View Full Version : AGA

20th Dec 2008, 23:56
Don't have one but like the idea especially in the colder times. Heat the house and be ready for cooking at pretty much anytime. Add a fire place....sheer luuuuuxery. Any one got one? Experiences?

When I were young we were lucky to have a candle.

21st Dec 2008, 00:08
And the very best of luck mate.

There has been an AGA in my sister's house since my dad bought it in 1967 - oil fired - so has the ouch factor - but it just seems to be a natural partof a farmhouse kitchen. Also you need a second cooker to permit it to be switched out in summer in most houses

So - when were building a new kitchen here, we thought an AGA would be a nice add on - bear in mind you are talking 5k or so

We couldn't get the Cheshire or Lancashire AGA people to show the faintest interest and I might add - we were a cash customer - so if you do want to proceed, test out your local people for their business acumen

We ended up with a range unit from Belling in the end - at a fraction of the price.

Don't forget there are lots of second hand AGA rebuilders too

21st Dec 2008, 00:11
Not an Aga but an Alpha - difference being that you can set the temperature of the ovens with some new fangled thermostat thingy. Of course Aga still exists as a business but Alpha has gone t!ts-up so I kind of have the betamax of cookers.

21st Dec 2008, 00:17
gaga baby
laga young adult
aga middle age
saga senior age

21st Dec 2008, 01:20
... you are talking 5k or so ...That's over 10,000 Aussie dollars. For a bloody cooker?????????????? :uhoh:

Also you need a second cooker to permit it to be switched out in summer in most houses ...I'm not sure what that means except that having paid a massive amount of money for the first cooker, you then have to shell out more for another one.

Is there some arcane logic to this of which I'm unaware?

Ah ... okay, just checked it out and it seems they're available here in Oz too. Bit like the old Rayburn wood stoves you see in colonial style houses. Heats the water for you and does central heating as well ... although I don't think there would be a single house in Western Australia that actually has central heating, so what we need is an Aga that does air-conditioning!! :ok:

galaxy flyer
21st Dec 2008, 02:46

There is a kitchen device that does air con--the refrigerator!!
Pretty poor at a fry-up, though :E


21st Dec 2008, 07:04
Holds prawns, Balmain bugs and crayfish tails for the Christmas lunch though:ok:

Loose rivets
21st Dec 2008, 07:49
You must always assume that Aga owners will be of a certain breeding. Thorn-proof tweeds will be left at the door, and One's hunting dogs must be settled in kennels.

I know this, because a very attractive, quintessentially English friend, often asks me round for evening drinks and dinner. We normally start in what's called the family room, the real kitchen being called the scullery. Always, within a few moments she starts to peel off her jacket and makes a half hearted attempt at screwing down the air vents on the Aga. The woolens next, and as the next layer of cloths comes off, she blames the heat.

I notice that the logs have been put onto already hot coal. The darn thing is too hot to touch. She says the sash windows have been nailed closed for a hundred years or more. The smell of cooking is wonderful, and the heat rises again as she opens the iron door to check the roast. She hands me my fourth cocktail and stands almost touching as we sip our Vermouth and gin mix.

She fans her face with a slanted hand and peeps seductively through her fingers. Our lips almost touch...

"Just a minute...I have to take something else off, I'm faaaaaar too hot."

Eyes staring, I forget to take my mouth out of the cocktail. What more could she take off? The turns suddenly, and unhooks a clipboard from the Aga rail.

"Aga room comfort checklist." She runs her hands down to the 5lb roast line.

"10 mins, Remove all outdoor garments."

"Not applicable." Says she.

"20 mins, Remove Jumper, loosen belt, and unbutton blouse." She nods. "Check, done that. "

"30 mins, loosen bra, and further unbutton blouse. Let skirt slip 4"below the waist-line." She wriggles, and the skirt drops the last inch required.

I haven't breathed for two minutes, and I'm boiling hot, but I don't care. I am however wondering what a 'room comfort' checklists are all about.

"Dearly done" She purrs. "Just one last look at the crib-sheet....Mmmm, should have remembered that myself." She said, turning as she hauled the roast from the oven.

"There, doesn't that look lovely? Soon as I've got my Wellies off, we'll tuck in."

21st Dec 2008, 08:10
Yup, I've been shopping as well....


21st Dec 2008, 09:14
I may be wrong....but I don't think an Aga does hot water and central heating. You need a Rayburn for that.

