold and unloved without the Aga on.
You don't need the special trays that fit but they'll make your life alot easier and they'd last forever - so a good investment in my opinion. I'd also invest in some bako-glide too which you use to line the trays. It's brilliant stuff that can go in the dishwasher and lasts for years. You'll need good oven gloves too - and maybe a gauntlet style glove for reaching things that get pushed to the back of the oven. I'm not sure what you mean by a dividing shelf. Do you mean the cold plain shelf which is used to create a cooler oven or to stop cakes burning? If so, you can buy one form Aga shops. It needs to be stored somewhere other than in the oven though so that it is cold when you use it.
To cook a lasagne depends on whether you have a 2 door or 4 door oven. Either way, it's very easy. Buy yourself The Aga Book by Mary Berry. It has a great lasagne recipe in it, and contains simple recipes for everyday meals.
Enjoy your Aga
It is quite old (10 yrs?) but only been left unused since May. I have had the people round who service it and it isnt due for a service until December and they said it would need to be done every six month so i thought i would leave it til Dec?
Thanks for your help angry (hope you arent!). a trip to the aga shop might happen today then!
The Bake-o-glide is also great for 'frying' eggs. You lay it over the simmering plate, crack your eggs, close lid, and about 2mins later you've got perfect fat-free 'fried' eggs.
You don't say how many ovens yours has - this will make a difference to how you cook things, but as Angry says, the MB book will help with this.
The best thing I did was go on some of the demonstrations at the shop - the most useful being 'A day in the life of the Aga' (!)
I'm afraid I'm rather slack with cleaning - wipe it round after use, obviously, but I use mine as a draining board for the pots and pans so it's always got watermarks (easy to wipe off with a dry cloth if you're --not a slattern-- keen.
And I don't obsess about the lids being grubby - although there is a black plastic guard thing you can get to protect from greasy splashes, which helps.
You'll love it - I'd never go back to conventional cooking now.
I'd also recommend reading the Mary Berry book for advice on how to cook on an Aga - the basics are a little different to a conventional cooker but you'll soon get used to it. The key is to do as much as you can inside the ovens, not on the top.
Well if it's been regularly serviced up until now then I'm sure it would be fine to wait til Dec.
Yes, totally agree about the demonstrations, brilliant idea. It really does help you get to grips with things. You get to try some nice food too!
Mine only gets cleaned once a year when it's turned off - and DH does that. Mine is also a draining board as well as a clothes horse Just a wipe over now and then keeps it nice and shiny.
The bake-o-glide (I knew bako-glide didn't look right!) is also a must for doing the perfect cheese toasty on the simmering plate. Yummy.
Right, off to change my username, as I'm not at all angry or fed up anymore!
ok yes thanks otter- the previous owners left one of those behind. cant wait to use it.
and angry for your tips and help. dh has actually just cooked our first meal on it - on the top (though it was a stir fry which even the demonstration lady said was forgivable).
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