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What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Posted by marthavila (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 30, 10 at 16:28

(Pardon me, AF folks, but the following post took too long to get together for me not to share it both here and in the KF! If you beg to differ, illuminate, etc., please have at it as you will):

Lately, there's been a small rise in posts by members who are seeking information on Aga ranges. Unfortunately, though, the advice that is given is often spotty and confusing. Sometimes it's just plain out wrong. Moreover, many of these threads tend to end with repeated suggestions to the OP that they buy another cooking machine (usually one that the responding poster owns). The latter response, btw, is fair enough. And it makes sense. After all, we tend to share about what we know. On top of that, Aga is a relatively expensive niche product and far from being a cooking necessity. As such, I don't expect there ever to be a large number of consumers who will choose to install an Aga instead of a GE, Kenmore, Samsung, LG, etc. in their home.

But we Aga owners are few and far between on these pages. Even amongst ourselves, when we are all talking Aga, we are also frequently discussing different machines of the brand. Sometimes the differences are slight. But sometimes they are significant. I personally find the mixing up of facts and claims about different machines with the same name to be frustrating. I also know that, when I was in the market for my own Aga, I found it incredibly difficult to find clear, accurate information about the specific machine I was considering -- the Aga 6-4. (Most responders thought I was talking about the traditional Cooker). So, at the risk of jumping out into the public square here with some very basic personal research (which may very well contain a few errors of its own), I'm submitting this thread in an attempt to better answer the question of "what is an Aga?" Please understand that my purpose in doing so is not to try and sell you an Aga! Or even to say my Aga is better than your cooking machine. (Of course, I love it, I enjoy sharing with you why I love it and I invite you to check it out for yourself.) For me, though, it's just enough already with much of the Aga confusion that abounds. Towards that end, I'm also hoping that real and experienced Aga vendors and/or other Aga owners and enthusiasts will chime in correct, clarify and/or amend what I've tried to get started here:

Aga 4-Oven Cooker: This is the traditional Aga range. (It can also be had in 2 and 3 oven models and in natural gas, LP and all electric models). In fact, as the standard bearer for the well-known British appliance manufacturer, most people are thinking of this range when they speak of Aga. For the past 80 years, the Aga Cooker has enjoyed the reputation of being the range of choice for many serious cooks (particularly in Great Britain). However, in these more energy-conscious times, the Aga cooker has become a much more controversial kitchen appliance. This is so for two basic reasons. First, its thermostatically-controlled/radiant heating system involves a cooking method of rotating the foods between the Cooker's various ovens. Most Cooker fans will admit that the learning curve for first-time owners of this unit can be steep. Further, at a time when the demands of our modern lives can be so swift-moving, the need to stop and steward a meal through various oven zones can be perceived as quite time-challenging. The bigger complaint, however, is that the Aga Cooker's technology requires the unit to stay "always on" -- day and night, winter through summer. As such, it is often trashed as a fuel-hogging, energy-waster that has not kept pace with the modern cooking technologies and environmental concerns. OTOH, fans of the Aga Cooker (which can be as "fanatical" about their cooking machine as those of Bluestar and LaCanche, for example) :-), swear by the results. They say that the Aga Cooker inspires expert "intuitive" cooking on the part of the chef and the results are well-done, evenly cooked, incredibly moist, incomparably crisp and remarkably delicious meals. Further, and particularly in colder climates, the "always on" feature of the Aga Cooker permits it to serve as a supplemental heating source in the house. Lastly, claimed life expectancy of this rather uncomplicated and extremely sturdily constructed cooking behemoth is 100+ years -- not including burners and thermocouples.

Basic Specs: Cast Iron construction; color-coated in vitreous enamel. This unit has 4 ovens which can roast, bake, simmer and warm. The cooktop has hobs, i.e., a boiling plate and a simmering plate -- both of which can accommodate up to 3 average size pots/pans each and which can range in temperature from 350 - 700 degrees Fahrenheit (15K btu max output). The cooktop also has a warming plate (140 degrees Fahrenheit) which is great for melting chocolate and butter, as well as warming liquids and foods. However you may opt to configure it with a gas burner instead.

Pricing: Approximately 18.5K.

Aga Companion: This is a 24" wide unit with 2 electric ovens and a cooktop that may be either gas or electric. It is a more "modern" stand-alone unit that is often used where a high quality cooking machine is desired but space is at a premium. Most frequent use of this unit, however, is as a "companion" to the traditional Aga Cooker. Capable of being installed alongside the Aga Cooker, with the same look and color, an installed Aga Companion can expand the width of the cooking zone to 84", increase oven offerings by 2, and provide standard cooktop burners. Many Aga Cooker/Companion owners (especially those who live in warm climates) will turn the Cooker completely off and rely solely on the Companion for their cooking needs during the summer months.

Basic Specs: Cast Iron Construction, coated in vitreous, colored enamel. One convection oven; one conventional electric oven with broil/grill capacity. Cooktop BTUs range from 6k-12K.

Pricing: Approximately $5.5K

Aga 6-4: This model is Aga's answer to that sector of the consumer market which is seeking a modern, high-end, pro-style range. The 6-4 looks very much like a traditional Aga Cooker, but performs to contemporary standards. Typical Aga Cooker purists consider this unit to be an Aga "mutant" and an insulting departure from the integrity of classic Agas. Frequent US consumer critique: Euro-size ovens are way too small. My disclaimer: This is the Aga unit that I own and I love it! I find it to be a very versatile, high-performing, good-looking machine that can serve one as easily as crowd of 20 or more. Yes, ovens are small, but with 4 of them that can run simultaneously, the job gets done. It fits in beautifully with my overall kitchen design scheme. And, besides, it's roughly half the cost of an Aga Cooker and does not stay always on!

Basic Specs: Cast Iron Construction; Color-coated in vitreous enamel. 39" in width. 4 continuous, self-cleaning ovens: roasting, convection, grill and simmering/warming; The cooktop has two ultra-rapid burners (17K and 20.5k Wok burner), 2 semi-rapid (11k) and 2 rapid (6.5K). Both ultra rapid burners have double rings which provide for high variability in flame control, including simmering function.

Pricing: Approximately 9.5K-10.5K, depending on choice of custom or standard colors.

Aga Legacy: My guess is that this Aga model is the one that is fastest growing in popularity in the United States today. A stand-alone model in terms of looks, it bears no resemblance to its cousins in the Cooker, Companion and 6-4 lines. Again, those in the traditional Aga Cooker camp will having nothing to do with a Legacy. However, this unit seems to be winning friends and a tad of influence in the North American market. Overall, it's a contemporary Aga product that is quite versatile, has classic good-looks, is much larger than a Companion (and somewhat comparable in price) is less expensive than a 6-4 and considerably lower in price than a Cooker. There are several different Legacy configurations available which can vary between dual fuel and all electric units and from 36" to 44" in width. With the Legacy, there is the option of solid doors, or cathedral glass doors. And unlike all other Aga machines at this time, the Legacy can even be had in stainless steel! For sake of brevity, the specs and pricing below is for the solid door, Aga Legacy 36" (electric) and the Glass door Aga Legacy 44" (DF)

Basic Specs (All-Electric Legacy 36"): Solid steel chassis not cast iron) construction. Ceramic cooktop with surface outputs of 1200-2200 watts; Three ovens including programmable convection bake, dedicated broiler and a 7 mode multi-function programmable oven (including defrost,fan-assisted broil, browning and bake).

Pricing: Roughly 5.5K

Basic Specs: (DF- Legacy 44"): Chassis of solid steel construction (not cast iron). 6 sealed gas burners, ranging from 850K to 15K BTU. 3 ovens, convection, broiler, 7 multi-function programmable (see Legacy 36: above). Available in 6 standard Aga colors and stainless steel. Glass cathedral doors.

Pricing: approximately 7K

Whew. HTH!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

You didn't mention the weight. When I looked at one of these years ago, the salesman remarked that in many US homes where the kitchen is not on a slab, the floor has to be reinforced to hold one of these things.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Oh,geez. The perils of cross posting! LOL. Weedmeister, good point about the weights. Turns out, I answered your question on the KF thread. But, here it is again:

Aga 4-Oven Cooker: 1290 lbs.

Aga Companion: 310 lbs.

Aga 6-4: 463 lbs. No point load

Aga Legacy 44": 341 lbs.
Aga Legacy 36": 300lbs.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

it is not correct that you need to reinforce the floor for a 4 oven range of 1290lbs, the range sits on a slab with no weight bearing legs, if six people can stand in your kitchen and not end up in the basement your ok.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Trevor knows some big people ;)

Someone recently was talking about how good the food from the cooker was, and I was wondering how it could make such a difference (as in good cooks can cook anywhere).

