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Why all your friends are talking about an AGA cooker

Invented in 1922 and considered a major design icon of the 20th century, the AGA cooker has long been a fixture in kitchens across the globe – in fact, it’s one of those special pieces that people build their kitchens around. We asked Joanna Jones of Edward Madison, supplier of the cookers in Hong Kong, to give us her top reasons for choosing an AGA.

AGA cookers are considered a major design icon of the 20th century
AGA cookers are considered a major design icon of the 20th century

#1 Radiant heat cooking

AGA cookers are built from cast iron, a fantastic material for retaining and radiating heat. Radiant heat is gentle on food, and it locks in moisture and flavour. Speaking from experience, it makes an average home cook like myself turn out chef-quality food that satisfies family and impresses guests every time.

#2 Multiple functions

The AGA cooker is much more than just an oven. Its vents make the perfect environment for proofing bread, so there’s no need for a bread machine. You won’t need a toaster either, and it’s also a healthy low-fat cooker. The griddles are a favourite with children for making different pancake shapes, while adults can take advantage of the non-stick surface to make crepes. The AGA doubles as a room heater and clothes drier, too; if you pair it with natural stone tiles (available from Artisans of Devizes through Edward Madison), the heat will gently transfer through the stone to warm an entire room.

#3 Efficient heat

Once the AGA is up to heat, only a little energy is required to retain a cooking temperature. And the generous internal capacity means that a number of saucepans can be stacked inside the oven for multiple dishes to be cooked at the same time.

#4 Reduced costs

The AGA Total Control and the smaller AGA City60 have switch on/switch off hotplates, which means reduced running costs. In addition, the Total Control and City60 models have independently controllable ovens, meaning they can be “on when you need them and off when you don’t”. Unlike a conventional AGA cooker, which are always on, each oven and hotplate can be turned on and off individually, making these models perfect for hot weather countries.

#5 Green credentials

AGA cookers are 90 percent recyclable, and 70 percent of each new AGA cooker is made using reclaimed iron from items such as door fittings, drain covers and lampposts. And since you’ll be using fewer appliances in the home, you’ll have lower electricity bills.

#6 It’s an heirloom

AGAs are still handmade in the same UK foundry where they were first created, using the same methods (though with the benefits of modern technology). An AGA’s longevity is at least three times that of a conventional cooker. In fact, thousands of the cookers across the UK are still working perfectly after 50 years or more of service. Many families pass their cookers down from one generation to the next. Buy an AGA and it invariably becomes the heart of your home. We bought ours solely for its design, which fitted our open-plan living perfectly, but it’s become the one thing we couldn’t live without in our home.

AGA ovens are available in a range of colours, and are customisable to meet your needs and space. Visit edwardmadison.com for more information.

This article first appeared in the Feb/Mar edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.

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