1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Anyone have an aga?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by dogcat, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    May be moving into a house with an aga, anyone got any tips or advice about them, and/or the running costs. It is a coal fuelled one.
  2. I've used one in a holiday cottage and didn't like it. Very slow, and whilst the heat given off may be nice in winter it's less welcome in the summer. I'm sure you realise these things run 24/7. You'd definitely want a 'normal' cooker as well imo.
  3. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    Thanks, going to look into how long cooking in one would take.
  4. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I've got one and it's the third I've had. First was a 4 oven LPG Aga, second was 2 oven oil and my current one is a brand new 3 oven electric.
    I wouldn't be without it. They are fantastic to cook on and, TBH, using one for a couple of weeks in a holiday cottage will not give you a good idea of how to use it to it's best advantage.
    With an Aga you cook 20% on the top, and 80% in the oven(s). As for it being too slow that's becasue it wasn't hot enough......simple! If you are cooking a big roast you do need to turn the heat up before you start, and remember when the hoods are open (to use the hotplates) then the heat will drop in the ovens. Cooking in the roasting oven takes no longer than in a conventional oven, and you can put a casserole in the simmering oven for an entire day and it just gets better. Another advantage is that it is instant heat.....you do not have to wait for it to heat up.
    Agas are not cheap to run, but our electric one is cheaper than the oil one and significantly cheaper than the LPG one.
    We do also have a fan oven and induction hob. I use the hob a lot but always choose the Aga over the fan oven.
    If you have an Aga store nearby they offer lessons on Aga cooking which are great if you are new to Agas.
    I'm a fan.....a big fan and have used Agas for 10 years now. The Aga becomes a member of the family!
  5. oliverferret

    oliverferret New commenter

    I had a oil fired aga a few years back. It was wonderful - you could put a casserole in the bottom oven in the morning and come home to a perfectly cooked meal. The top oven cooks more quickly but still slightly slower than a conventional oven. The downside are that if it is your only form of cooking, the kitchen gets very hot in the summer as you need it on to cook.I would also enquire about how much fuel it uses a week. If I could still afford it, I'd have another aga like a shot.
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Just noticed this. I've no idea the running costs of a solid fuel Aga but if you phone someone like Twyford or any local Aga dealer they should be able to give you an idea. I don't think Aga make solid fuel ones anymore but if you wish you may be able to convert it to oil.
  7. I think they're very wasteful of energy. Look nice etc, but for most people today who are out at work ...? And who is going to shovel the coal in?
  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    With all due respect you have only used one in a holiday cottage but as for wasting energy I disagree. Agas are very 'green' as all Agas are made of recycled material (often other Agas!). That aside, ours is in the kitchen (obviously!) which links to our samll sitting room (the snug). We have no heating on in either room as the Aga warms up both areas, saving on energy bills elsewhere.
    I admit though, that the electric one is very energy efficient as we can just switch the whole thing off and then, when we want it on again it heats ups in a matter of hours. OH is anal enough to do all the maths on running costs and it is pretty good!
    I must say I'm not sure I fancy a solid fuel Aga. One property we viewed before we bought this one had a solid fuel Aga and we would have changed it asap had we bought that one, but more for the aggro of shovelling in coal than anything else. Having said that it might well be you only need to fill it up once a day....I don't know.....but I do know once you learn to cook on an Aga properly you will never want to be without it!
  9. But the point is, the OP is considering a coal-fired Aga! How would you keep that going? Or maybe you get home at 5pm or whatever and have to light the Aga and get it up to temperature. I suppose you could be eating by about 7pm if you were lucky.
    And a week was more than enough to realise that I couldn't live with one! The hob was painfully slow and it was on full tilt.
  10. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I know, and I've said I wouldn't go for a coal one myself, but I don't know enough about running costs and how they work which is why I advised OP talks to an Aga engineer about it. It might actually be fine!
    This should most definitely not be the case. I suggest the Aga was in need of a long overdue service, and maybe as it is a holiday let the owners do not maintain the Aga as they should do other than for safety purposes.

  11. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter


    The coal one is cheaper to run and will stay in all day. Toast is easy, just throw it on the top. Cats like them.
    Hideous things. We have bought a few houses with them and now we just rip them out. Slow, expensive, dirty, big, too hot kitchen in summer and need supplementing in winter. Lighting them takes a while, they need servicing every year at about £200.

    Like Marmite but horrid.
  12. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    No.....but coal might be.
    Yes, but if it's already there then there's room for it.
    Flick of a switch for electric. A couple of minutes for others.
    Yes, except electric ones don't ever need servicing!