Looking at the weight difference it all makes sense. The cooker ovens are basically big dutch ovens into which you put littler dutch ovens. :) It's the mass!

I can cook well (and have!) in really thin aluminum on a gas ring, but I do get it about how all that heated mass could just make it all come out well without half trying.

All that rotating everything to deal with the hot spots and pulling pots out of one oven and into another would make me a bit barmy, but there's something very appealing about the original cooker, all the same.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

martha's post also points out (but only in passing) the difficulties the traditional AGA has with something pretty basic: boiling a big pot of water for pasta. As anyone who cooks on gas knows, 15K BTU's doesn't accomplish that task too quickly even when all that power is devoted to the one pan. In the case of the AGA, that one 15K BTU burner is responsible for keeping the whole cooker warm/hot. So while the boiling plate will accommodate three (smallish) pots, as long as the boiling plate cover is open, the whole stove gradually cools off. Put a big stock pot on top with three or four quarts of water in it and you'll wait a long for it to boil - if it ever does.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Mark! There you are. Somehow, I just knew this thread would draw you onto the AF pages. LOL!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

What Marthavila's post omitted is that the Aga cooker was originally designed for a blind man, so he could know what heat was where without having to turn knobs and constantly testing the heat with his hands and burning himself. Or something like that. With the Aga you just put your pot on/in the appropriate plate or oven, and it gets hot.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Martha, I cooked on one of these beasts for three years and I guess I'm scarred for life! I figure people should be warned ;-)


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

How long does it take to boil a large pot of water for Pasta if that is the only thing you are doing at that moment with the Aga?


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Well, Mark, as one who has been reading your Aga Cooker posts for a couple of years now, I do know your comments are based on your direct and "awful" experience with one. :-) Just so you know, I've tried my best to be fair in talking about the Aga Cooker precisely because I don't own one and, unlike you, I've never had any direct experience cooking on one either. Still, I must say, I've heard mainly good things about the Cooker by those who own it and mainly bad stuff by folk who don't. So, I'm really just hoping that those who honestly know what they're talking about -- you included-- can help inform the conversation about the Cooker. Same goes for the Companion and Legacy. (I think I can handle the 6-4 part just fine!) My other wish is that when posters refer to "Aga" on these boards that they be specific about which Aga product they are talking about. To say, "I own an Aga" or "I've cooked on one", without more specifics as to which Aga only adds to the confusion about "what is an Aga," I think.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Seems to me, a Aga Cooker owner could simply have a single-hob induction countertop unit for when you need to boil the big stockpot or do other high heat stuff.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

It wouldn't surprise me that markw doesn't know what he is talking about. He says that he thinks that a 15KBTU burner can't boil a big pot of pasta water in a hurry ... well, while "big" and "hurry" are subjective, my Wolf with its 15.5KBTU max burner is able to crank through pasta water faster than I am usually prepared for it. I'll concede that it is no induction unit and I'd expect that 15KBTU will be lower power than 18K or 22kBTUs (tautological), however, it is far and away faster than a 110V induction unit and - more importantly - much faster than I am in getting myself prepared for the boiling water.

So, I'll join MarthaVila in dismissing markw's opinion; he may be correct in his assessments of the Aga cooker, but he doesn't do much to secure credibility with observable distinction. Just more opinion light on data.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Hey there, Mindstorm! Good to see you as well on this thread. Just a clarification though: I actually was NOT dismissing Mark's opinion! Although I think he can go over the top at times with his Aga Cooker bashing crusade, I really do respect his views as ones that are based on his having had some actual, prolonged and direct experience with the product. Bottom line: the traditional Aga Cooker is definitely one of those kitchen machines you can either love or love to hate.

As for Mark's claim that a 15K burner can't boil a pot of water fast enough, well I'm with you on that one. I've been known to set a pot to boil on one of my six-four's 11k burners, or even the teeny 6.5K burner, and then just go about my business with other tasks of prepping the meal. As long as I don't stand there watching and waiting for that pot to boil, I've never been frustrated by the time it takes to do so. I guess, over the years, I've found there to be a bit of truth in a certain old axiom after all. :-)


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Martha, you called my experience "awful", I didn't. I loved the thing - in a way - despite its eccentricities. I just think before somebody thinks about investing $18.5K in a range, they ought to know what they're getting into. My point about 15K BTU burners and pasta water is that people who switch from a garden variety electric coil cooktop are often shocked to find out that boiling water is generally slower on their new megabuck gas range. And in the case of the AGA, that 15K BTU burner isn't under your pot but rather buried in the bowels of the AGA, keeping the whole thing warm. quiltgirl, the answer to your question about how long an AGA will take to four quarts of water to a rolling boil: never, more or less. $18.5K for a range that can't cook pasta. Hmmm. And did I mention the recommended annual service?


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RE: What is an Aga? - Peace 0ut Post

I'm sorry, Mark. I've never discerned the "love" part in any of your Aga Cooker posts. But, if you say it's there, Ok. And, even if it ain't, ok. :-) If possible, I'd really like to hear from traditional Aga owners as to whether or not they are experiencing the same issues you have when it comes to boiling large pots of water on the hobs.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I have only a teeny tiny bit of experience (watching the Two Fat Ladies doesn't count) and none included boiling, but isn't the Aga cooker maxim small pots? Surely five quarts of water for spaghetti would fit in the hot oven, wouldn't it? I know tall pots are traditional, but why not a flat pan?

This sure is an amusing thread!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I imagine quiltgirl is test-boiling 4 qts of water on her AGA Cooker right now . . . so, how long did it take? I don't even own an AGA, and yet I am curious.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

No, I have not test-boiled yet. My Aga will not be installed until this weekend. You can rest assure though that it will be one of the first things I will be doing! I did correspond with another who has an Aga and I asked that question. His answer was:
"The boiling hob will boil water faster than a gas flame. I find it too hot to actually cook anything except pasta and even then you must move the pot half off the hob."
Will keep you posted with my findings. Won't be till next week though!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Yes, Pllog, this thread sure is pretty amusing. I never thought when I started it that the lengthiest discussion would be about the Aga Cooker's capacity to boil water. LOL! Quiltgirl, it's good you are in communication with another Aga Cooker owner. Do you think you can invite him to join us on this thread in order to impart some more details about how the Aga Cooker performs? If this thread is to advance in the way I'm hoping for, it will become a repository of basic info about the various Aga cooking machines --all in one place. (Like the Lacanche threads, for example.) Which is also why I've been beating the drum for other owners of Aga Cookers and ranges to meet here and speak up!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Oh, good, then I won't feel bad about bumping it with my inanities--when the rest of the Aga owners come in I can zip it.

Quiltgirl, I'm soooo glad to hear that! I kept thinking "But the boiling plate is hot. It's a boiling plate," but since I've never boiled on an Aga I didn't say it.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

In the interest of saying something positive, I've been dredging my AGA memories (it's been a decade since the end of my AGA experience). To be fair, when the cover is lifted from the boiling plate, the thing really is incredibly hot. Boiling a cup or two in a small pot happens amazingly quickly - faster than a microwave - and teapots work well (although most everybody in the UK seems to use an electric kettle instead). And I probably overstated in answering quiltgirl's question. If cooking pasta is literally all she does - pops the cover and immediately starts on the pasta, I suspect it might work. The issue is, as soon as the cover is lifted, the boiling plate (and the rest of the AGA, for that matter) begin cooling off. There's only one place to saute or boil on an AGA and that's the boiling plate. So if you want to do some sauteeing and make a sauce, when it comes to time to cook the pasta, you might well not have enough heat left to do that job.

Martha called it a "steep learning curve" but it's more than that: in some cases, it's more like the AGA decides not only *how* but *what* you can cook. And Martha, there really were aspects of the thing I liked. The kitchen was definitely cozy in the winter - although the same heat was much less welcome in the summer. Pizza worked well right on the floor of the roasting oven - no brick needed, which was good since mine wouldn't have fit. And it was nice to have guilt-free warmed plates every night - just pop them in the simmering oven! Well, guilt-free if you don't count all the gas we were burning. It helped that somebody else was paying the $25-$50 per week it takes to feed an AGA.