They are only any use in the colder months (not that we are short of those) and make a kitchen very welcoming. People tend to gravitate towards them and lean :ok: Once the central heating is turned off you don't want a hugge radiator in your kitchen.

Because the oven is vented they are great for roasts - particularly crackling. If you are a keen cook (or gardener) and indulge in lots of preserving, baking etc, they are heaven. You can open the oven door without noticeable loss of cooking heat and the slow oven takes the place of a crockpot.

Washing can be aired and dogs/boots dried. All in all, a versatile bit of kit.

As already mentioned - you really need a conventional oven and hob for when the range is turned off.

21st Dec 2008, 09:56
I'm an absolute comitted aga-ist. I LOVE them.

they do do your hot water (http://www.aga-web.co.uk/agatech/gen9.htm) btw.

they also dry your laundry in half the time, you can 'iron' your sheets and tough cottons such as jeans etc by leaving them on the top, they can rescue wet and sick animals by placing them in the warmth of the bottom left, you constantly have 7 heat areas available to you at any time - top right: very hot for roasting etc, bottom right: pretty warm for cakes etc, top left: stews etc, and bottom left: plate (and animal) warming, along with the two hobs and waming plate. The ovens are always on, ready for you. it creates the best breakfasts EVER.

It is a big friend that sits in the heart of the home, the dogs lie in front of it, you lean against it whilst sorting out the world, it's a tempermental and contrary bugger, a behemoth that sits in the kitchen yets dominates the home, each aga is different, everybody knows THEIR aga best.

It is definitely a 'country' oven and facilitates all that is good about country life - the whole preserves and gumboots and smelly dogs thing.

I have moved into a house that has a conventional oven made by aga that has gas hobs and electrical ovens. it is a FABULOUS piece of kit, but.... somehow it is really NOT the same. :{

21st Dec 2008, 10:09

Surely you have not given us a snippet, a teaser, a mouth-watering taste of the novel. Or have you?

You made me forget completely the position, course and sail-set on Konfused C.:D

21st Dec 2008, 10:37
they also dry your laundry in half the time, you can 'iron' your sheets and tough cottons such as jeans etc by leaving them on the top, they can rescue wet and sick animals by placing them in the warmth of the bottom left, you constantly have 7 heat areas available to you at any time - top right: very hot for roasting etc, bottom right: pretty warm for cakes etc, top left: stews etc, and bottom left: plate (and animal) warming, along with the two hobs and waming plate. The ovens are always on, ready for you. it creates the best breakfasts EVER. Yeah, yeah, but where's the microwave?..... :8

21st Dec 2008, 10:56
Best bloody thing ever.

When I was ten my folks decided to get one. It is amazing. We got the 2 door one second hand (total refurb and new front) for no where near 5grand! More like 2.

It does the best baked potato's in the land. That surely is enough?

Also, about having a second cooker? Not required. The one at homne is on all year, my old bedroom was above the kitchen and for that one week in the summer it was hot yes, however no where near the temps I think you guys assume. I mean, I was still wearing clothes.

Haven't lived at home for 5 years and I'm still looking forward to going back at Christmas for the aga (and family stuff etc)

We didn't speak to aga at all when we bought it, got it off a guy who does them up and maintains them. Very friendly and very hard working.


21st Dec 2008, 11:32
We had an old coal Rayburn which did hot water and one radiator, the rest of the house was heated (mostly) with 20 tons of logs per year cut up by me - you get warm twice with wood stoves.

Superb for cooking and not bad for warming up and resuscitating new lambs and ducklings. The second time they went in was when we cooked them. Yum Yum.

Gelande Strasse
21st Dec 2008, 11:45
Had an oil fired Aga for twenty years. never been turned off except for servicing. If you keep the insulation well topped up, the heat loss to the kitchen is manageable all year. So no other means of cooking - and it works when there's a power cut!

I also have an Agamatic pressure jst central heating boiler (a Worcester Danesmoor unit) that sits by the side of ot and gives the impression of a 4 oven Aga.

Best thing sinced sliced bread!


21st Dec 2008, 12:47
I love them and have always wanted one. Been considering one for our next place - we will be rebuilding and could alter the kitchen to accommodate it. Did some scouring around t'interweb to see what they cost, found we could get one at a price we were prepared to pay. THEN I did some calcs on the running cost. Got a nice electric oven and gas hob in the Screwfix sale.


Effluent Man
21st Dec 2008, 13:29
I have (I am informed by an enthusiast friend) a 1932 model converted from oil to mains gas.It heats the water too and the entire downstairs floor of the house.Fantastic for cooking baked spuds,rice pudding and casseroles.Downside,about 15 a week gas consumption on medium setting.

