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eControl Instaheat Aga hotplate review

It's one thing to talk about our electric systems for Aga cookers, it's another to use them every day. For many years at home I used Electrickit in my 4 oven Heritage style cooker. When I moved house, replacing the kitchen before we moved in, I needed a new cooker. I chose this time a 2 oven Modern style cooker in Drop Cloth. It seemed sensible, despite my enormous familiarity with Electrickit, to go for eControl with all the options and get to know both systems equally! 

You can build your own 'perfect' cooker here using our configurator if you are so minded, it's a lot of fun! All our cookers are bespoke and made just for you!

By far the most interesting thing with the new cooker has been the way I have grown to use, and love, the Instaheat option. This is a 2.5kw (powerful!) commercial grade halogen hob that sits over the ovens on the right hand side of your cooker. It heats up instantly (shock!) and gets VERY hot, perfect for big heavy bottomed pans and marmalade making etc. 

It turns on via the control panel and has variable heat output. I tend to use it on max almost always though and the control knob turns 'backwards' one click to the max setting which is very useful! Since the cooker was installed I have left the hobs selector in the 'Both hobs on' setting. When the heat output knobs are turned to zero then both are effectively off anyway.

What this means is that when I arrive in the kitchen in the early morning (VERY early, my youngest daughter is 10mo old!) it's one 'click' on the knob to the setting I need. I binned our old electric kettle when I moved and am using one of our copper kettles

Newey & Bloomer Simplex Highgrove No.1 kettle for use with range cookers.
This is not a copper kettle review but my god it's a wonderful thing. So so fast, so competent. No leaks, solid whistle when boiling and just perfect to use every day. Mine does not look shiny anymore but its still beautiful with some hard working tarnish!  I know they are absurdly expensive but you really will never need to buy another kettle, your kids will fight over it when you are gone if you take the plunge! 


Anyway the kettle boils very quickly on the Instaheat hob and then goes back on the trivet next to the cooker. Side note here, does anyone have a Coronation trivet they'd like to sell back to me? I never bought one and am sad! 

When the kettle comes off the Instaheat I have got in the habit, while temperatures remain cold, of leaving the hob on for 10mins. As a halogen hotplate it is effectively a 3 bar electric fire and delivers 2.5kw of pure heat direct to the room with the lid up. VERY useful on occasion! I'm not leaving the ovens on during the night at present (not cold enough) so this is very useful while the ovens are heating up which takes an hour. It takes the edge off the room!

In the evening when cooking dinner I find I use only the Instaheat hob for most meals. The advantage of halogen over induction is that you can treat this like an old fashioned Aga hotplate and have multiple pans balanced on it, no need to have a single pan bang in the middle of the induction zone, it's much more relaxed! It will also work with all pan types from cast iron to non stick and will also heat roasting trays (for gravy!). 

All things considered I love it, can you tell! If you've been considering converting to electric I would strongly consider Instaheat. I leave the ovens on all day for convenience and heat (I never like a cold Aga!) so having an instant option for the hotplate is really handy too. I'm happy to discuss it direct if you have questions, call 01225 434500! 

Matthew Bates

Matthew Bates

Matthew is from a farming family near Bath and a graduate of King's College London who decided not to follow the 'standard' path into banking or the law. He has been working with these fabulous cookers in some form or another since 2003. Matthew runs Blake and Bull from beautiful Bradford on Avon, near Bath. Alf the golden retriever makes sure the working day finishes at 6pm sharp - dog walk time!