But to me, the positives can't approach the problems: long, narrow ovens (buy smaller cookie sheets!). Oven temperatures are only vaguely known, also very uneven within the oven. I have to say even that has a positive side: my timer became virtually useless, so I stopped bothering. Baking in particular required constant rotating (to compensate for the uneveness of the ovens) and checking (because the temperature wasn't known). I learned instead to cook things until they were done, so in a way it actually improved my cooking for when I returned to more modern equipment. I question, though, whether most people would want to pay AGA prices for a similar lesson. Seems to me those with AGA-type cash and who like the brightly-painted retro look might better look at one of the French makes, which behave more in the manner people expect out of a modern range.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Or, Mark, they can do as I did and just buy an Aga 6-4! As I've said countless times in this thread and others: Aga makes more than one kind of cooking machine. If the Cooker doesn't suit one's needs, why then is the next move over to the French? There is always the option of the Cooker + Companion to consider. Or the Aga Legacy. And then, of course, there's the Aga 6-4 where you can get all the bennies of the traditional Aga's good looks PLUS pro-style performance! :-)

But let's get back to the Cooker, Mark. On that, here's what I'm going to say again and for the last time: I (and likely many others) honestly welcome your comments on this thread. For one thing, you're a pretty good writer and your posts, like 'em or not, help keep this thread alive! For another, your POV is at least based on direct experience. My only real problem with your posts is that I just don't have the personal experience or knowledge to address them very well and, frankly, I am not paid by Aga to do so! Still, I've seen and heard sooo many comments by owners of Aga Cookers who absolutely love that machine. As such, it always makes me wonder just how universal your experience with the product really is. My guess is, not so much. In that regard, I just wish we could have a better, more even-sided discussion here of that machine's pros and cons. As well as the other Aga ranges.

At any rate, I welcome you to post on, Mark! And you, too, Pllog, and John and Mindstorm and all those who don't own an Aga but are getting a kick out of the discussion.:-) In the meantime, I'm going to see if I can rustle up some other experienced Aga owners to jump in here. And to share about not only about the Cooker, but also on how the Cooker and Companion work together or, about the Legacy. And, of course, need I say that I would seriously love to meet and dialogue with those of us who have, or are contemplating the purchase of, the Aga 6-4!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

[rubbing toe on floor and looking abashed] I didn't know you could saute on an Aga cooker. I thought you were just supposed to kind of start the veg on the boiling plate and stick it in the oven. Or make a roux based sauce on the simmer plate.

In all seriousness, Mark, and nobody flame me, it sounds like the trad. cooker is the range equivalent of a Mac. Works very well indeed but you have to do what it wants the way it wants to do it.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

it sounds like the trad. cooker is the range equivalent of a Mac. Works very well indeed but you have to do what it wants the way it wants to do it.

Pllog, as Solman would say: That one is going into the folder! LOL!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Hello all. I'm new to this site and not sure how everything works. I've been emailing with quiltgirl recently who is having her 4 oven Aga installed this weekend. I've had mine since April and have passed on some of my experiences with it. I've had no problems boiling water for pasta. I think part of the problem for some might be their pot bottoms. They must be machined perfectly flat and be fairly thick to absorb the heat from the hob. My pasta pot covers the heat surface completely and comes to a boil quickly. Once I put in the pasta and it returns to a boil I have to move the pot off the hob slightly to keep it from boiling over. My temp guage is slightly above the verticle line. I have a complete set of Aga cookware but Macys' Best and Le Creuset work well. I think pillog's post nailed it. It is what it is. If you simply want an efficient cooker there are better choices. An Aga is a state of mind. Mine is cobalt blue. My kitchen cabinet knobs are cobalt blue glass. My counter tops are made of concrete with Saratoga(blue) water bottles and Heineken beer bottles crushed and mixed in.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

cooker is the range equivalent of a Mac

Probably.

Works very well indeed but you have to do what it wants the way it wants to do it.

Ah, only if you are a PC-trained lead-by-the-nose type. A Mac uses a Unix operating System. It provides the hand-holding BS interface for the mass public who isn't going to learn to interface with the computer at a low-level (console interfaces? xterms?) but for those of us who *are* familiar with interfacing with the computer directly at the OS level rather than through the rubbish pointy-clicky interfaces that PCs (or the Mac *conventional* front-end) present, it is *very* powerful, very flexible. I compile all the programs I want on my Mac when I want them and don't expect them built and compiled for me. Of course, you can do this on a PC, too. However, the lack of standardized library support means that it is actually, as often as not, an enormous problem to get new packages if the aren't already compiled for you. The Unices - and the Macs - do have standard libraries and standardized library interfaces; ergo, you build, you develop, and update, as you see fit. Voila.

So, while I know little about the Agas, Pllog's first comment about the mac is good. The second, about a Mac imposing too much hamstringing on you, not so much.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Hi Mindstorm, Thank-you for that! I came to the PC (actually, AT) back in the dark ages as a former assembly programmer who thought it a great step up from the other desktop computers that were available when I returned from living abroad where even getting a broom out of season was a to-do. I have always hated Windows, but in the last decade or so the GUI's have become tolerable. I've used Mac's only sporadically, and hated them far worse because at least with a PC I could make it do what I wanted. If anyone, if any of the diehard Mac fans I knew, had told me what you just did, I might have been far more willing to give them a chance! All I've ever been exposed to, for example, is rabid fandom claiming plug and play then having 5-hour discussions about how to make plug and play work so that they could plug in and play, instead of my lowly install a driver and get on with it in ten minutes self.

A couple of years ago this guy made a little film that expresses more about what my personal experiences with MAC are, though a few of his points boil down to that it has different ways than he's used to, a lot of the points are really about the way the Mac works. When not using Unix. I have loved Unix. But as an end user now, and doing more graphics work than anything else, I no longer do a lot of customization. As long as I can get it to do what I want I'm happy, and I can always find a way to make it do what I want the way I want it.

But given what you say, I'm willing to amend my statement to "unless you forgo the conventional interface, works very well indeed but you have to do what it wants the way it wants to do it." Not sure that applies well to the range, but maybe it's needing the proper pot like Bobk said.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

While we wait for more Cooker owners to show up - and I'm sure martha is dragging them by the hair as we speak - does anyone have any comments about the 6-4 or Legacy?

For example, I wonder, for those happy with the 6-4, are you primarily a baker-roaster, or are you just as happy cooking on the burners? Is there any drawback to the big-center-burner configuration? How big a turkey can you fit in the oven(s)? Is there a broiler? What are the negatives to the 6-4?


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Yay! My favorite subject! Great questions! Thank you, John!

Ok. So before I try and answer anything, let me make two disclaimers: The first is that Im now an empty nester who primarily cooks for herself. I enjoy cooking, (much more now that Ive got an Aga to play with) and, IMO, Im good at it. Second, however, I am not a professional or "serious" cook. In fact, for most of my adult life, Ive cooked on very basic American ranges, including a beloved antique, gas Smoothtop range (ca 1923) that had no bells and whistles and certainly no "pro-style" functions. Thus, half the tech issues that come up on these boards regarding range design and performance standards are, frankly, news to me. As such, Im very much in an appreciation and learning mode right now as opposed to a judging/complaining mode with this still rather new range and all the other modern and new-fangled appliances of my new millennium kitchen! :-)

That said, I am primarily a stove top cook. So I deep fry, stir fry and pan-sear, and do lots of casseroles, soups and sauces, steamed rice, veggies, etc. And, yes, I am happy with the burners. Although Ive previously always cooked on open burners, Ive made the adaptation to cooking on sealed burners without a fuss and I certainly find them easier to clean. I also enjoy their contiguous configuration which allows me to slide my pots and pans across the cooktop surface with ease. As to the location of the ultra-rapid (20k) burner, there is both an upside and downside. Because it's located in the center rear, it's well under the vent hood where the capture area is best. Yet, at the same time, when using that burner, it also means that I now have an oh-so-slight reach for the pan. Plus my wok is really big. As a result, I have to be vigilant about keeping it centered on that rear burner because of the pushback it gets from the wall. Again, for me, none of this is a big issue. But if Aga permitted a choice of cooktop configuration on the 6-4 (it does not), Id probably prefer one of the ultra-rapid burners to be dead center instead of center rear.

Without a doubt, I love my cast iron-encased roasting ovens and broiler! Talk about hot and fast! I use the roaster most often and it does its job extremely well. All my roasts and casseroles come out so nicely browned and crisp yet also moist and juicy. No complaints! As for the roasting oven's size, Aga advises a turkey limit of no more than 16 lbs. I roasted a 14 pounder this past Thanksgiving and had more than enough to feed all my guests who gave it rave reviews. (This year, I may try my hand at spatchcocking it. I'm wondering if that method can impact the size of the bird I can roast). Love the broiler. It's a 12 pass unit with split controls. So, for a large T-Bone, for example, I can set the broiler to "full." For a small Rib Eye, I can set it to "half." An energy-saving feature, no doubt. Either way, it's hot and fast and does the job the way I want. The only thing I don't quite get about the broiler is that Aga insists the door not be fully closed when the broiler is in use. I don't understand the reason for that and the manual gives no explanation. So, it's a bit weird to me. . . but I just obey the open door command nonetheless! Since I'm not much of a baker (yet), I haven't fully exploited the convection oven. Same goes for the warming/simmering oven. Ive yet to commission it as a slow food cooking or warming wonder. So not more much to say there other than u betcha I someday soon will! :-)

Are there downsides of the Aga 6-4? Well, yes, the Euro ovens are definitely smaller than the standard American ovens to which Ive grown accustomed. And, for many American consumers (especially bakers worried about cookie sheet capacity, for example) the small oven size can be a deal breaker. But, truth is, I honestly just don't need bigger ovens! I've also found that, when I have lots of food to cook, the Aga does not disappoint. It most certainly got the job done this past Thanksgiving when there were 14 mouths to feed. With good planning, timing and positioning, not once did I fret over my meal prep because of oven size. At the same time, my Aga's small ovens (which are never "always on" ) are also somewhat "green." That is, I don't overdo it with fuel consumption for a large "family size" oven when I'm cooking only for myself. And, at the same time, there's enough oven capacity to cook and manage a feast for a crowd. .