21st Dec 2008, 13:50
Agas Bleeding LOVE EM!

We left ours 2 yrs ago when we moved to the ME :{ in fact Mrs Alwayz has just remarked that we could do with one now! It's down to a very chilly 16degs C :eek:.

We used to keep our's running all year round, just opened the back door when it got a bit warm in summer, not that that happened often.

Love em love em love em

And they kept your "nobby stiles" warm too!:E

Charlie Foxtrot India
21st Dec 2008, 14:42

Runs on Kero so smells like a jet has just taxiied by. Mmmmm. One of only a few here in Western Australia, apparently the only BRG one :)

As well as cooking and drying the clothes it runs the hot water system in parallel with solar panels. Very clever, hot water all year round, no electricity required.

Got it second hand for AU$2000. (New one would have been about 10X that imported and installed :ooh:) The builder called it the "Arr-Garr" and thought we were nuts, it had to come into the house by crane.

Bluey, you're right it would be nice if it did air con in the summer! We have it on from April to October and have a lovely Aga man who tinkers with it once a year and tells stories of his trip to the UK to visit the AGA factory...

21st Dec 2008, 15:42
Bluey, you're right it would be nice if it did air con in the summer!
Hmmm ... business opportunity perhaps? Aga-controlled air-con ... it would certainly be a first!! ;)

21st Dec 2008, 15:59
Loose Rivets,

She fans her face with a slanted hand and peeps seductively through her fingers. Our lips almost touch...

Watch it mate, it's probably that tall bloke off "Little Britain" in drag.. "I'm a lady..." :}

Romeo India Xray
21st Dec 2008, 17:02
We have renovated a couple of houses and put Rayburns in. Wouldn't have it any other way. These are gas fired, and were picked up by direct sale for just a few hundred quid. Spend a few hundred more for the service guy to come in and service/connect them and you are home and dry. One word of warning - nothing will prepare you for how heavy they are. If you are doing a DIY installation then you will need some serious through as to positioning, floor bearing strengths/weight distribution and how the hell you will move it without giving yourself a hernia. Erm, thats all I think. Wouldn't have it any other way! Now, looking for a dealer in Latvia .... :rolleyes: although there is a very nice looking Estonian made spin off, maybe I will stry...


22nd Dec 2008, 00:40
mini has distinct memories of a three oven AGA being dismantled and buried by mini senior way back when.

Inefficient was muttered somewhere along the line...

Now with his own abode, condenser boiler for central heating, instantly controllable gas hob etc. mini is of the opinion that AGA type stuff belongs in the yesteryear.

Cute, fashionable, but very inefficient... :suspect:

22nd Dec 2008, 01:04
IMO AGAs belong to those who have no need to ask how much it costs to run.
Look at the way of life.
I'm not saying that they are wrong in any way (any more than having an expensive vehicle), just that they aren't for everybody.
(I'd like to be able to afford to have one.)

Loose rivets
22nd Dec 2008, 02:02
Watch it mate, it's probably that tall bloke off "Little Britain" in drag.. "I'm a lady..."

As I said the other day, 'Nobody's perfect.' :}

Washing can be aired and dogs/boots dried.

Hee hee...when the Rivetess first met me she thought I was okay, but smelled a bit funny. Funny in a quite nice sort of way, (she hadn't become a vegetarian then) but the aroma was oddly like the kitchen of a cheap restaurant.

My mum was brilliant at making 'practical' devices, and had rigged up a bamboo rack above the cooker. Our chips were the best...cooked in the lard from Sunday's roast. As was the bacon, and the sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs...etc. Trouble is, that she needed the heat to be multi-functional, and cooked and dried at the same time.

I was lucky to hook the Rivetess, most of the girls that took a fancy to me were very, very plump, and had greasy lips.

Mmmm...greasy lips.:}

22nd Dec 2008, 04:41
Just to stir it up. AGAs strike me as the type of thing that would suit those who find a Morgan appealing as a car.
(Ducking for cover with asbestos suit on) :E

cockney steve
22nd Dec 2008, 10:06
Most of it has been said.

An iconic brand that has been pushed to the top of the "English Country House" aspirants' wish-list, by shrewd marketing.

Surprise, surprise, they also own Rayburn.

The nature of the beast means they consume air for combustion....so they need constant draughts....that'll be a British house then!

Their constant heat-loss means, yes, a solid-fuel one will need at least a Cwt. of coke a week to just tick over in summer.

