Pros: Stainless, flexible, and reliable. Has convection and broiler on the oven.
Stainless, flexible, and reliable. Has convection and broiler on the oven.
Cons: No clock, timer, digital temp display. Fewer gadgets: more reliable.
No clock, timer, digital temp display. Fewer gadgets: more reliable.
I needed to find a stove to replace a 39.5" wide 2-oven AGA cooker in case I had to go all the way and sell my beloved house (didn't want a future owner to Ebay MY AGA cooker to some lucky low bidder just to get rid of a ton of cast iron.) A coworker grew up with one in England and I now have a friend for life who is now a proud owner of an AGA.
I compared this to all ranges in the 36" size and I have to confess I chose Bertazzoni because of the Italian name and the price point. When entertaining, I like to avoid causing memorable disasters. I guess I have to stop jumping into the deep end of the cooking pool when guests around although I prefer to find tools that don't need much practice.
Using the cooktop: The first trick is you turn the knob on, hold the knob in while the igniter is clicking then hold the knob in after ignition for 5-10 seconds to enable the flame-extinguished safety shutoff.
The safety shutoff gives me confidence to set a simmer level that seems impossible to maintain (barely see the flames around the ring) and not worry about it going out and causing an explosion.
The center burner is in two sections and comes with a WOK adaptor. Haven't gotten a wok pan yet. But, it boils a pot of water in 20 minutes to half an hour. The inner part of the center burner seems to be the best low-temp simmering burner on the whole stove.
I must confess to not being clean obsessive, dipping the iron burner grates in water several times a week. Maybe once or twice a month. I haven't seen any rust spots. The stove grates are designed to support pans in four directions. A round support plate is included if you come up with a 4" diameter pan for melting butter to keep it from falling through the grate. Formula 409 gets the stainless clean followed by a coating of 3M stainless cleaner spray to keep the stainless from rusting.
The wire thing that extends across the control panel is there to keep you from leaning against the front and catching your apron on fire. Mine is still in the garage.
To use the convection oven, you open the door before trying to ignite it. Turn the knob to the star, press and hold it in for 15 seconds then peer through a hole in the floor to verify the flame is lit.
There is a gas broiler element in the roof of the stove. However, I haven't had the privledge yet to play with it. There is an air circulating fan that runs while the stove is on in addition to a fan for the convection feature.
This stove is relatively low-tech except for safety features. You won't find a temperature readout or timer or clock on this stove. Might be a good reason why this stove will be reliable for years to come.
The non-electric nature of an AGA cooker taught me to respect and recommend those $20-$25 Poulder remote-reading thermometers with the temp probes.
For me, the only tangible drawback to this amazing appliance is it won't indicate when the oven is done preheating. No beepers on this stove. Like most gas ovens, this one is also not self-cleaning.
Most importantly, I haven't found anything I can't cook with it.