So did that cover your questions about the Aga 6-4, John? Got others? If so, feel free to ask away! And btw, you are absolutely right about my recruitment efforts. Im trying although I havent gotten to the point of dragging folk over to this thread by their hair as yet. LOL! (Welcome BobK and thank you!) Unfortunately, there are many more here in the GW community that I cant reach because theyve opted out of offline email contact. In addition, some of them may no longer be active on these boards and will not find this thread on their own. Hopefully, though, in the days to come, we'll see others join the discussion with more facts, opinions, advice and tips about the Agas!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I'm having trouble working up an appetite for breakfast, but your post still sounds yummy! Especially the part about the cast iron ovens. You lost me at "14 lb. turkey" which sounds like an overgrown capon to me (gigantabirds rule at my house). I never seriously looked at the 6-4 and didn't realize it also had cast iron ovens. That's a really big selling point! You just can't beat mass!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

It's true that the ovens of the 6-4 and the Companion are the smallest of all the Aga cookers and ranges. The traditional Cooker can handle a bird of 28 lbs. The 36" and 44" Legacy ranges can take a 24 lb. turkey in the multi-function oven. HOWEVER, with the 6-4 and the Companion (and the 44" Legacy), there's always the option of cooking 2 turkeys at a time in the traditional roasting oven as well as the convection oven. Thus, if you were to need up to 32 lbs. of turkey at one sitting, the 6-4 can deliver it! And yes, Pllog, the fact of the Cooker, 6-4 and Companion's cast iron construction is a major selling point of those machines. It was definitely a significant plus factor for me when I was first considering purchase of the 6-4 and it has since paid off handsomely in my actual cooking experience.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Hmm. The 6-4 sounds great as long as you don't want to roast really big things. (Like me. I don't like turkey much, before last Thanksgiving I decided I'd roasted the last turkey that I didn't want to eat, so our Thanksgivings will be turkey-free from now on.).

Little, medium, and huge burners. Plenty of BTU (the only thing that really matters, donchaknow). Able to broil and roast and bake multiple things at a single bound. And a warming compartment to boot. What doesn't it do? The 6-4 sounds like the R2D2 of ranges. Do you have to buy them from Jawa droid traders?

My friend has one, I think I need to get myself invited over there to cook something on/in it.

Pretty pricey, but beautiful. Seems they should be more popular than they are. Maybe the shiny stainless pro-style will get old ("oh, that's so 2000s. Are you an evil banker?") and people will go to more of a classic, home and hearth, nesting look?


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Martha, I made it over here from kitchens. :^) I'm not a working Aga owner yet, but we're now officially Aga owners! We bought a gorgeous black 44" Legacy last night. We couldn't cook on it, but did check out how our bakeware fit. Everything fit, including our turkey roasting pan.

<Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The ovens are small, but I think they look smaller than they are. We also checked out the 6-4 ovens which are a tad bit smaller than the 44" Legacy. I'm so excited and can't wait for our reno to start. (Meanwhile the Aga will be residing in our basement.)

Here is a link that might be useful: More photos/info on blog


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Whoohoo!! Congratulations, Pickle! May you be renewed!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

This is off topic but there is a handy solution to the issue of how large of a turkey will fit in the oven- partially disassemble it before cooking. I have double wall ovens with plenty of room for a huge turkey and all the assorted side dishes but we still prep the turkey this way. There are a couple of advantages to this method: the breast and the legs can roast at their different optimum times and it allows for easy carving and serving. We normally do this in the morning which allows plenty of time to make a good rich stock.

Here are the simplified steps.
1. Remove the backbone. Save the backbone, neck and other scraps for turkey stock.
2. Remove the legs from the turkey. Bone the thigh. Season lightly and then tie closed with string.
3. Remove wishbone from breast. Add to the stock.
4. Truss the wings to the body by pushing a long skewer through them and then tie securely with string.

To roast: The breast can be roasted by itself or placed on large sliced onions or on a mound of stuffing. If you place it on an oiled cookie sheet set in a roasting pan it will slide off fairly easily after cooking. You can also surround the stuffing with a rolled strip of oiled foil to help keep it in place. Prepared this way the breast from a 14 pound turkey will take 1 3/4 to 2 hours. The legs only take about 1 1/4 hour so they can be added later either in their own pan or added to the pan with the breast.

To serve: Arrange the breast on a platter and set the legs next to it. To carve the dark meat simply slice through the boned thigh and serve.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Well I seem to have a problem getting my Aga installed. The certified rep for this area has little free time as he has taken on a different job. He was to come tomorrow to install but has ended up in the hospital. It has been a struggle all along to book time for him to come out here. Has anyone had their Aga traditional cooker installed by other than an Aga person? I am in midwest and I am getting very frustrated having this thing sitting in my living room and not being able to use it.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

quiltgirl,

Only use an experienced AGA installer to assemble/install your cooker. We're waiting for our AGA four oven to arrive ( about 8 weeks away still ) and even though there is an installer that lives 10 minutes away, I'm using one that lives 4 hours away. I heard too many horror stories from customers of the nearby installer. One AGA owner near me had her four oven completely re-installed because the "bad installer" had assembled it out of level and the cabinet installer couldn't align her counters.

Be patient.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I am going to be patient for about one more week. This has been going on since November and my patience is wearing thin. He is the only installer within our four state area, which really ties our hands. I have a house full of people coming tomorrow and now no stove. Also, LIebherr refrigerator was to be delivered today and I was contacted yesterday and told that the fridge fell off it's pallet and is severely damaged. Now no fridge either! What else can go wrong!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Wow, QG, I feel your pain! In what part of the country are you located? And what do you mean by being patient for one more week? What will you do if you can't find a certified installer by then? I can tell that you don't want to hear this but I have to agree with Vanisleevt that you really need to get a certified Aga tech to install your 4 oven Cooker. In all the Aga literature and consumer posts I've seen on the subject, a certified installer is "required." And double wow on the fridge disaster!

So sorry to hear all these obstacles are arising on the eve of your Super Bowl party. Sounds like Murphy wants to make you a poster girl for lousy luck. Don't let him prevail! FWIW, my advice is to push back by taking a deep breath, relaxing your grip and just going with the flow. From the reno plans you've shared, it's clear that your kitchen is going to be off the hook gorgeous when everything finally falls into place. But, darn it, you're just not there yet! Tell everyone that the Super Bowl party will now have to be a pot luck party. If your guests are truly in your corner, they will understand that ___ happens. Good luck!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

If I recall, quiltgirl is in Wisconsin. Maybe you could get an installer from Ontario, I believe AGA Canada is in Cambridge Ontario. I'm sure there is more then one AGA installer in Ontario.
We are fortunate here in the Pacific North West that AGAs are quite popular.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Marthavila, I had planned a meal that could be done without an oven just because I knew I would not be up to par on using the Aga even if it did get installed. I am just frustrated because I want to get my hands into the Aga! I am dying to boil water, bake a cheesecake and try out pot roasts! I know I can get an installer from another area, it just means the price of installation goes up tremendously! Vanisleevt, I will check out the cost on Ontario.
On top of that, the fridge that I was getting was a reduced price that the store can not match with another Liebherr. So that deal died with the freight company's damage to the unit. A long story, but the jest of it is more expense to us. Oh well, I can still drink wine and eat chocolate so why should I complain! (and by the way, I would have been happier had the Vikings went to Super Bowl!)


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I haven't looked for Aga banter in a while, so I just came across this today. My wife and I own a red traditional 4 oven cooker, we've owned it for just about 1 yr. We're just south of Charlotte, NC, so the on all the time in the summer isn't a dreamy situation in August. I don't think I'd suggest one this far south.

To answer the reinforce the floor question: If your floor meets L480 spec, then you're fine. That being said, we put an extra I-Joist under that area just to make sure it didn't sag when we all huddled around it during the winter.

