Using & Maintaining your Aga Range Cooker
Advice and tips for cooking and looking after your Aga Range Cooker
Cooking on your Aga Range Cooker
I still remember being rather afraid of my first Aga Range Cooker. I hadn’t been brought up with one and when it was first installed it looked so grand and so different from any cooker I had previously used.
Now I couldn’t imagine my kitchen without an Aga Range Cooker. It is much more than the focal point of our kitchen, not only does it cook the family meals, it dries the washing and warms the grand children’s pj’s. It is always warm and comforting, ready to boil the kettle day and night for that special “cuppa” and because your cooker is always ready to use there is no need to wait for the oven to heat up, perfect for cooking “fast food” even faster.
Whether you own a 2, 3 or a 4 oven Aga Range Cooker the most important thing to remember is that at least 80 per cent of cooking should be done in the ovens. If the lids are up the heat is escaping. My own golden rule is if it takes more than 6 minutes to cook on the top, then it should be in an oven.
It took some believing on my part, that boiled potatoes, or any root vegetable, should be cooked in an oven. Now I couldn’t imagine cooking them any other way. Just peel or scrub the potatoes put them in a pan, cover with water, bring up to the boil on the boiling plate, transfer to the simmering plate and cook with the lid on for 4 – 5 minutes. Drain off all the water and then place on the floor of the simmering oven for 25 – 30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. No need to time to the minute as they will keep unspoiled for a couple of hours, hard to believe but true.
Toast always tastes better when cooked on the top of the hot plates, crispy on the outside but still soft in the middle. Just remember to heat your toasting rack first on the boiling plate to stop the bread sticking to the wire toaster. Toasted sandwiches can be made directly on the simmering plate by using Bake-O-Glide to cover the simmer plate. Butter your bread on the outside for a lovely crispy golden finish.
That Aga Range Cooker breakfast is so easy, grill your bacon near the top of your roasting oven using the roasting tin, with the grill rack insert. No need to use a shelf as the Aga Range Cooker roasting trays fit directly onto the runners of the oven. If you are also cooking sausages for breakfast use 2 small roasting trays, they will fit one in front of the other on the oven runners, maximising your oven space.
Frying your eggs can be done either in an ovenproof pan on the floor of your roasting oven or for low fat “fried eggs” cook your eggs on Bake-O-Glide directly on the simmer plate.
Anything you can cook on the top of your oven can be cooked on the floor of your roasting oven. You can fry onions or brown your meat here.
Rice and risotto cook beautifully in the Aga Range Cooker either start on the boiling plate or on the floor of your roasting oven, bring to the boil and then transfer to the simmering oven for about 20 minutes.
Your Aga Range Cooker will accommodate an extra large Turkey, up to 12.5kgs, for that big family Christmas. Leave the turkey slow roasting over night in the simmering oven, no need to baste, leaving the roasting oven free to cook all the trimmings.
Baking bread is easy as the roasting oven is similar to a bakers oven and baking cakes is simple once you have mastered the use of your cold shelf. Remember to keep the cold shelf out of the Aga Range Cooker and not inside one of the ovens because as it name suggests it should be cold to reduce the heat of your oven to a moderate temperature suitable for baking.
I know you will enjoy cooking on your Aga Range Cooker and it really does make everything taste better.
Looking after your Aga Range Cooker
We’re sure you’ll be as delighted as us to hear that Aga Range Cookers are very low maintenance and require very little daily attention. The key thing is to keep on top of any spills, as they are much easier to clean up before the spillage bakes on to the hot enamel.
Daily wiping is best done with microfibre cloths, one for cleaning and one for polishing to avoid smears. No cleaning product is required for daily cleaning.
For more stubborn staining the Aga Range Cooker is best worked on cold. It is imperative that any products that are used on any of the enamelled surfaces are approved by the vitreous enamel association. Astonish is a good product for stubborn burnt on grease stains. It can be applied in a circular motion using a very, very fine grade of wire wool (always try a discreet patch first) or the end of a cork.
Internally, any cooking spills will burn off the cast iron so don’t worry about this.
The cast iron doesn’t require cleaning. When the Aga Range Cooker is switched off the ovens and hot plates may benefit from a wire brushing. Any excess food/grease that has been removed with the wire brush can then be swept out with a dustpan and brush.
General tips for keeping your Aga Range Cooker looking pristine:
- Never fry on the top and instead use the frying pan on the base of the roasting oven. This will prevent the top and lid liners getting splashed with oils.
- Always take care to lift the doors over the catches on the front plate so as not to chip the doors or front.
- Do not hang wet washing on the front rail as this will cause the badge to perish.
- Ensure the nylon washers on the door pins are have not perished to prevent enamelled parts rubbing against one another.
- Don’t use excessive amounts of oil on the food or trays. This isn’t necessary in an Aga Range Cooker and will only cause the door backs to become prematurely discoloured.
- Don’t drape wet laundry over the top of the Aga Range Cooker. Not only is this a potential fire hazard, but the chemicals in laundry detergents can cause damage to the chrome domes and the vitreous enamel. We recommend a clothes airer to make the most of the heat the Aga range cooker is producing.
Cooking on a range may seem a minefield but most of the equipment you already own will be suitable. The following is what we would deem as essential kit for getting the most from your Aga range cooker.
- A set of pans with a thick ground base, that must have metal handles and metal lids for putting the pans inside the ovens. (Most glass lids are only capable of temps up to 160 Degrees).
- A flat griddle or griddle pan, that can be warmed to a very high temp on the floor of the roasting oven.
- Some baking trays and roasting tins of Aga range cooker dimensions that fit directly onto the lugs of the ovens.
- Bake-o-glide – For lining the tins and for cooking directly on the simmering plate with minimal oil. This is brilliant for eggs.
- Toasting Rack – Everyone knows that toast done on the Aga is the best!
- Kettle – A good stove top kettle means the electric kettle can go forever! You may as well make use of the boiling plate. Its super quick too!
- Clothes airer – Available in double or single tier options. Its brilliant for allowing the hot air to rise from the top of the Aga and dry the washing. It also makes for minimal ironing.
- Silicone Pads – These sit on top of the chrome domes to keep them looking pristine and to prevent damage from oven trays, pans etc. They are heatproof and can be used as trivets or pot grabs. They are easily cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher.
Cookware & Spares
At Avec Cookers we have an extensive range of new components for your Aga. We have parts and accessories for Pre 74, Post 74 and Standard models.
We are sure that we can meet all your requirements so do not hesitate to contact us.
We specialise in high quality parts for all Agas including lid liners and seals, door backs and ropes, thermometers, thermostats, ashpans, filling funnels and wicks.
Our Rayburn spares include riddling wheels, carriers, ashpans and fire bricks.
We can also supply all your flue requirements and our prices are highly competitive too.
At Avec Cookers we carry a wide range of kitchen and cookware.
Our stainless steel pans are contemporary in design, professional in quality and guaranteed for 25yrs.
Our cast iron enamelled cookware is suitable for use in the oven and on the hob and is dishwasher safe. It is ideal for serving straight to the table.
We also carry an impressive range of accessories including, toasters, kettles, scales drying racks, roasters, baking trays silicone dome savers and oven gloves.
Everything you need for your reconditioned Aga.