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Reuse or recycle? Cast iron Aga range cookers

Aga range cookers are, at their heart, big chunks of cast iron that get hot. Cast iron has a tremendous carbon impact when produced but given how long it lasts its 'life cycle' costs can be much lower.

Consider a cooker installed in 1941 that is converted and re-enamelled in situ by Blake & Bull. 81 year old cast iron restored to like new condition. Unless you drop cast iron in the sea it will pretty much last forever! Exterior parts are re-enamelled and the 'heart' of the cooker (a fossil burner running on solid fuel, gas or oil) replaced with electric parts.

"Better to design electric parts to fit existing cast iron than starting afresh."

'Recycled materials go into each cooker' is the boast when you buy a new cooker. Thats great, recycled iron creates around 85% less carbon, but why use enormous amounts of energy to melt down Aga parts and then recast them into very similar items? 

We use original cast iron from the, now sadly closed, Coalbrookdale foundry in all our cookers. The primary carbon impact in an Aga range cooker is its cast iron structure and exterior. Keeping these while replacing the electric heart, even if done a couple of times over the NEXT 81 years, means a truly sustainable cooker.

Only enamelled cast iron is long lived enough to manage this. How many kitchen appliances from 1941 are still going and how many are likely make it into the next century?

A reimagined Aga range cooker from Blake & Bull, running on 40% renewables (improving all the time), is a sustainable choice for your kitchen. If you already have an Aga range cooker then converting it, and possibly re-enamelling too, has a much lower carbon impact that buying new.

Happily it will save you money too. Reusing cast iron is more affordable than recycling it! Our cookers, whether installed afresh or converted, share functionality with new cookers, are better for the environment and carefully hand built by our engineering teams. You'll get no better services either. We're a jolly team but take our work VERY seriously. 

Red Aga range cooker closeup

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!