We don't rotate food between ovens that much, we start things on the boiling plate and let them hang out in the simmering or baking ovens. We might pull things out to brown in the roasting oven.

Boiling a quart or two of water is fast, a gallon or two takes 10+ minutes with a top on the pot. No faster or slower than other cooktops I've had. We've kept a small pot on the warmer plate filled with water as a bottle warmer for our baby (2 weeks younger than the Aga). Oh, and we keep our bottle of honey on it too, always warm for mixing in tea or putting on croissants.

The floor of the roasting oven is great for toast, bagels, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

Complaint #1: can't hold a 16" pizza to keep warm... or a 14" in the box for that matter.

Complaint #2: can't use a pressure cooker. My mother got us a countertop electric, it's the only way my wife makes pot roast.

Complaint #3: Pancakes are sooooo easy on this thing... why is that a complaint? I hate pancakes, I'm a waffle guy.

I really liked how it combined so many appliances into a relatively small space. We were gonna have a double wall oven, warming drawer and cooktop. That's a lot of appliance in a kitchen, and we didn't want stainless steel.

Brian


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Thanks for joining in Brian! So here's two questions for you (which are NOT intended to provoke flame wars!): (1) Is your Cooker NG or LP and (2) have you experienced a significant increase in your energy bills? If yes to the latter, by how much?


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Brian, nice to hear your comments. We also have a red four oven cooker (N. gas). My question for you is this: Have you done a lot of baking in the Aga? If so, what issues have you had with it?
Our Aga has been sitting in my living room in parts for the last eight months. My installer told me he would come this Saturday. We will see. He has been a no show before. I am so anxious to cook on it and it has been very frustrating to not have it up and running. ( 8 months!) If I don't get an install by Monday and no help from the company, I may be posting it for sale. Sorry to complain to you all, but I am just so frustrated I could cry! If this is any indication of the customer service of Aga, I don't want to deal with the company. I have emailed them and not even received an answer. It is disheartening.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Quiltgirl, this is very important: WHO and WHERE are you emailing to Aga about your problems?


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I went to Aga's official web site and filled out their form under "Contact Us" . You can click whether your email is a comment, complaint, technical question etc. and then state your concern. I will wait until Monday morning to start making phone calls IF my certified Aga installer does not show up. I did talk to a shop owner who dealt in Agas and he warned us about having this type of problem with the individual involved. He said he does a good job when and if he shows up, but getting him to show up is another matter. I believe that particular business has dropped Aga because of frustrations with the Aga group. Look for my post on Monday morning! I hope I can report that I have a working stove!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I would not wait until Monday. All you need is a certified installer who will come to you quickly. This should not be that big a deal. Call Aga-Heartland in Canada today! Speak to a senior manager in customer service or higher up. (Do not let your call go to the tech services department; you need someone with clout). Explain your problems and ask for intervention. They will then delegate your problem to someone who will be accountable for its resolution. For sure, someone in the company has a list of certified installers who are available in your area and can hook this up for you without busting sweat. Trust me. I had to go that route when I realized the vendor I purchased my Aga 6-4 from had gone belly up and there was no direct vendor to negotiate service questions/issues on my behalf. There are actually good people at Aga Heartland. But you will never find them by relying on the email method.

Good luck and keep us posted!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Oh I am sure we can get a certified installer to come from somewhere. The problem is the cost. I am wondering how much it is going to be to get someone else in from another territory. This guy is the only one in our four state area that is certified by Aga. He has some of the parts for our stove since he is the one who disassembled it at the store. (Store now out of business) There is not one person in our own state. I am going to call the home office and see what they are willing to do for me. I am just hoping he shows up and puts an end to all of this. This whole thing has turned into a nightmare and making me sorry I ever bought it!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

The Good News: My installer came today and partially assembled the Aga! The bad news: There were some minor parts missing needed for assembly. He has to order them from Aga. If they are in stock in Canada I should have it up and running in a couple of weeks If the parts have to come from England, it can be a long time. He has been quite ill, in hospital which was why there was a problem getting this installed. He is quite nice and it looks like the rest of the installation should go smoothly once the parts arrive. One cosmetic problem with the install: The direct vent ended up going thru the trim of the window on the outside of the house. The window is a boxed out window with a wide 8 inch board underneath it for trim. The trim now has a half circle cut out of it about two feet from the side edge of the window. I was thinking of having a flower box made to hang underneath the window that I could somehow create a dead space in to cover the vent on the outside and yet have air circulate around it. Does anyone have any other ideas on how I can fix this? It looks absolutely horrible and this is the entry way side of the house. I have to do something cosmetically to fix it and I don't know what else I could do.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Well, congratulations on the good news part of this! And I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the parts are in Canada! Sorry to hear about the direct vent interference with your window trim. If the hanging flower box does not work, anyway possible you can plant a shrub that would be tall enough to cover the vent but could be pruned to not block the window itself? It might help us to help you if you could post a photo.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I had to leave my 44 legacy behind when I moved.I absolutely loved it.I purchased this make and model because of the side opening doors.I am in a wheelchair and this was the BEST configuration for me.Having a neat broiler that I could access was such a bonus.The roaster pan on the door allowed me to bring what I wanted to put into the roaster on my lap and then throw it all into the door pan.I timed things so my hubby could remove everything cooked and ready when he came home from work.Admittedly I did not use the top burners as I had my own cooktop at another station.My husband did use the top to cook and also to brew beer in super large pots.I do not recommend the glass cathedral door.I had moisture seep through the seal. We disassembled the door and cleaned the glass only to have it happen again a few months later.So I would do this again with the solid door. As far as the size of the ovens.I roasted a 24 # turkey in it with no problems.Loved the handles too.Check out the legacy .There are different sizes and colors.In 4 years I never had a mechanical issue.Good luck.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I too own a 44 legacy with cathedral doors (no problems with the doors). I love the look of the range as it is very unique looking. The broiler and the ceramic cooktop work fine (although hard to clean) and the storage drawer is great. My ISSUE with this range are the two ovens (convection and multi function) they cook VERY UNEVEN. There is a temperature difference of 50 degrees from top to bottom of the convection oven (hotter at the top and the back, lower at the bottom), and a temperature difference of 25 degrees (hotter at the top) in the multifunction oven. The whole point of a convection oven is that you have uniform heat throughout the oven for uniform cooking. My cookies and breads on the top cookie sheet are burnt and on the bottom sheet unbaked.
I have to constantly rotate and switch position. The AGA manufacturer will not own up to this and says that it is about right to have a temp. diff. of 50 degrees in a convection oven. However in their manual they clearly state and I quote: "The temperature in the convection oven is the same throughout ensuring uniform results."
We are also very disappointed with the AGA refrigerator which is a $1500 Amana with a $2500 AGA door. The door is VERY CROOKED (came crooked from the manufacturer) and the fridge makes so much NOISE you can not be in the kitchen. Yet again AGA will not own up to this and keep telling us that that is how the door is and that our space for the fridge must be crooked.
We bought these appliances through an authorized dealer and are working with them to get this resolved, it has been going on for 6 months.
I would not recommend these products due to all the problems we have had with them and the AGA people ( they are made in Canada by Heartland Appliances). It is such a pity because the range and the fridge are really unique looking.
Good luck to you all in choosing your next appliance :)


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Tutti, I am sorry to hear about these problems with your Legacy! Again, as I suggested to Quiltgirl, are you dealing with a technician in the Aga technical services department in Canada or have you gone further up the chain to deal with someone at a more senior,supervisory level? If you haven't, I definitely think you should do so. If you've done the latter already and are still not getting good results, I've got no other suggestions to offer. Sorry!

Not all Aga products are made by Aga Heartland in Canada, btw. The traditional Aga Cookers, Companion and Six Four units are made in England. Still, when it comes to getting help with technical issues on all Aga products in the United States, the closest regional service center is located at Aga Heartand.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Dear marthavila, thank you for your reply. As far as I know the dealer has dealt with a technician at AGA in Canada. The problem is that AGA do not have any technicians to send out to deal with this (hence the dealer) but at the same time will not accept the dealer's and the customer's words and findings regarding this matter. Catch 22!!! They are shifting us around.
Coming from Sweden (myself and AGA..) AGA used to stand for good quality and a reliable company but I guess in the days of outsourcing and profit only that is not the case any more.
Still hoping for the best ;-)


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Marthavila, Sorry it took me awhile to post pictures. Had to figure out how to do it again. Here is a couple of pictures of the vent out the wall for the Aga. As you can see it is not very pretty. How can I disguise this? The window is a boxed out window which adds to the problem and it is about 10 feet off ground. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Photobucket
Photobucket


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

You'll have a vent pipe that's aimed down, right? A flag holder? A posy? A mobil sculpture? Windmill? Windchines? You can disguise the outlet with all kinds of things! But I think a window box will look odd 10 feet up unless it's obviously a second story window (i.e., with other window boxes below it).

