AGA ovens are much like a quality piece of art; they look good and serve many purposes, and will last for lifetimes as long as they’re kept in top condition.
These cookers are certainly built to last, as their cast iron casing and enamel fixtures make them one of the most durable ovens available. It’s this durability that often fools people into thinking that their ovens don’t need as much caring for as any other kitchen appliance, but in actual fact AGA’s require regular maintenance in order to run properly.
Commonly used to heat kitchens during the colder winter months, as well as cooking, baking or roasting delicious meals all year round; most people assume that because an AGA is always giving off heat that any dirt or spilt food will just burn to dust that can be brushed away. Many believe that this brushing process is enough, when in actual fact caring for an AGA takes much more time and dedication.
Whilst you can brush or wipe away most of spillages on an AGA, dirt can still build up from continuous use, and often unless the spillages are dealt with instantly they can quickly dry and stain the AGA’s surface.
AGA’s cast iron innards make them fantastic at containing constant heat, which means they’re perfect for slow cooking food, or slowly heating the room. You should always monitor your food whilst it’s cooking though, and keep an eye out for any spillages so that you can wipe them away as soon as they happen. Just be careful not to burn yourself on one of the hotplates. If something does spill directly onto the hotplates, don’t be afraid to wait a while for it to burn up and carbonise, as it’ll then be much easier to dust away.
You can help keep your AGA in peak condition by dusting and wiping it like this after every use, making sure you get right into the nooks and crannies to ensure that the dirt and grime doesn’t build up in the more difficult to reach spots. Try not to use any chemical-filled oven cleaners, and instead opt for safer cream filled cleansers or soapy pads. Be sure to use a damp cloth or pad when cleaning the AGA’s outside surface, but don’t scrub away with anything too coarse as it may damage the enamel.
Most cookers have removable components, such as doors or heat rings. Make sure you’ve switched the AGA off and let it cool down before you do anything. Be very careful when removing and cleaning these parts, because if they’re not put back in place properly they may cause serious issues when you go to turn the AGA back on.
After you’ve spent time cleaning your oven, you’ll have noticed that there’s obviously a lot more to your AGA than first meets the eye. Whilst at first glance on the outside it may seem clean, continued use without regular and proper maintenance will leave the oven in no fit condition. Deep cleaning an AGA can be an incredibly time consuming task, as there is so much of it that needs cleaning. Try working slowly on specific parts of your AGA, focussing on the parts you use most, and then occasionally extending out to the parts least used when you have more time.
If said time is something that you simply don’t have on your hands, why not call in the professionals? They can completely restore your AGA to sparkling clean condition whilst allowing you to carry on with what you need to do.
To ensure that it’s kept in the best condition possible, your oven should receive a proper check-up and service once a year. Depending on your AGA’s energy source, you’ll need a professional to come in and thoroughly clean your ovens’ pipes, removing any traces of carbon deposits. Regular check-ups will keep your AGA running as smooth as possible and negate the need for a costly repair bill should anything go wrong.
White AGA: Wikimedia Commons
Green AGA: Wikimedia Commons