Image by zzathras777 via Flickr
We clean traditional AGA cookers on a regular basis and we have also cleaned Viking Range Cookers too, though they are not so common in the UK, or if they are we don't seem to getting them. We haven't as yet cleaned a AGA 6-4 series but I have seen them in the showroom; this AGA has four conventional ovens and in the AGA enamelled cast iron shell with gas burns on the top. We have regularly cleaned the 4-2 series model which is the smaller model and is also sold as the module fitted to the two oven (or a four oven) AGA cooker to give you the conventional cooking ability that is useful especially in the summer months when you may want to switch the AGA off to make your kitchen cooler.
So how does aga compare to a viking?
If you were to compare it with the new Aga 6-4 series the cooker is comparable to a Viking in that it has a traditional gas hob and electric ovens. The differences are that an Aga has 4 ovens where a Viking has 1 or 2, and it is built from cast iron. On the AGA The enamel finish looks like what you find on high-end cast iron cookware and is available in 14 colours. The four ovens give your more flexibility in cooking meals. For the Viking it looks like you can get it as many colours (looking at the viking cooker selector US site) and also stainless steel which looks great in a modern kitchen. The Viking feels like a professional cooker to the user and feels like it could happy sit in one so some people may find it 'heavy' to use. This AGA has the advantage over a conventional AGA cooker (which is on all the time) in that you can switch off and you can switch on each oven as required.
The traditional Aga cooker is a entirely different cooker. It has a single 15,000 BTU burner and uses radiant heat. The radiant heat produces much better cooking results. Most traditional Aga owners use a 20:80 rule, with 20 % of food cooked on the two hotplates and 80% in the ovens.
A Viking owner would reverse this with 80% of food cooked on the top. The ovens are vented in an Aga, so there is no need for a hood. Attend an Aga demonstration to really appreciate the differences.
For the conventional AGA cooker you will have to become proficient at using this type of cooker. Local
AGA shops and showrooms run demonstrations and courses on how to use
the cooker. The Mary Berry AGA book which comes with a new AGA is excellent and will
give you all the help that you need. Of course for the conventional AGA
cooker it will be on all the time so your fuel bills will reflect this.
Allow £12 a week for fuel bills for a 2 oven 30 Amp AGA, £25 a week for
other fuels, with the 13 Amp Cooker maybe higher. For 4 oven AGA
cookers and those with the water boiler attached expect higher running
costs than this. Also don't forget the installation costs of the AGA cooker. There is currently a problem with oil AGA cookers – search on this blog for my post re the changes in kerosene home heating fuel in the UK.
If you live in the south west of england I would recommend going to the showrooms at Spillers of Chard where in their cooker centre you will be able to appreciate the differences of the range cookers compared here.Google+