You could go modern and just put a big red (painted metal) dot on it.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Here is a better picture of the window showing where the vent for the Aga will come thru the wall. Maybe it is only 8 ft off the ground. I did not measure it, but the pix gives you idea. The vent gets a metal "cage" put over it. It has about a 5" pipe in the center of it which is exposed and must be in the vertical position. I am thinking some sort of flower box attached to the lower piece of window trim would help disguise it. I just need to leave area open above and below pipe. This has been such a challenge to incorporate this stove into our plan. I hope I can come up with something to turn this into a positive rather tha an eye sore.

eIhref="http://s259.photobucket.com/albums/hh308/lcrullman/?action=view¤t=IMG_2331.jpg" target="_blank">Photobucket


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Natural Gas.
New House, so I can't say an increase. Our bills are higher than my estimates, but the winter here was about 10 times colder than last year and we've been partly under construction (finished the basement after the initial house permit was complete).

We've made brownies and cookies without rotating between ovens, but front to back rotation is needed or you'll get some over and some under done cookies. My mother (who's taken French cooking classes in her retirement) managed to make breads and some other types of pastries without issue.

Quiltgirl, call me crazy, but I didn't think you could have a gas vent under an operable window? I would strategically plant some shrubs to cover it up.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

You may be right. That pipe should not be under open window, not that I will ever be opening it. ( I don't normally open them since we have air conditioning.) This whole thing is a problem and I don't know what to do about it. The installer shoud know code and whether it can be here or not. I wanted it on another wall, but he told me it could not go there because the vent would be on the front entryway porch and not meet code. Why can't it be vented down and out? The stove is a direct vent, but couldn't it be adapted to vent another way?


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I looked at the AGA install manual. Apparently the end of the vent pipe for your direct vent model is to be covered by a ''terminal guard'' which looks sort of like a conical wire guard, and that may be further covered by a ''terminal guard protector'' which looks sort of like a sheet metal box. Link below - you have probably already looked through this material.

Anyway, the guard and protector shown in the materials are large and protrude enough that I don't think you could easily disguise them with a window flower box. The box would have to be fairly large and stick pretty far out from the wall. Such a box could also be inconvenient to tend or water (too high to reach from the ground), and might look odd since you don't have boxes anywhere else.

I think - just paint the terminal protection guard white to blend in with the white siding and trim. You won't notice it after awhile, at least I wouldn't.

If you really have to cover the terminal, maybe a lattice with climbing plants/vines. But in the winter, it'll be bare.

Alternatively, can you turn the vent pipe 90 deg to the left, run it under the boxed-out window, then have the terminal to the side of the window? I don't see this described in the install document but you could check with AGA.

Another thing - do the windows open? Per the install document, the terminal is not supposed to be less than 300mm (12 inches) under an openable window.

Here is a link that might be useful: AGA install doc


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I may be able to turn the vent to the left, I don't know, but the height of the vent is fixed, so it still would have to come out of the trim at the level it is at now. I do like the lattice idea. That might be a solution. However, it is not 12 inches below the window. I don't normally open that window, so I think I can live with that. It is just the appearance of the vent coming out in that area which is offensive. I will go to the site you sent. Thanks!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I was thinking, if the vent pipe turned 90 deg and ran horizontal, it could potentially be nestled under/inside the boxed-out window trim. Then it could emerge from the box and terminate to the left of the lower-left corner of the window. Or, it could turn 90 deg up, run along the box (if painted white, shouldn't be any more obtrusive than the raingutter drain), and terminate up higher.

You'd need to check w/ AGA and the installer - how hot does that vent pipe get, can it run horizontal or does it need to slope up, etc. But worth checking into.

I know you've had difficulties with the AGA install, but look on the bright side. You got a good price on the AGA range, a standard flue model might have been an easier install but also might have been unaffordable. From earlier in this thread it sounds like the ''AGA way'' will be right for you. And they are unique, gorgeous ranges. I bet it all works out well in the end.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

John, I like your suggestion of running the ductwork on the horizontal and out to the side. If you are able to do that, QG, and still have effective venting, then you might want to supplement that remedy with the planting of a small specimen tree for cover. The window box might work as the cheaper, faster approach to this problem in the interim. I just wonder what the effect of blowing all those smoky, greasy cooking fumes onto your flowers would be? :-) Love your house, btw!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Below is picture of exterior vent. The pipe in the center is 1 inch in diameter and 2 3/4 inches long. The cage around it projects out 4 1/4 inches and is 6 3/4 inches across on its widest end. It is 3 1/4 inches across at the smallest end. The pipe in the center has to stay vertical. The whole thing fits flush against the side of the house. There is no ductwork other than what runs thru the thickness of the wall. I don't know what you mean by running it horizontal. If you added more ductwork to run horizontal, it would all show on the outside of the house. The metal ductwork from the stove thru the wall is a five inch diameter metal cylinder. I am wondering if it needs to be a straight shot out for the stove to function optimally and pull the right amount of draft. I am wondering what those fumes are going to do to my window on the outside. I can imagine it being constantly dirty and greasy. If there is anyway to vent it out on the left side of the window box, that would work. The problem is that the ductwork comes out partly within the frame of the window box and partly below it. How do you make the pictures smaller then what mine are showing? I am using photobucket.

Photobucket


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

It's hard to say what can be done, without knowing how the window is boxed in and other info.

Imagine if the vent pipe connects to a 90 deg elbow and turns left as soon as it exits the wall. Looks like the pipe, after the elbow, would be half inside the boxed-in window (the upper half) and half outside (the lower half). So, maybe the ''box'' could be extended down a few inches to fully cover the pipe.

Or, imagine if the vent pipe connect to a 90 deg elbow and turns left as soon as it exits the box. Then the pipe, after the elbow, would be running in front of the lower edge of the box. But maybe that portion of the box could be extended forward, kind of like a big windowsill, to cover the pipe.

It depends on how the window was boxed, whether AGA says the pipe may be enclosed (after all, its already running through the wall, but you'd have to ask them), if it may run horizontal or is supposed to slope up (I see the installer cut the hole for a slope), if you have a carpenter (the AGA installer isn't going to modify your window box), etc.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I don't think you should've been sold a direct vent model. I think you should've gotten a powered vent that would've let you pull the gasses down, into your basement and move them to a more convenient place to vent.

Direct vent are not meant to have any extra bends in the pipe. Straight out through an exterior wall and terminated. Standard vent goes up (with the pipe most people hate, but we like) and can bend to move around obstacles and out through the roof.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

bdpeck-charlotte, The model I bought was a store display that was going out of business. The price was so reasonable I could not pass it up. The whole Aga thing was a spur of the moment buy because of that. Although I have long admired the Aga, I never thought I would have one due to cost. I lucked into this one, and the venting option that came with it, which is a direct vent. The stove has been a challenge to work into the room and the cabinet layout. I really think a flower box with a false area within in it to house the vent will work. The plan was to have a flower box under this window sometime in the future anyway. Will just have to be a little creative on how to make it work with the vent. This whole project has been one big "creative" event, sometimes overwhelming.

Thank you Marthavila for the compliment on my house. It is an old house built in 1860 that we have been rehabing for years and years now. I call it "The Money Pit".


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

If you can't hide it, you might try to accentuate it with some copper sheathing. Mine has the painted exterior framing boxed out as a background for the metal basket.It may not be pretty but it's neat. It looks no stranger than toilet vents sticking up through the roof.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

The new model is out -- and it's not as expensive as I would have thought. Here's a newspaper story about the Pro+, discussed about halfway down.

Here is a link that might be useful: AGA Pro+


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Wow, Chesters, that's an amazing story! Looks like Aga is pulling out all the stops in its effort to break free from its ultra-niche slot in the world of cooking appliances. In my view, the 6-4, was Aga's first serious attempt to do that. However, it also seems pretty clear that only a small fraction of consumers, like me (i.e., wed to the looks of the traditional Aga Cooker but not to its engineering), have been willing to take the leap with Aga over to the "pro-style" aisle (and a bigger niche) with the Aga 6-4. Then, it looked like they were gaining ground with the Legacy -- still a great, vintage-looking Aga machine but with a less heavy price tag. But maybe not enough? So now, this Aga Pro+ is clearly a sign that Aga is going for a whole new ball game -- with a totally different new look (not so much vintage but more like the Bstar, Fratelli, Ilve, etc), directly inserting "Pro" into the name and slapping on an even more accessible price tag. They also seem to be trying to address the popular consumer complaints with respect to both small oven size as well as energy consumption with this new design.
Hmmm! Very interesting!

