Summer shutdown

July came early this year. We planned on shutting the AGA down during the hottest months of the year.  We didn’t expect that to be May. 

The logic behind the shut down is that we grill out more and eat more salads during the summer, so we don’t need the extra expense of running the AGA and cooling the house non-stop to get rid of the radiant heat of the AGA.  Keep in mind that we live in South Carolina.

Here is our approach to living without a full-sized cooking device for the summer:

  • Use electric kettle to boil water for coffee instead of the kettle on the AGA.
  • Use the gas grill to cook meats.
  • Use the stove burner on the gas grill to do anything that would require an exhaust fan e.g. frying
  • Purchased a Breville Smart Oven for toasting, reheating and baking
  • Purchased a 2-eye stove top to do cooking
  • Use the microwave for, well… so far just a kitchen timer for the coffee but I am sure we will put it to use.
  • Make a worksurface for the top of the AGA to get the appliances off the counter.

When the AGA is on, the only appliance mentioned above that is used is the gas grill, and that is only occaisionally. When we crank it back up everything will go in the attic, inlcuding the microwave. Yes, the AGA displaces the microwave, elelctric kettle and toaster and of course the stove top and oven.

Above is our set up. The worksurface was made out of a 48″x24″ piece of wood from Lowes that cost $23 and cut down to 38.5″ with the extra used for legs 3.25″ tall.

Yes, we do miss cooking on the AGA.  We are looking forward to firing it back up in a few months.

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8 responses to “Summer shutdown

  1. Pingback: Knobs, Knobs, Knobs | AGA Bloga

  2. I am reading your posts with interest! We have a traditional 4-oven AGA and live in York, SC. We haven’t shut ours down for the summer. Where in South Carolina are you?

    • Hi Tina
      We are in Mount Pleasant. The shutdown just made sense to us with it being so hot however we truly miss the AGA! Happy cooking! Thanks for reading!
      AGA Bloga

  3. Hello — I’ve just gone to work as a private chef for a family in Florence, SC that has a 4-oven Aga with module and the 4-eye companion unit. I had my first Aga experience there this week and quickly learned that I’m going to have to do some serious research to be the best I can at working with the Aga. Had I known how different it would be, I wouldn’t have planned for my first day to include a roast chicken, two loaves of bread and roasted baby beets — but I did manage it all and was quite impressed with the way the Aga performed, especially with the chicken.

    They aren’t shutting theirs down for the summer, but I’ll be looking forward to your re-start in the fall and getting some tips from you.

    By the way, do you realize that there’s no way on your blog to sign up for an RSS feed? I’d like to keep subscribed in my RSS reader so I can keep up with you.

    …Maggie

    • Hi Maggie
      Thanks for reading. The AGA is overwhelming at first but then it becomes second nature. It is cooking by common sense. There are AGA cookbooks available and the AGA Kitchen blog is a great resource.

      We Sorely miss the AGA. It is always ready and quick and can’t wait to crank it up again although with this weather (heat index of 115′) i can wait a little longer.

      RSS feed is up. Let me know if you have any problems with it

      Good luck and happy cooking!
      AGA Bloga

      PS – Our shutdown is partly for economic reasons – if you are a private chef and have access to a massive cooking appliance like you described, then economics don’t necessarily drive the decision. 🙂

  4. YAY for the RSS feed! Thanks!

    And for the link to the AgaKitchen blog also. But guess what — they don’t have an RSS feed either! Guess I’ll be writing to them next, since I’ll probably be back there and here frequently, begging for help as I learn the Aga method.

    As soon as cooler weather arrives, I plan on trying the Jamie Oliver pork roast you posted about, as I’m mad for pork shoulder. From what I’ve read today, the Aga is the master of long, slow braises, and that’s my favorite type of winter cooking.

    Funny to think of these Agas here in hot, humid South Carolina, so far from their British countryhouse roots. Found a very funny article at independent.co.uk dissing the Aga, and the voluminous comments both pro and con were hilarious.

    Hope I come to love the one I’m using as much as you love yours.

    …maggie

  5. Pingback: AGA instructions – How to remove top video | AGA Bloga

  6. Pingback: Mario Batali’s Stuffed Chicken Legs – Braciole di Pollo – AGA style | AGA Bloga

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