Mamma Aga survives molteni saga
Well... what an experience this has been...
I bid on various Molteni ranges... and still don't have one. Investigated french ranges, pro-American style ranges, and finally decided to settle on a British range.
Needless to say... I have gained so much more knowledge from this experience. The knowledge - I don't believe there is one perfect range out there for me. IMO Molteni came very close... but in the end, I just couldn't spend that kind of $$$ on a stove and still need to purchase other appliances (e.g. warming drawer, 2nd oven)
Am I sacrificing power... definitely. Nothing is more powerful than a 30+K BTU burner. Will I miss that power... no b/c I never experienced what a 30K burner could do. My original stove has ~15K.
Am I sacrificing performance... I don't think so.
Am I gaining capability and capacity... I think so.
Am I spending less $$$... definitely!
I went to a live cooking demonstration on an Aga cooker and had the pleasure of sampling the food. The chef was able to prepare pizza (right on the floor of the roasting oven), roasted chicken and asparagus in the roasting oven. Sauteed vegetables on the boiling plate and put them to hold in the warming oven. Baked trout in the simmering oven. Boiled water then cooked rice on that same boiling plate and let the rice finish in the same simmering oven as the fish. Made fresh crepes on the simmering plate while baking a cake in the baking oven. I was floored! The Aga's ability to handle so many dishes simultaneously is amazing. IMO I can't beat this kind of efficiency.
I have attached a clip of Martha Stewart cooking brunch for a group of people on an Aga. Although "some" dramatization occurred... you really do have this flexibility with the Aga.
The other thing that I found was that there was no transfer of flavours btwn the foods cooked in the same ovens. The cooker (which runs off of only 15K BTUs) only lost a smidgen of power... nothing that effected its performance or cooking time. The chicken and fish were moist tender and juicy. The flavour of the vegetables could be discerned from each other and weren't mushy. The pizza was crisp (not hard) on the bottom and soft and tender on the inside.
So, I've made my decision to purchase a 4 cooker classic Aga with companion (in red). I don't think I'll need a more powerful burner. The demo (as well as the Aga owner that I was able to speak directly to) proved that I will be able to boil in minutes and not 10's of minutes... without losing power.
I have my site inspection booked for Monday. Apparently, you can not purchase an Aga without confirmation (from the Aga installer) that your floors can carry the weight (~1200-1500lbs).
So... here's my question:
Now, I need to decide on the fuel source - propane, electric or gas?
I am leaning towards electric but I'm a little nervous about the energy usage. The cooker takes 24hr to heat but is then maintained at 6K BTUs. I think air conditioning units run on this. I believe most people have gas... the companion will be DF. I thought propane was just for BBQing!
Your thoughts, comments, opinions and feedback are welcome.
Here is a link that might be useful: Clip showing the capability and capacity of the Aga