Ah, it's a shame Andy Hall's no longer with us - he was the Aga man!
I have a Stanley - not quite the same as an Aga, however...
As I understand it, then newer Agas have a modulating burner, so they
could replenish heat lost through the hoptplates quite quickly, whereas
the older "traditional" ones had a constant low-burn heat source.
So if you leave the lids open on the hotplates then you'll lose heat
stored up in the guts of the cooker, and the oven will cool. It's
possible that your older one could compensate for this by upping the
burner output. (This is how our Stanley works), but your new one (a
refurbished much older model?) can't.
So how do you cook? The "traditional" way is to cook *everything* in the
oven - or as much as is practical - so boiling spuds - put less water
in the pan, bring it to the boil on the hotplate, then bung it into the
oven to finish off, and so on. Of-course you could be doing this already
and I'm preaching to the converted :)
And now be prepared for the ensuing holy war by people who simply regard
them as a fashion item ;-)
If its gas or oil, it should be modulating with a stat.
Star with a slightly higher oven temp and then transfer the roast to the
lower part of the roasting ovem and out the puds in the top.
>We've recently replaced it with a newly refurbished "traditional". The
>oven temp is fine until you start cooking! It dropped to about 140 C
>during sunday lunch and the yorkshire puddings had no chance! The
>inbuit thermostat showed it slightly under norm but not drastically
>The seller and fitter have no explanation.
I'm surprised the seller has no knowledge of this as it is a very well
known and well documented "feature" of the Aga. Basically an Aga is a
crude box with a small fire in it. It is hugely wasteful of fuel (yet
a surprising "must have" accessory for members of Friends of the Sod
and Greenpeace) as it sheds about 1.25kw per hour doing nothing but
only has a marginally greater input capacity which means its only
reserve of energy is that stored in the scrap iron surrounding it.
Unfortunately, despite what the adverts say, most of that is the
wrong side of the vermiculite insulation so doesn't do anything useful
(hence the running costs of over £1,000 per year). If you shed heat
quickly an Aga doesn't have the capacity to recover so temperatures
The best way of shedding heat is to use the top plates. If one
hotplate cover is raised for more than 10 minutes in every hour you
are in trouble as the rate of heat loss from the top plate
significantly exceeds the heat input to the cooker and the
The normally recommended "solution" if you are expecting to cook a
proper meal is firstly to plan on having as many cold dishes as you
can. Gazpacho is a popular Aga starter and ice cream an ideal desert.
Secondly, turn the oven heat up a couple of days beforehand to get
the carbon emissions going and the temperature up. Finally try to
cook the items most likely to turn into carbon as the temperature is
on the wane.
Some older Aga books recommend warming your chicken up to room
temperature a day or so before as well but these days when people
don't expect to be ill after dinner that might be considered to be
The only long term cure is to invest in a cooker.
More economical than the ranges that preceded it though.
> The normally recommended "solution" if you are expecting to cook a
> proper meal is firstly to plan on having as many cold dishes as you
> can. Gazpacho is a popular Aga starter and ice cream an ideal desert.
With stew as a main course, presumably.
> The only long term cure is to invest in a cooker.
Which I believe a lot of people with Agas have as well, "just for summer
I presume trying to deep-fry on an Aga is not a good idea?
"Peter Parry" <pe...@wpp.ltd.uk> wrote in message
I find an essential accessory to an aga is a convection microwave.
Agas really are the next step up from a camp fire for cooking.
They are a fashion accessory not something to be used.
it's not just teh oiol and gas versions that modulate wit ha stat.
The solid fuel one (which I grew up with) also modulated the burning
with a thermostat. It controlled the airflow using a big bimetallic
A new line of pointless subject types??
"Aga oven cools down during cooking"
"Bears sh*t in the woods"
"Pope is a Catholic"
"Saniflos are A Bad Idea"
It can be done, but its hard to get oil temperature much above 100C.
Peter is exaggerating somewhat. We regard our aga as a 8 months in the
year heater, a duty for which it is admirably suited and surprisingly
efficient, plus the ability to get instant heat for cooking. It also
continues to do both functions in the absence of electricity, which is a
distinct bonus out here at the end of long overhead lines.
You can retrofit the things with central heating burners which use
forced draught..for oil anyway.. at some efficiency gains. But then its
noisy and you lose the off-electric capability.
Ours probably costs about £600 a year for the 9-10 months its on. Money
that would otherwise be spent on heating anyway.
I don't have issues with the oven cooling down, unless you leave both
hot plates open for an hour or two.
Its a completely different animal from a traditional cooker, for sure,
needing a totally different approach. Our simmering hob has 4 2p pieces
lying on it for slow simmering. Prop the saucepan on those for
simmering. Its no harder than turning e.g. a gas hob down to the point
of blowing out..
The only things I cant do on it are stir frying, and grilling. Grilling
is supposedly possible in the top oven, but I have never tried it. Use
the electric aga companion for that. Stir frying in a wok is a bit on
the hard side on any electric a well.
Thats about all I cant do on it cooking wise. One does however tend to
do things *differently*. I.e. the 'warming' oven at about 90C is a
better bet for slow cooking than a pot on the hob. More efficient too.
The top oven is hot - very hot - and roasts very well, but it doesn't
DRY like a fan oven does. Thats good for most meats, but not so good for
crackling and crispy duck. Those need a bit of attention to open the
door and let in fresh air. Fortunately the mass of metal is a lot more
than the mass of the air, so it soon heats up again. Unlike a trad fan
blown oven, which pumps out inordinate amounts of hot steamy air.