Aga gets up to speed with a 10,000 electric stove that can be turned on in an instant


Aga gets up to speed with a 10,000 electric stove that can be turned on in an instant

Aga gets up to speed with a 10,000 electric stove that can be turned on in an instant

8:30 AM on 18th May 2011

As any Aga owner knows, they have their pros and they have their cons.

Considered something of a status symbol, the cast iron cooker can be fiendishly impractical because it should effectively be kept turned on 24 hours a day.

While that is useful when families are in the grip of a freezing winter, the constant heat at the height of summer is an obvious curse.

Double-edged sword: Constant heat is useful when families are in the grip of a freezing winter, but at the height of summer it is an obvious curse

Double-edged sword: Constant heat is useful when families are in the grip of a freezing winter, but at the height of summer it is an obvious curse

Now, the makers have developed the ‘instant Aga’, a cooker that looks exactly the same as the original but is an electric equivalent controlled by a hi-tech touchscreen.

The Aga Total Control – price 9,595 – is said to be the biggest innovation for a design that has remained largely unchanged since it was developed in 1935.

It has the usual three ovens and two hotplates, however, for the first time, each can be operated independently or turned off completely.

It also has a TV-style remote control and an on-board computer that can be programmed to turn the ovens on and off at pre-set times.

The traditional Aga, fired by oil or gas, has a single burner controlledby a thermostat and takes at least six hours to heat up to the point where it can cook a decent meal.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is a fan of AgasActress Kate Winslet is also a fan of Agas

Aga fans: The Duchess of Cornwall and Kate Winslet use the stoves

The cast iron casing of the oven effectively holds the heat, which then radiates through the collection of ovens and hotplates.

Understanding the Aga’s eccentricities has not always been easy, but supporters – who include the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate Winslet – insist the stoves are able to deliver tasty, moist meat and perfectly baked bread and cakes.

Unlike most electric ovens, which bombard food with hot air, Aga says its version uses the same system of radiant heat that makes its traditional stoves a success.

Electric elements are embedded in the cast iron and the heat used in the cooking process radiates from all the metal surfaces.

Significantly, the modern version takes from 22 minutes for the ovens to heat up.

The ovens were first made in Britain, at Coalbrookdale, in the Shropshire hills, in the 1950s. They are still built in Shropshire today. William McGrath, chief executive of Aga Rangemaster, said: ‘We now have an oven that works around the household’s timetable.

‘It works around people’s needs. It provides the romance of the Aga wrapped up in a 21st century package.’