Theoretically,you can convert between oil/gas/solid fuel.

The conversion isn't as simple as you'd think and the parts prices would bring a tear to your eye.

A friend has been quoted 6K to refurbish his 40-year old monster with added heating module ...whole thing is about 8' wide needs a big room!

Due to lifestyle, it's been idle ever since his mum moved to a retirement flat. Takes a day to clean/fill/light/get to stable temp.

If you have someone with TIME to "feed" a solid-fuel one every day, IF you have a bank-balance that will poke 20 up the chimney every SUMMER week....yes, they're lovely.....Oh, forgot to mention, there are different variants for different solid-fuels-a coal one won't do coke or wood properly and likewise,they are all optimised for ONE SPECIFIC FUEL. Nowadays, they're aimed squarely at the "vanity-purchase" market.
Gas hob, electric oven is the most efficient, eco-friendly combination.

Anyone see "CFI" has an electric oven next to his,?

Yes, they're lovely ,in their place.

Effluent Man
22nd Dec 2008, 15:38
Pleased that my objection to 15pw in gas isn't regarded as tight fisted.To keep it to that I have to turn it down to pilot from 5pm until 9am,so my guess is it costs around 25p per hour ro run.It does however retain heat all through the night,much to the approval of my 19 year old cat who sleeps in a box beside it.In summer on tickover the gas use is negligable.

22nd Dec 2008, 16:21
A 4 oven Aga will cost you well over eight grand sterling these days. Factor in a few installation and flue costs and you're talking around ten grand.
It will not heat the water or central heating. It needs a service at least every year according to the manufacturers and will cost at least a thousand per year in oil.
Would love one but having priced it up(even a good refurb is over five grand) decided get a new car instead!

heated ice detector
23rd Dec 2008, 00:00
Just fitted a brand new imported Rayburn, just over ten grand oz, the box says that it must be installed by a competent person, leaves it a bit wide open me thinks
I understand aga is gas, electric and oils whereas Rayburn is wood and coal,
roll on the winter

23rd Dec 2008, 00:10
Yes, they're lovely ,in their place.

Couldn't agree more. Their 'place' is really in the kitchen of a big old stone pile in the Arctic that isn't anywhere near a gas main. In addition, despite above comments they can and do service hotwater/heating just that it's not necessarily so simple to do that depending on the plumbing etc in place and size of the house. Depending on 'burner size' they also have limits on the number of radiators' and the round trip distance for the heating circuit in terms of hot water pipes. They have tables for this kind of thing depending on size, number and distance of rooms to the unit installed.

My suggested solution for any decent sized gaff not connected to gas and north of 20k for connection fee is:

a) get an AGA/Rayburn (Alpha is better honestly) and just run it as a cooker - decent gaff means that you'll have a big kitchen space and it, and all the flue issue stuff, will probably fit nicely into what what was the original range in the kitchen in days gone by, or if not, there's bound to be a lum someplace near and handy. As such, then running even 24/7 at today's prices for kerosene means no more than 1k/year max - more like less than that if you have an alpha (they're better didn't I say) as it's easily turn off-and-onable - you only need it for cooking the chips.

b) get a decent oil boiler for the rest of the house that covers the heating and the hot water eg one of these (http://www.buderus.co.uk/condensing-floor-standing-boilers/sb-315) - Heating costs per year 3k upwards at todays prices in terms of diesel but then you don't live in all the house 24/7.

Net result for big old stone gaff in freezing climate is -

1) COOKER - Cosy general kitchen/break room area - 500-1,000 GBP per annum tops.

2) PROPER KICK-ARSE BOILER - Cosy big rooms (x10) elsewhere - 3,000-5,000 GBP per annum (Pool/sauna area, snooker room and guest bedrooms #5-#20 not included:rolleyes:)

Running costs in total about 5k/year given kero/heating oil @ 60p/litre which was months ago - now more like 50p/litre. Servicing max of 200/year.

In their place, they work out not bad, and, make cooking on demand a breeze to boot, but then I still need the microwave to defrost stuff in a hurry.

23rd Dec 2008, 08:54
good and valid posting there Blue Moo - thanks. :ok:

I'm still an aga-ist though.

