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AGA Ranges


lindag
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I have no direct experience with the classic AGA ranges.

 

However, I used to work with a British expat that had one in his home (where his wife continued to reside), and he made it sound like the biggest pain in the ass. His model provided hot water to the rest of the house, so it depended on a circulator, additional venting, and so on.

 

I would avoid based on his stories, but that was years ago...

 

 

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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I looked into this after hearing it mentioned on the Great British Baking Competition.  It appears they are mega expensive and were formerly owned primarily by the British gentry.  They're quite unusual looking:

image.jpeg.05c72cc04157523687323c224456244c.jpeg

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I know two people that have AGA's

 

and for quite some time.

 

natural gas , in the ' street '

 

they are very well insulated , and very very heavy.

 

you can ( I think they said ) adjust the over all temp

 

for the ovens , but not the individual ovens.

 

they have a separate ' range ' for the summer

 

and turn the AGA off.  

 

I don't know how the  range top works

 

they are covered w insulated circular disks when not in use

 

do not know if they can be adjusted.   they are sealed ' disks '

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I have not used one personally, but looked into them several years ago when applying for a personal chef position with a wealthy client who had one.

 

As stated upthread they're ghastly expensive. They can use electricity or gas, and IIRC have been fitted in the past to burn wood, coal or oil as well. They're always on, but are heavily insulated and pack a lot of thermal mass so they don't actually use a tremendous quantity of gas or electricity (maintaining heat is relatively efficient, compared to attaining a specific hit from a cold start). Some ovens/areas of stovetop are hotter, some are less so, and you pick the one that's appropriate for your current use. The catchphrase used by those who love them is "you don't set your temperature on an AGA, you find your temperature."

 

If you've ever used an old-school wood-burning cookstove, I expect that would be a good reference point.

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@chromedome 

 

interesting points .

 

its my understanding  

 

that at least the ovens , 

 

have a temperature difference 

 

that is set.   you set a single temp 

 

and the oven does the rest.

 

you also stay w that temp you set

 

more or less

 

as it takes a long  time for the temp to change

 

as you are heating up or cooling down the whole oven.

 

Ive cooked on a coal burning wood stove , an ancient one.

 

you ' twirled '  different steel handles

 

and heated up the ( top , ovens )

 

by shaking off some ash from the coal already in the oven

 

if you didn't kn ow what you were doing

 

the whole stove might get ' red hot '

 

no joke

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My dad's old boss, David Ogilvy, started his advertising career by selling these things door-to-door. He then wrote the sales manual that the company continued using for decades. Considering how expensive and ungainly these things are, I'm rather awed by the guy's gift for B.S. rhetoric.

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Notes from the underbelly

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Okay, my take on the AGA - back in the day in England when central heating was uncommon the stove not only heated your food but also your house - nowadays I think its more a nostalgic thing (and a thing of beauty as well) the newer ones do not have to be "on" all the time, but with their huge mass it would take a while for the oven to come to temp, whereas the new top burners being gas work just as normal

 

I stand to be corrected on any or all of my previous observations

 

p

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2 hours ago, palo said:

Okay, my take on the AGA - back in the day in England when central heating was uncommon the stove not only heated your food but also your house - nowadays I think its more a nostalgic thing (and a thing of beauty as well) the newer ones do not have to be "on" all the time, but with their huge mass it would take a while for the oven to come to temp, whereas the new top burners being gas work just as normal

 

I stand to be corrected on any or all of my previous observations

 

p

 

Also back in the day ... that Aga sales manual assumes many households will have a full-time cook in residence. Suggesting that the stove will get used for 3 meals a day every day, making it slightly more credible that keeping the thing hot 24/7 wouldn't be a colossal energy waste. 

 

https://www.agamarvel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aga_ogilvy_booklet.pdf

Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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Maybe @jackal10 will weigh in on his experiences. Granted, his AGA was purchased secondhand and was made in the 1940's, but he did some fine things in it / on it during his foodblog.

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Seeing them used on several episodes of Lords and Ladles it appeared that you had to learn how the stove would tell you how to cook instead of you telling your range to operate to your ways of cooking/baking. 

 

Lords and Ladles was filmed in great estate homes.

Porthos Potwatcher
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18 hours ago, paulraphael said:

My dad's old boss, David Ogilvy, started his advertising career by selling these things door-to-door. He then wrote the sales manual that the company continued using for decades. Considering how expensive and ungainly these things are, I'm rather awed by the guy's gift for B.S. rhetoric.

Of Ogillvy and Mather?

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13 hours ago, Porthos said:

Seeing them used on several episodes of Lords and Ladles it appeared that you had to learn how the stove would tell you how to cook instead of you telling your range to operate to your ways of cooking/baking. 

 

Lords and Ladles was filmed in great estate homes.

 

This has led me down the rabbit hole in search of this show and I have met nothing but dead ends. If anyone has found a place to stream this in the US, I would love to watch it!  If memory serves, I believe that “The Two Fat Ladies” occasionally cooked in kitchens with AGAs.

"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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12 minutes ago, BetD said:

 

This has led me down the rabbit hole in search of this show and I have met nothing but dead ends. If anyone has found a place to stream this in the US, I would love to watch it!  If memory serves, I believe that “The Two Fat Ladies” occasionally cooked in kitchens with AGAs.

It's not currently available for streaming. The last time I was able to watch it was season 1 on Amazon Prime. It's on our watch list should they ever bring it back. I would buy it on disc in heart beat but I don't have high hopes for ever finding it.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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3 hours ago, gfweb said:

Lol. She's 1/2 mile away and ancient. We wave as we drive past. 

 

I don't wanna wish bad on your ancient neighbor, but if you're the first one in that house after the inevitable, you might be able to get the AGA out with just a little help.

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27 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

I don't wanna wish bad on your ancient neighbor, but if you're the first one in that house after the inevitable, you might be able to get the AGA out with just a little help.

LOL

 

I wouldn't want the beast, much less have a place to put it.

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