Range cookers – whether an AGA, Rayburn, or Everhot – can be costly to run if you’re not clued up on the many intricacies of these classic ovens. Modern range cookers run on electricity, but older models usually run on wood, gas, oil or even coal. If your range runs off a solid fuel source like wood, you’re probably used to ordering logs from a company like Firewood Farm, and you’re probably used to the unique way in which this allows you to cook food, heat your home and dry your clothes.
If used correctly, range cookers have a range of functions which can help to save you money with other household tasks!
Range cookers are – as a general rule – always on, ready to cook at a moment’s notice whenever called upon. Although these cookers are heat efficient, the biggest way you can run up a huge energy bill is by wasting this heat on unnecessary tasks. With rising energy costs hitting most households it has never been more important to find new ways to save money. This is particularly the case if your home is powered by oil. With this in mind, you could potentially look for a more economical heating supply if you wish to on websites similar to romeosfuel.com. Nevertheless, it can be easier to sometimes change your current habits to adapt, which is what several of these tips focus on.
Check out these top tips below and let us know if you think we’ve missed any!
- Warm Food Up to Room Temperature Before Cooking
Your range cooker doesn’t appreciate cold or frozen food – it saps much of its heat reserves before the cooking process begins.
If at all possible, especially with large pieces of frozen meat, allow the food to come to room temperature before cooking. Frozen foods are undeniably as good as their fresh counterparts, but when it comes to cooking them, a range cooker may not be able to accommodate the amount of cold frozen food.
- Make Sure Your Ovens are at the Right Temperature
Running your ovens at the incorrect heat can lead to fuel wastage or cause your ovens to be too hot for cooking. The top roasting oven on an Aga should be 235 C.
Although range cookers such as Agas have thermometers built into them, these are often faulty so it’s best to use an oven thermometer to assess how your inbuilt thermometer corresponds to reality!
- Use Lid Covers for your Hobs
Range cookers lose a substantial amount of heat through the lid tops that sit on the oven’s hotplates. Underneath, the hotplates are extremely hot – and it’s best to keep them this way!
Insulated hob covers sit on your cooker lids and retain lots of the wasted heat that comes off a range cooker, helping your cooker save on running costs.
- Although we Love Range Cookers, they’re not the Most Efficient Way to Boil Water!
Boiling a large pan of water on your range cooker hotplates is an extremely effective way of losing heat from your ovens – we’ve even see ovens go cold trying to heat large pans!
Electric kettles are far more efficient and will mean you don’t waste money cooling your range cooker down.
- Use the Hotplates as Little as Possible
Lifting the lid releases a large amount of heat from your range cooker, reducing the heat store for future cooking requirements. Many range cooker owners live by the 80/20 rule which means that only 20% (or lower) of the cooking should be done on the hotplates with the remaining 80% using the ovens.
Another rule is the ‘7-minute principle’ – meaning that hotplates should only be used for cooking tasks requiring 7 minutes or less – things like frying, toasting or very quick boiling. The simmering oven is (surprisingly!) ideal for simmering tasks such as making sauces.
- Use your Cooker’s Heat to Dry Clothes
Range cookers give off heat all day and night so it’s a good idea to use an Aga drying rack to utilise that heat for drying clothes, towels any other soggy items! This will eliminate the need for an energy-hungry tumble dryer or the need to dry clothes on your radiator.
- Embrace the Slow Cooking Phenomenon
Lots of people are getting into slow cooking these days, and range cookers are set up perfectly for people who like coming home to slow cooked meals already cooked in the oven.
To turn your range cooker into a slow cooker you’ll need to turn your oven right down – to between 90 – 100 C, which will seriously help with your monthly fuel costs.
- Save on Central Heating Costs
Your range cooker will keep your kitchen nice and toasty, so consider cutting down on heating costs by keeping your central heating off and relaxing in your kitchen!
This is especially useful for those not-quite-cold-enough-to-turn-your-heating-on Autumn or Spring nights!
If you’re finding your kitchen is significantly warmer than the rest of your house, open the doors to spread the heat and warm the rest of the house.
These tips were contributed by Matthew Bates at Blake & Bull Aga Range Cooker Specialists.