  13. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I know plenty love them, I prefer more modern appliances. I am utterly uninterested in baking, what I want is fast, easily controlled and consistent. Plus the last electric one I looked at was ten grand. The same sum would PV your roof and possibly pay your electricity bills for life.
    Anyway dogcat will make up her own mind.
  14. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    Thanks for all the comments. The coal will cost just under £60 a month, there is no central heating as the aga heats the enitre property (small cottage).

    It needs to be refuelled once every 1.5 days, so I would properly put some in once every day to make sure it just stayed topped up. The heat that comes off the top is incredible, so I don't think there is an issue with that. Also would not buy a microwave, as with it being on 24/7 I can just put things in one of the oven bits (there are 4) to warm through.
    I think it will be warm in summer, but I can always open the windows and patio doors if needed. Although £60 a month isn't cheap I will have no gas bill and reduced electric as I won't need a microwave, toaster or kettle! I will also have a set fuel cost, so hopefully no scary bills will arrive.
    I think I will need lessons on how to use, but I like the idea of being able to slow cook things, there will be only be living there, so one big pot of food will last me ages!
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Which is fine if you happen to be in but not much cop if you want to go out. It's a lot of money at a time of year when you wouldn't be using central heating anyway.
    They'd be much cheaper to use than running the aga - especially during the summer.
    To be honest, I'd far rather have easy to control central heating and an ordinary cooker.

  16. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    That's fantastic! I know others on here don't like them but I've been cooking on one for 10 years and wouldn't be without it. We do turn it off (sometimes!) and I hate using the conventional oven. It's well worth getting a few lessons, and buy yourself a good book (Mary Berry is the queen of Aga cookery).
    You'll also find it useful for so many other things too, not just airing clothes! Probably the best tip I've had is cooking root veggies. Bring them to the boil in salted water on the boiling plate (left hand one). Then immediately drain off all the water, replace lid and pop into the simmering oven (bottom right) and just leave alone for anything up to......forever! They will be perfectly cooked! The veggie rule for Agas is if it grows above the ground cook it on top and if it grows below ground cook in inside (as above).
    I hope you will grow to love and enjoy your Aga but be patient......it takes a while to understand how it works and each individual Aga is different.
    BTW Lurk, my electric Aga cost less than £6 grand. If you shop around there are deals to be done. Also we're having solar panels fitted so it will run pretty much for free in the day, then we turn it down overnight. The beauty of an electric one is being able to turn it on/off/up/down quicker than other fuelled Agas.
    Still, each to his/her own.
    You can slow cook several smaller dishes at once or one huge one. I regularly cook an enormous batch of chilli, bolognese or curry then freeze portions. As for re-heating, you can again pop a portion of pre-cooked whatever into the simmering oven when you leave in the morning, and it will be perfect when you come home. No danger of it burning or drying out. You will find the Aga does most of the work for you! The roasting oven makes the very best jacket spuds in the world and you can cook a full English, fried eggs and all IN the roasting oven!

  17. dogcat

    dogcat New commenter

    Thanks Belle, with all this aga excitment I better hope the sale goes through smoothly with the house!!!
  18. Belle seems to be a lone pro-Aga vocie, so I'll just add that I love mine. It's oil fired so very expenxive at the moment, meaning I have started (last couple of years) to switch it off in the summer. I don't have an actual cooker, so I use two epectric rings and a combination convection/microwave when it is off. I LOVE switching it back on. It takes seconds and heats up over night. The serice costs less tahn £100 and is only really necessary every 18 months - I tend to have it done every summer though so I don't have to switch it off during the winter. I have the Aga and two strorage heaters in a four bedroom house even in the depths of winter.
  19. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    My student rental property had a Stanley gas stove (heated the house too). Stanleys (Irish) look like AGAs and the company was bought by AGA too.
    I gave up on it after 4 years as there were always glitches, which meant cooking and heating problems for the tenants. British Gas won't service them. Getting a service and safety certificate each year was a nightmare and I had toprovide the tenants with electric heaters andportable hobs/mini oven too.
    Eventually I had a proper gas CH boiler installed and an electric cooker andhe Stanley was disconnected.
    The heating firm said that they got a lot of business replacing AGA systems and that the main complaint was the stifling kitchens in summer. Some AGA owners shut the system down in the summer and have a conventional cooker in use instead. He offered to take away the Stanley (4 man job) but I hoped to sell it (electric blue and excellent condition). I could not get a buyer and 2 years later paid a scrap merchant £100 to take a sledgehammer to it and cart it away!

  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I think part of my dislike of them is prejudice on my part as the 3 people I know personally who have agas have delusions of grandeur ("well, of course, I got an aga, dahling' types) and the fact that all 3 paid extra to have "ordinary" cookers installed some time after getting their agas.

Share This Page