[Pendantic mode on] I posted a link stating the fact that they do heat hot water very early on in this thread - a post that seems to have been conveniently ignored by 99.9% of the following posters! :rolleyes: [Pendantic mode off]

23rd Dec 2008, 09:38
In the UK, due to our politicians not making any decisions re what form of power generation to use, other than their fixation on wind:ugh::ugh: We are in serious danger of having blackouts on an increasingly regular basis as the coal and nuclear plants are withdrawn. Some other form of energy will be required in the house, either being a decent generator or an AGA/Rayburn solid fuel stove. Most people will be reduced to eating sandwiches in their overcoats.:sad:

Scumbag O'Riley
23rd Dec 2008, 12:02
A solid fuel stove for "top-up" heating , or on a mild winter day/night all your heating, is a sensible move. However you don't need to blow a ridiculous amount of cash on an AGA, a 350 5kw multi fuel stove in a well insulated house with all your internal doors open will do.

Doesn't do the hot water but then if you are talking emergency blackout scenarios a bucket of hot water from an open fire can shower three people if you know what you are doing.

Mother had an AGA and loved it but I could never see the point and wouldn't have one. As I said above, a nice 5kw multi fuel stove is all you need to keep the hound happy. Plenty of people would disagree with me.

Charlie Foxtrot India
23rd Dec 2008, 14:34
Cockney Steve, yep I also have an electric cooker and hob for the summer months. Would prefer gas but can't be bothered to lug huge gas bottles around.

Heated Ice detector, the local AGA man is called Chris Dunning, he will be able to set up and service your rayburn. google Dunnings Heater Serivces.

Agas can run on coke and wood, but those are a nightmare to light if they go out and need constant attention, kero etc just hiss gently and keep going without any help. Rayburns can also run on oil, both can do the back boiler thing also. Rayburns dont have the versatility of different heat areas of the Aga but are good for smaller kitchens.

But no-one has mentioned yet how much better the food tastes when cooked in an Aga. Maybe it's something you have to grow up with to appreciate. IMHO nothing tastes as good as Aga food.

23rd Dec 2008, 15:18
Got an AGA Masterchef. It was here in the house when we moved in.

Frankly it's a pain in the ar5e!

From someone who has to use it....

The gas hob takes an age to clean.

The gas ovens do not heat anywhere near accurately enough.

It's saving grace is a powerful electric halogen grill and electric top oven.

Give me an induction or halogen hob and a multi-function electric fan oven anyday.

23rd Dec 2008, 20:24
We got a 4 Oven, Gas powered sucker (its red btw).

Cost 7,000 + chimney flue+slab to sit on etc.etc.

AGA themselves are a PITA to deal with but they must be hurting due to the C.Crunch, so maybe you could lever them down a bit- normally they prefer not to negotiate, at all.

I never fancied the thing but must admit wouldn't be without now.

Ours keeps one room always snug (and the room above it) and keeps the chill off the whole house. Although it's dear to run in itself, natch it makes the central heatings' job a lot cheaper/ easier, so it's not all lost.

A pal whose got one likes to lie on his back with his wet feet in the 'plate warming' oven. You also get a 'Roasting', 'Baking' and 'Simering' oven with this model.

A kitchen without the 'GAGA' would seem rather empty now.

It is a bit 'Country posh' though. Hey-ho.:hmm:

heated ice detector
24th Dec 2008, 08:25
Thanks CFI,
the fitment was in the great southern and has been done by a local,
only had to remove the old one which I plan on getting re-enameled
have a great chrimbo

24th Dec 2008, 09:05
A$10,000 Bluey - consider it a bargain, 4 months ago it would have been

I should also explain for our Southern Hemisphere readers, that us poms have this thing about having their washing machine in the kitchen and drying their washing over the oven so it can absorb all the cooking smells.

I'm halfway through my fourth house renovation (this one -1865).

For the price of an AGA you can install a Vaillant combi boiler, a Stoves 1100 wide seven ring dual fuel range cooker and Uponor underfloor heating in a large 4 bed house and have enough money left to buy a tumble dryer. No radiators, warm stone floors (no shoes year round and the cat loves it) and no contest IMHO.

"Julian and I see the AGA as just a heating and cooking appliance, and somewhere for the labs to dry orf after shooting - it's not a talking point."

"Well stop f:mad:ing talking about it then."

24th Dec 2008, 09:13
We have an Aga, with a pressure jet burner, which is about 30% more efficient than a wick-burner. Turns on and off on a switch on the wall, and it has a thermostat that can be turned down after the roast is done.

Interesting side-effect - She Who Must Be Obeyed has a pretty poor immune system, and her colds have gone down by 75% since the Aga went in three years ago.

The heat out put when not cooking with the lids open should be about 1.5Kw - not much more than a decent sized radiator.