I'm not so sure how it makes me feel to see the appliance company I've invested in (by way of a major retail purchase) now appearing to be engaged in such a furious struggle to grab a bigger share of the market. OTOH, I suppose all serious companies with capitalist dreams of market dominance do this! LOL! For example, how many did what Aga did with the traditional Cooker when it came up with a basic design and then left it unchanged for close to a century? Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this move is also probably just another sign of the times. The era of high-end appliance products flooding the mass consumer market may not be over, but I'm sure the share for all such manufacturers is certainly decreasing significantly in this period of global recession. It will be interesting to see if and how Aga emerges from it's closet position among the Euro elites and whether it can claim a bigger piece of the North American appliance sales pie chart in the process.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

When I googled the Pro+ I also came across a financial statement from Aga/Marvel. Apart from sales down but cash on hand strong, I learned that they're making fridges in Michigan, and that they're expecting the Pro+ to do well in Canada and the US. Energy consumption is a big issue, apparently especially in the UK.
I've been shopping for the 36 inch stove, so the listed price got my attention. I'm hoping to see one. It's joined the contenders -- Imperial, BlueStar, and Viking (the last on a price deal) -- unless I just go ahead and get a vintage stove.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

You know, I had to chuckle after I reread my last post. Early on in this thread, I talked about how owners of the traditional Aga Cooker did not consider the 6-4 and Legacy machines to be true Agas and deemed those units to be some kind of "mutants" within the Aga family. Now, I've noticed that I'm raising my eyebrows in much the same way over this Pro+ and thinking: "That's an Aga??? What's going on here?" :-) Well, I guess time marches on and, apparently,so does Aga. Still, I can't help but find it a bit ironic, that only a couple of weeks before Aga's launch of a new breed/new look cooking machine, I submitted this thread with the hopes of clearing any confusion as to"What is an Aga?" LOL!

If you get to check it out in a showroom, Chesters, please do let us know what you think! Meanwhile, for those who may be as curious as we are, here's a bit more information on the new Aga Pro+.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aga Pro+ Brochure


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Marthavila, you are right about the company's need to compete in the marketplace. However, call me a snob because I still like the traditional looking Aga better than the Aga Pro. The new Aga Pro is looking too much like the main stream commercial type range that is in every manufacturer's line. (Wolf, Viking, Thermador etc.) The beauty of the traditonal Aga sets it apart from all others. I realize cooking on the Aga Pro is probably more main stream, but I cannot help but be biased toward my Aga Cooker. By the way, parts needed just came in so maybe by this time next week I will finally be able to cook on it! Still have not resolved the "how to disguise the ugly looking vent" problem. Working on that.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Rococogurl actually saw one at a show and will get to see one cooking this week. It's on a Wolf vs. Bluestar thread.
The nearest dealer to me won't have one until sometime next month, he thinks. He says they've been selling as fast as Aga has been able to ship.
Agreed it looks mainstream, or at least Euro mainstream. The oven is really interesting. So is the price.
What concerns me are the electronics, although I haven't seen complaints about boards going out and such on the 6-4 and Legacy models. Anyone else seen any reports of trouble?
Otherwise, I have a Chambers, O'Keefe and Merritt, Bluestar, and Capital among the possibles right now.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I was looking for this thread in Kitchens. I can't believe it's rolled off already. RG posted about the new range. Linked below. DH would love an AGA, but our space is 48". Not sure I'm willing to make a mess for something we don't really need.

Here is a link that might be useful: AGA Pro +


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

chesters, I saw it used yesterday. Didn't use it myself, however, which as we all know is another level. I'd definitely take a close look -- especially if you're thinking vintage as an alternative. This has vintage solidity with beaucoup features. They have been making stoves for 180 years and I think it shows.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Thanks, Rococogurl. I also read your longer post linked on kitchens. Definitely interesting, although I probably won't be able to see one cold, much less live, for a few weeks, the nearest dealer says.

And the clock is ticking. I need to replace a stove in a house we use in the summer/December/holidays. We planned to do it, but a mouse sealed it. I have a good deal, I think, on an O+M, which probably won't be there long.

There's also a nice deal on a Capital, which probably won't disappear. I think I've moved the Bluestar out of consideration because I'm not willing to roll the dice on reliability and I'm not interested in learning range repair. Home repair with two old houses is enough. There are repair people happy to work with me on the O+M if need be.

Oh -- and I don't and can't have a hood until a kitchen reno happens, but that won't be for a couple of years. I don't stir fry much, and if I'm cooking steaks or browning meat, I use medium or medium high heat, then turned down. I like caramelized surfaces, but not charred. The ventilation in a kitchen with a big window and a door has been a huge problem -- not enough to start a kitchen reno because of a mouse!

Tough choice! There are only two of us, but we entertain/have houseguests pretty frequently. The flexibility and look of the Pro+ sounds perfect for our needs and for an old house.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Only thing with a vintage range is energy use.

I have some additional photos and color swatches (which I'll throw out as I'm through with them) I'm happy to share with you if that's helpful. Weight is nearly 400#. I think it's part steel, part cast iron but definitely that heavy--duty Aga quality and a real cook's stove. My thoughts exactly on the versatility and on the repairs. Just went through too many new appliance repairs/replacements over the last 5 years. Some think it's fine but I think it's ridiculous.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

I'd love to see more pictures.

I've checked both US and UK sites for complaints about electronics in Aga/Rangemaster ranges, but haven't found anything. I'm taking that as a positive.

I meant to say that the ventilation hasn't been an issue. I'm not sure pilots would be either. The house is in upstate NY, and in the winter, a little more heat in the kitchen would a bonus. In the summer, I'd probably cut the pilots to the stove top and light with a match.

We plan to retire to retire there, so it would be great to have one thing right in the kitchen before we take on renovation.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Where badge is on bottom is the drawer. Color on front. Top and sides are black.

Slider rack on top. There are clips that release it so it can be moved to any runner.

Glass door inside (they say triple-sealed, won't get hot.) When partition slides in it hits a switch at the back that activates the right side. Residual heat for the left. But they give 2 broiler trays as the broiler evidently works on both sides.

Inside the 15K burner, which I disassembled so it's easy to see how the jets will spread


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Very nice, thanks!
Jeez, it's tempting to wait on this. Ira Woods has the Pro+ up on their website (under Marvel). Sifting through the UK sites on what appear to be Legacy types still hasn't turned up many complaints other than a defective fan installation here and uneven ovens there. Sifting through the British English was a head scratcher. Having Corgi in to check the hook up really didn't mean that small herding dogs deal with gas lines.
Brits, too, complain about the smallish Legacy-type ovens. The Pro+ may not be just a response to US market and our big turkeys.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Just a few things about our experience for those who have the conventional 4-oven Aga cooker: we've had ours for 13 years, moved once during that time and brought the Aga to our new house because we enjoy it so much. We live in Connecticut, and for most of the year are happy to have some radiant warmth in the kitchen when the rest of our 100-year-old house is quite cold -- the kitchen is where we "hunker down." That said, in July or August the kitchen is not uncomfortable, and if you are using an Aga properly, you don't spend a lot of time hanging over it.

The point of the Aga range, for those who are willing to consider that there might be some point to it besides their beauty, is to use it as a heat storage device, analagous to those soapstone ovens that Tulikivi and others make. The mass of cast iron stores heat, and radiant energy is transferred/released to the food. So the cooktops are used primarily to cook some things quickly, or to sear, or to saute -- but then food is transferred to the appropriate oven (hot, medium, or slow is the way to think about it) and you go off and do something else. Or sit in your chair need the Aga and read a good book. It is not an Iron Chef type of experience, and people who want that won't like the Aga. The Aga is quiet, and because bacon and the like are cooked in the hot oven, there are fewer cooking smells (sometimes a problem if you forget to set a timer!). It is a wonderful device for "slow food" fans. But you can forget that you left a pot of beans in the simmering oven the night before -- I put a post-it on the rail to remind myself, or just set the timer. An extra hour here or there with things like beans or steel-cut oats or brisket in the simmering oven makes no difference. The simmering oven is great for barbecue -- melting collagen -- close to that pit barbecue texture and taste, although nothing is comparable to the Moonlite Inn in Owensboro Kentucky....
I like to cook buttermilk corncakes directly on the simmering plate while bacon fries in the roasting oven. I sometimes like to make bagels just for the heck of it (when you want a traditional, high-gluten, malty, chewy bagel and Bruegger's just won't do, and you can't get to Brooklyn -- Saveur magazine published a great recipe years ago), and you can store the pot of water for boiling in the simmering oven -- it gradually comes up to temperature overnight, and in the morning, when your handrolled bagels have proofed overnight, you just get up and start the coffee, pull the pot of water out of the simmering oven and set it on the boiling plate, drop in the bagels to boil them, then finish them in the oven: takes about 15 minutes. Everyone is happy.

