Which AGA should you choose?
Thursday, 25th September 2014, Jane Gibson
(Image source: AGA living)
Other than a gleaming, solid granite worktop, one of the most coveted elements of a kitchen is an AGA range. An AGA is not only a practical piece of equipment, it's an iconic status symbol with a reputation that inspires admiration. However, it's not simply a case of one-size-fits-all with these cast iron cookers, there are lots of different models available, each of which offers different features and benefits.
Which AGA should you choose? That depends on your needs, of course.
Traditionally, you might think that to accommodate an AGA range, you'd need a huge farmhouse kitchen with room for the usual double, treble or even quadruple oven. This is no longer the case, however. The AGA CITY60 is a one-oven cooker which offers all that you would expect from the bigger alternative, but measures just 60 centimetres in width. For those that don't really want that country kitchen feel, there is a contemporary model on offer in addition to the traditional, for a sleeker look.
All cooking techniques can be employed with an AGA, so there should be no anxiety over the delicacy of a soufflé or the juiciness of a steak - you can grill, fry, bake, roast, simmer to your heart's delight without issue. Providing your skills are up to scratch, naturally. If you're someone that cooks a lot, or cooks for a large number of people, then the Traditional 4-oven might be the one for you. This model offers three hotplates: 400F simmering plate, 800F boiling plate and 140F warming plate as well as four ovens - allowing you to prepare a banquet in one go!
Better still, though, is the claim that cooking with AGA can actually make your food taste better. Its gentle, 'radiant heat cooking technology' as AGA describes it, locks in moisture, rather than dries food out meaning your cakes will be moist and your meat will fall off the bone - yum!
Impressing your friends
Okay, while this might not be your number one reason for buying an AGA, it doesn't hurt that the addition of this famous cooker will impress your friends, mother-in-law, neighbours and whoever else you'll suddenly invite round for dinner. What's more, AGA was voted among the top three design icons of the 20th Century.
An AGA, there's no doubt about it, adds a touch of timeless class to any kitchen and are available in pastel shades in addition to the stronger, dark hues you may have seen previously. Cream, heather, duck egg blue and pistachio are just a few of the colours from which you can choose.
If you're striving for a blend of traditional and contemporary, the AGA New Look range might worth some consideration. With fresh styling, these 3-oven dual or total control cookers combine the same superior features as the older models, but with a modern twist. With so many models to choose from, you'll have no difficulty in picking one which complements your kitchen, no matter the style.
Heating the home sustainably
An efficient energy heat store, an AGA will keep your kitchen warm year-round. However, if you want to extend that heat to the rest of your home and to your water, then the AGA Rayburn Heatranger is the model for you. This model comprises a built-in boiler that can heat up to 20 radiators while simultaneously providing hot water for your taps. For those that are energy-conscious, the wood-burning variety is a sustainable and self-sufficient option. The Rayburn naturally offers the same cooking experience that the other models do.
Keeping bills low
One of the factors that can make people think twice about buying an AGA is whether they can afford the running costs. Yes, an AGA is typically left on all the time, but newer models can power down when not in use, saving around a quarter of the energy it might otherwise use. Plus, as they can cook food more quickly, the running costs can actually be a lot lower than first thought.
You can choose which fuel type your AGA runs on to better manage your costs, selecting from oil, natural or LPG gas, solid fuel, wood, pellets or electricity - depending on your existing ventilation systems (chimney) . LPG gas in particular can cut your expenses.
There are many reasons to choose an AGA cooker, each of which will have a bearing on the exact specification that you go for. Fortunately, the range of ranges (sorry) is so wide, that your every need will be catered for.