Alternatives to the AGA Cooker? Are there any? I really love the AGA cooker (our 30 Amp is still going strong) but I know that for whatever reason people will decide to buy another range cooker for their kitchen. Perhaps they find the AGA slow for cooking (it can be) or perhaps they don't want the running costs of an AGA or perhaps they think the AGA cooker is difficult to use (it isn't).
So my list of AGA Cooker alternatives are:
1. Mercury Range Cooker. This is a conventional quality range cooker. So in comparison with the AGA you won't get the 'cosy house feel' and of course none of the expensive on going cost of running it. I really love this cooker though it looks great especially with the Mercury Cooker Hood over it. Mercury cookers look and feel the business and they are a true quality item. I really love the way that the gas burners light when you turn the control knobs. They cost in the region of £4000 so compared with an AGA it's a lot cheaper. We regularly clean Mercury ranges and I really love cleaning them.
As this is now an AGA Rangemaster brand I'd also consider it with other AGA brand range cookers: Rangemaster, and Falcon (same as the Rangemaster but with a better quality feel and look).
2. Lacanche Range Cooker. Again a quality conventional range cooker. You can really feel the quality of these cookers when you clean them with really solid build. They are more of a professional build quality then other range cookers, and I have been told by some people that they find them 'too heavy' in use and that they have problems opening the doors. I wouldn't be put off by the poor website these cookers are the real deal and everyone I've met who has one (we clean lots of Lacanches on a regular basis) loves it's cooking performance. The only issue with them is that for spare parts in the future there is only one supplier.
3. Everhot Cooker. This looks like an AGA though has very large top plates. They are the same size as the AGA so will make a statement in your kitchen. The prices they give for running costs will, in comparison to the AGA running costs, will appear a lot cheaper. But having met a lady who changed from the AGA to the Everhot she told me that it was a lot more to run as the quoted running costs were for a lower temperature in the main oven (compared to the normal AGA running temperature). Also the Everhot doesn't have the same radiant heat as a traditional AGA. But I haven't heard of any problems with running these.
5. Esse Range Cooker These are like AGAs but a bit smaller in size. We have cleaned lots of these over the years and I think people tend to love them. They have a large selection of different fuel and flue types. I particularly like the look of their Woodfired – see Esse Woodfired comprehensive guide. In all a fabulous website and a great range of cookers.
Of course I have missed out lots of alternatives but I remember seeing a lot of these ranges at an openday we were invited to at their Cook Centre in Chard in Somerset in October of last year. See AGA Cooker Centre for their whole range of AGAs, Rayburns and other cookers.