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What cookware do I really need?

Whether you have bought a new Aga or moved into a house where the Aga is already there, you do need a few basics to get the best from it.

A new Aga comes with a party box, containing:

  • 1 large deep roasting tin and grill rack

  • 1 half size deep roasting tin and grill rack

  • 1 cold plain shelf

  • 1 Aga toaster

  • 2 or 3 grid shelves

  • 1 wire brush to keep the hotplates clean

  • 1 Mary Berry Aga book

Some also have floor grids to protect food from the heat of the electric elements in the base of the ovens.

A new Esse comes with fewer accessories:

  • 1 large deep roasting tin

  • 1 shallow baking tray

  • 1 grill pan and rack

  • 2 grid shelves

These are the basic essentials.

I recommend that you also invest in:

I have some really lovely Stellar ones as well as some Aga pans

Once you have this selection, there is nothing you can't cook efficiently and quickly. You really do need these.

Most people have a cast iron casserole or two in their cupboard, these work brilliantly on a cast iron cooker.

Since so much is cooked in the ovens, Aga pans with flat lids that stack in the ovens are really useful - these sometimes come up for sale on eBay if you can't wait for the Aga shop sale!  You can get six pans and a sauce pot into the simmering and warming ovens.  You can also buy silicone lids that fit on any pan so that it will stack in the ovens.

With so much cooked in the ovens, tins that slide onto the runners, negating the need for oven shelves, are really important. You can get three full size or six half size tins into each of the roasting and baking ovens, plus quiches or pizzas on the floor, all at once.

The wider the base of your pan, the bigger surface area there is in contact with the hotplate and the faster your pan will boil  Thus you absolutely do not need a wok, since it has such a small base in contact with the hotplate. You will get a better, faster, hotter, stir fry using a sauté pan or a cast iron casserole.

There is a brilliant shallow baking tray available in Tesco for £8 that fits onto the oven runners in an Esse or an Aga.

Blake & Bull sell a 12-hole muffin / Yorkshire pudding tray that fits onto the oven runners in an Esse or an Aga.

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