In re: boiling water for pasta -- I never have had a problem with this, it seems to me that water boils at least as quickly on the boiling plate as it does on an open flame burner, since a lot of the energy of the open flame is lost, and the iron plates of the Aga transfer heat very well to a flat-ground pot, and the boiling plate is hot as blazes. But often I put a big pot of cold water into the simmering oven in the morning before I go to work, and when I return that evening to make dinner the water is quickly brought to a boil just by transferring it from the simmering oven to the boiling plate: heat transferred from the cast iron mass of the Aga to the water in the pot, and stored there. A large Dutch oven is better for stir-fry than is a wok on the Aga, and if I did a lot of Asian cooking I would buy an induction wok ring and set it on top of the counter.

A large turkey is not a problem, because it doesn't matter that the meat is close to the (radiant) walls of the oven. With some planning the Aga makes it easier to put together a Thanksgiving dinner. I've never cooked anything larger than 22 pounds in the roasting oven. I'm not a professional cook, so the sheets that come with the Aga and hang on the runners of the ovens are more than large enough for my purposes.

So one cooks differently on the Aga. It is intuitive, and not at all difficult to master. Puts you in touch with your grandmother! except her range was't heavily insulated and radiated far more heat than the Aga does, being a heat storage device, and she had to shovel coal into it.

Our gas bill is high compared to those of our friends with conventional gas ranges, but our heating oil costs are lower. We live in town, walk or shuttle to work often, and have driven less than 120K miles in 16 years -- I offer that information up in hopes of avoiding being flamed by Aga vigilantes that prowl this site. But if you feel better getting out the flame thrower (or the Wolf), then go right ahead, I'm a big girl and won't cry. I just offered some of this up because there seem to be some misconceptions/misinformation floating around.

Lynn


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Farmgirlinky, this is an excellent post! Just the kind of in depth information about the traditional Aga 4-oven that many of us have been hoping to see. Welcome! Hope to hear more from you in the days ahead and as we (hopefully) grow a more visible/vocal Aga community on the GW.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

It was fun to come across this thread as we just returned from a trip to the UK. We stayed w/some friends who have a 4 oven cooker and I came home with AGA ENVY! If I had had that expereince before we did our renovation a couple of years ago, I would have worked very hard to find a way to fit this into our kitchen.

It was definitely a different way of cooking, but they live on a farm in the English countryside and this Aga was part of the rhythm of their life. I was intrigued by how central it was to the overall daily living -- not only cooking our food, but it also served as our clothes dryer when we did laundry. Just put the clothes on a rack in front of it at night and in the morning we were good to go. The chilly English mornings were made quite delightful as I sipped my tea and warmed myself by the Aga.

I do know of someone in our area who has one (central Virginia) and she had to "upgrade" the a/c in her kitchen area b/c the radiant heat from her Aga was too much in the summer months here. This was an install in a 100 yr. old home so don't know if that same concern would occur if it was part of a new build.

Anyway, if I am ever lucky enough to do another kitchen I will be looking very hard at how I could have an Aga in my life -- it was wonderful.


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What has 4 ovens, is cream, warm and beautiful.....

Our new AGA four oven cooker!!!

We had it installed two weeks ago and we absolutely LOVE it. I'll post some pics once the kitchen is completed. I really don't understand how anyone can dislike these cookers. It is the ultimate cooking machine, especially for a family with two boys. I think our oldest likes it as much as we do.

quiltgirl,

What was the outcome of your venting?. I showed my installer the pictures you posted and he said you cannot modify the vent pipe, except for shortening it. He's installed about 250 AGAs so he's very knowledgeable.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Vanisleevt I am anxious to see pictures of your new Aga! What area are you in. Maybe I can get your installer! I am STILL waiting for the installation of mine. We have made the decision to move the stove to the porch wall and take our chances with the venting there. As much as the stove looks balanced under the window, I just do not like it there. I liked having my counter there for baking, mixing etc. so I can enjoy the view You don't stand all that much in front of the Aga and it takes up a lot of my window space. The shell of the Aga is sitting there and it is not fully assembled. Parts needed to be ordered. My installer has never returned. Supposedly he ordered parts and they were shipped. That was over three weeks ago and still no response. I am so disgusted. I emailed him about moving it and finishing the install, but have yet to hear from him. My husband already paid him a big hunk of the installation fee and perhaps that was a mistake. Went to an Estate sale near my home and there is an Aga legacy there in Red which is being sold for $3200 just in case someone is interested. It looks brand new.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

quiltgirl,

I'm sorry to hear about your install.

I'm about as far west as you can go on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. My installer has travelled to California before for an install so you never know.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Okay, maybe just a peak.

I hope this pic works.

Here is a link that might be useful: AGA


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

OMG, Vanisleevt! Your 4-O looks hot, hot, hot! Or should I say, it's cooler than cool? Either way, I agree with you: what's not to love about that Aga? Congratulations! (When you get the chance, please tell us all about the cooking experience as well. )

And, Quiltgirl, I'm sooo sorry to hear about your install dilemma. As for crucial parts that are needed, I'm afraid there might be nothing you can do but wait an agonizingly long time for an overseas shipment. (Have you tried calling Aga-Heartland to make sure the order was even placed? And, if so, what's the estimated delivery time?) But as to the installer, I'm thinking you really might want to bite the bullet on get someone else to finish the job. Even if you have to "import" someone by paying their air fare and overnight lodging for and even though you've already paid a pretty penny to the current installer. From everything you've said about the guy you have, it's really sounding to me like it's time to get rid of him and move on.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

The Aga is beautiful vanisleevt!!!! I love the cream color! I love your cabinets too! It all goes very well together. How much countertop do you have on either side of the Aga? it looks like a large space.

marthavila, my installer told me the parts were already shipped. That was three weeks ago and they came out of Canada. Aga needs to appoint another installer for the Chicagoland area.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Now vanisleevt's got what I call a major range. Just fabulous.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Your comments are easing the pain of this long drawn out reno we've been living in. I started the demo in Jan and have been working every day, night and weekend as I've done all the work myself. I've already used up all my vacation time for the year.
I can't comment to much on the "actual" cooking experience as DW is the only cook in our house, I just reap the benefits. This kitchen is for her for because she deserves it and has always wanted an AGA and a beautiful kitchen.
Our first meal was pancakes of course! The kids love pancakes.

quiltgirl
Regarding our counters, we have about 36" to the right and about 60" to the left. There is a large island directly across from the AGA. The granite was templated a week ago and should be ready for install in a week or so.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Hi all,

I had started a thread asking if anyone had a user review for the new AGA Pro+. Not your traditional Aga, but my husband and I loved the functionality of the interior divided oven and were sold on the Aga reputation as a great cooking machine, so we decided to just go for it.

Well, our 36" range was set in place over the weekend and though it will be another week until it is installed and ready for use, we LOVE how it looks. Countertops are being templated tomorrow (soapstone) and the matching cream Aga hood is still on order. Hopefully it will arrive soon!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Anyway, just thought I'd share a picture with the Aga crowd here. I can't edit to cook on it - what to make for our first meal?!?


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Woo Hoo snoozing. Congrats! Your white AGA is gorgeoso and I can't wait to hear how you like it. I was so impressed by this range -- to me it's modern and elegant, built like a tank, dual fuel, the largest oven of all plus the flexible divider with the warming oven just offers so much.

Please give us a full report on how it goes when you get it fired up and working. The simmer burner is really impressive btw. I saw a cooking demo on this range and the control was terrific too.

I really share your excitement.


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

snoozingpug: your AGA range is to die for!


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Our long-awaited kitchen renovation is underway. Although we turned the Aga down so the kitchen would be comfortable for the builders, we still are using it in the gutted kitchen. I'll try to post Kitchen Before and During pictures -- the Before pictures are truly horrible, because we just moved our Aga in from our older house in town, then waited for nine years before renovating! We had gotten to the point that we hardly noticed beige Formica cabinets and naked lightbulbs strung from the ceiling, I think because the Aga still made it pleasant to cook in here.

Lynn


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RE: What is an Aga? ( Very Long! and Xposted)

Sorry, I cannot figure out how to upload photographs here!
Does anyone know where I can find step-by-step instructions?
Lynn

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Before


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Aga During Renovation, still cooking

Still trying to load Kitchen During Renovation images...

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen During


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Aga Cooking Demo

There's an Aga cooking demonstration tomorrow (Wednesday) June 13th at the Grange, 150 King St. E. in Toronto ON M5A 1J3 from 5-6 pm. Anyone interested in going?

Please RSVP directly with Daniel at (416) 943-4726.


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