How our electric Aga range cooker conversion works (and why its awesome!)
So here we get to the details! Our system is known as an 'Electrikit'. It's made in Devon by a highly professional firm that we like a lot called 'Oilwarm'. They are friendly, professional and well regarded. Read more on why this is important.
Our system is different to the basic electric conversions that pop an element where the flame would have been and leave it at that. Read more here on why we think this is not good enough.
The basis of your newly converted electric Aga range cooker is three electric elements (or four in a 4 oven cooker!). Each hotplate is replaced with a new one that looks identical but has an electric element integrated underneath. An electric element is similarly installed between the roasting and simmering ovens. The main barrel assembly is removed which is a significant part of the 'mass'- this makes heating up times shorter and the ovens more responsive all round. It's important to note that it still cooks in exactly the same way as a normal range cooker, with radiant heat. It's not a 'normal' cooker when converted; just a more flexible oven!
The hotplate elements are controlled by simple dials and the ovens electronically, you can set the exact temperature you need! All the controls are hidden behind the control panel door just where they used to be! If you have a 4 oven cooker then a separate element warms the oven controlled by a simple dial.
So, in a nutshell, why convert your Aga range cooker to electric?
- Lower fuel costs. MUCH lower in some cases (LPG/oil *cough*)
- Zero servicing costs. No more 6 monthly visits from the oil man!
- Zero infrastructure costs. No oil tanks, lines or flues required
- Lower fire risk. No flames or flammable fuels in your house
- Zero carbon monoxide risk. No combustion in your kitchen!
- Easier to use. No more soggy potatoes as the ovens cool down during the roast!
- Zero fuel leak risk. No oil lines, gas pipes, valves or taps
What does the conversion mean in practice?
- You can use both hotplates at any temperature independently; two simmering plates? no problem! They heat up from cold to a useful temperature in about 20 minutes and provide heat in exactly the same way as a conventional range cooker from that point. They reach absolute maximum temperature in about 40 minutes from cold, this is a surface temperature of 300 degrees centigrade - 30 degrees hotter than the hotplate of a traditional cooker!
- You can control the top oven to a very specific temperature and leave it off if you choose when not in use. It makes baking a lot easier! The lower oven's heat is always relative to whatever you have the top oven set to. We reccommend 235dc but its up to you. You'll still have the mercury readout on the front but it'll be just as inaccurate as ever!
- It saves you money, a lot of money. Most estimates are that the savings are around 80% of your current fuel bill. Leave it running flat out all the time and you won't save much but why on earth would you do that?! In addition to this there are zero servicing costs.
The key to using an 'Electrikit' is it's flexibility. In the summer you can leave the ovens off and use a hotplate for frying and in the winter you can return the Aga range cooker to 'traditional' mode and have the ovens ready for use 24/7 and the hotplates on low to warm the kitchen. It's up to you.