The basic aim is this - use the hotplates as little as possible!
The principle is that 20% of cooking on the Aga range cooker should be done using the hotplates; the remaining 80% using the ovens. The Aga range cooker is a great storage unit for energy where the plates and ovens are always kept hot and ready for use; however this heat is most rapidly lost when the lids are opened. The lids are insulated and designed to trap the heat in, so leaving them open has a direct impact on how much heat is available for cooking food in the ovens at the same time.
This ties into another ‘rule’ - the ‘7-minute principle’. The hotplates should only be used for cooking items requiring 7 minutes or less. Using the boiling plate cooks food quickly. For example: fast stir-frying, deep fat frying or to bring things quickly to the boil; the simmering plate is a little slower by nature, and is used to heat milk or to make sauces - all generally taking less than 7 minutes.
The basic principle of using time is to help determine whether using the plates are the best use of your Aga range cooker’s energy - perhaps the item in question (for example keeping a sauce or soup warm for an extended period) is better performed inside the oven itself.
To be honest the most efficient way to use your Aga range cooker would be 100/0 - treat it as a target ;) To get more tips on how to save money running your Aga range cooker make sure you join our mailing list!
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